In this episode Bath and Kelly unravel the twisted stories of the missing immigrant minors and the children being separated from their parents at the border. The recent outrage is certainly clear, but it is not clear exactly what happened when, and who ordered it to happen. Join us as we take a closer look at the stories and unravel the ball of yarn.
Let's start at the beginning. At the end of April, the acting assistant secretary of Administration for Children and Families (a division of Health and Human Services), Steve Wagner, answered questions from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding how the agency tracks unaccompanied minors after they are released to family or other sponsors inside the United States. It was during this interview that Wagner stated the agency had lost contact with 19% of these minors. The real questions is - is this a terrible thing to have happened? Our instinct says yes, the US shouldn't lose track of children who might be in an unsafe situation; however, the HHS not able to get in contact after 30 days could be due to several factors, such as fear of deportation, a move in location, change of phone number and more. Atlanta lawyer, Josie Duffy Rice, broke this situation down on her twitter thread.
Part of the outrage that birthed the viral hashtag #wherearethechildren came from the Frontline documentary, Trafficked in America, which found several minors were released to human traffickers. In the US, when minors arrive at the border without an adult they were handed over to Health and Human Services (HHS), who then attempts to find a relative or sponsor for them to stay with. Beginning in early 2016, there have been increases in the oversight of sponsorship and crack downs on fraudulent documentation before the children are placed. This increased scrutiny recently increased further when HHS agreed to work with the Department of Homeland Security to share this information. Meaning, if a child can be placed with a family member, but that family member is undocumented then they are now ineligible to help the child, and could place their own status at risk by stepping forward.
This meme is spreading all sorts of misinformation. Pizzagate is a virulent conspiracy theory with no basis in fact, and there is actually no evidence that the missing 1500 children were released to human traffickers. While Trump supporters do often make hypocritical claims, so do some democrats. This is not a war to be won, these are real children who are out of contact with the government. Focusing anger at the wrong argument wastes precious resources that could be better spent.
One of the reasons this story became a ball of tangled yarn is because of the new policy of separating all immigrant children from their parents. At the beginning of May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated, “If you are smuggling a child then we will prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you as required by law...If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.”
Meanwhile, DJT is yet again trying to place the blame elsewhere by lying about who created this brand new policy. Heclaims, "I know what you’re going through right now with families is very tough. But those are the bad laws that the Democrats gave us. We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law. It’s a horrible thing. We have to break up families. The Democrats gave us that law and they don’t want to do anything about it. They’ll leave it like that because they don’t want to make any changes. And now you’re breaking up families because of the Democrats. It’s terrible." Fake piousness at its most hyperbolic.
It's easy to get bogged down with the anger and frustration, but there are still ways to help these kids who have been separated from their families. Bustle has a great list of ways to get involved, including petitions, making calls, tweeting and emailing officials. Please take a look, get involved and don't let this story overwhelm you.
Beth's Jam of the Week, Wildfire by SMYL:
Kelly's Jam of the Week, Undone - The Sweater Song by Weezer:
HHS Official Says Agency Lost Track of Nearly 1,500 Unaccompanied Minors
Josie Duffy Rice Twitter Thread
Trafficked in America
Agreement Between Refugee Agency and ICE to Share Sensitive Information Raises Concerns
Sessions vows to prosecute all illegal border crossers and separate children from their parents
Jeff Sessions: Parents and Children Illegally Crossing the Border Will Be Separated
Trump Blames Own Border Policy on Democrats
How To Help Immigrant Kids Who Are Taken From Their Parents At The Border
Did the U.S. Government Lose Track of 1,475 Migrant Children?
FACT CHECK: Are Democrats Responsible For DHS Separating Children From Their Parents?
Obama administration officials are rushing to explain photos from 2014 that went viral this weekend showing locked-up immigrant children
Fact-checking immigration spin on separating families and 1,500 ‘lost’ children
Join us bi-weekly for new episodes! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Don't forget to subscribe on your favorite podcast app! We are on iTunes, Stitcher, Tunein, Google Play, You Tube, iHeart Radio, and Spotify!
Help others find us by giving us a 5 star rating!
And don't forget - Spread jam, not lies!
Spread jam, not lies.