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Politics

Don't look away -- the horrors at the border are still happening

Esther J. Cepeda on

CHICAGO -- Lest we forget, inhumanity and injustice continue unabated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The topic of these horrors seems to have been left for dead because of the focus on a potential presidential impeachment, the 2020 election and, well, life.

It is human nature to attempt to go on even in the face of widespread suffering. All over the country, people are getting excited for Halloween -- even those children who are scarred from having been separated from their parents at the border, and kids who are in this country illegally and endure teasing about it at school.

Yes, even young adults who have no idea how long it will be before life as they've known it will evaporate are wondering what sort of fantasy and dress-up motif to indulge in for a few hours of release from their worries. They will try to forget that they could be sent back to a country at any time that they, for all intents and purposes, don't even remember.

In turn, those who are free from such pressing anxieties must do their part to not forget that there are millions of people who need us to remember their anguish. This includes people both here in the U.S. -- our friends, neighbors and co-workers -- and the desperate souls at the border seeking entry.

Here's a short run-down of what's going on:

 

-- Late last month, a federal court upheld protections for immigrant children kept in detention, reinforcing the so-called Flores Settlement Agreement, which says that children should be held in immigration custody for no more than 20 days. And the ruling maintains the requirement that facilities holding children make every effort to address opportunities for kids to be released to responsible adults.

-- Also in September, a federal court blocked the expansion of an "expedited removal" program. This would have allowed the government to deport people without such basic due process procedures as getting to speak with an attorney or presenting evidence in their own defense.

-- Last week, the Trump administration backed down on its strategy to levy six-figure fines on immigrants seeking sanctuary in holy spaces like churches and mosques. It was an intimidation tactic that never stood a chance, because it relies on extracting huge sums of money from people who are basically peasants living in monastic conditions as an alternative to being deported to a country where they fear imminent starvation or violent death.

Those were the bright spots. Now on to the egregious happenings of late:

...continued

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