Migrant Children Forced To Pledge Allegiance

Migrant Children Are Being Forced To Respect Country That Traumatizes Them.

  • Hundreds of migrant children are forced to show respect to a country that treats them as prisoners.
  • Reports of migrant children arriving in foster homes as far as Michigan and New York.
  • Migrant children face life long damage due to inflicted trauma and separation.

 

Located at the southernmost tip of Texas, serving as county seat of Cameron county, lies the city of Brownsville. At a population of 183,046, Brownsville appears to be like any other southern city. Nicknamed “The Green City”, the city is home to shopping centers and lodging for tourists and travelers alike. Brownsville is also home of an abandoned Walmart center, renamed the Casa Padre facility, that is currently holding hundreds of migrant children and their families against their will. Many of those children and parents are still separated, despite a recent executive order to be reunited. Reports from anonymous and former workers at the detention center describe nightmare conditions, low supplies, and the forcing of pledging allegiance to the United States, the very country that ripped them from their parents arms and forced them into prison like conditions.

Every morning, hundreds of migrant children are forced to stand and recite words that they likely don’t understand. A worker of the facility, who wished to remain anonymous, stated “We tell them’ its out of respect‘”. The children, who are kept in tight living quarters, where supplies are sparingly doled out, are only allowed outdoors for two hours per day. In addition to the trauma of being forcibly separated from their parents and family members, April 2018 federal suit filings allege that children being held by US immigration are abused, over medicated, and threatened at this and other detainment sites. The federal suit, which dates back several years in its accounting of events, contains testimony after testimony from children at these sites, separated from their parents, and the horrors in which they endured.

Migrant children, like Japanese-American children held in internment camps during WW2, are forced to pledge allegiance and show respect for the country that has, and continues to, traumatize them. During WW2, Japanese-American families were taken into federal custody without having committed any crimes, and forced into deplorable and unhygienic living conditions in what the US called “internment camps”. While Nazi Germany was home of many concentration camps, the US had similar camps of its own, with only slightly better living conditions and treatment of its prisoners. Like Nazi Germany, the US targeted out a select type of citizen to be seized and held within its prisons, authorized by President Roosevelt under Executive Order 9066. Today, this same practice of utilizing what are now called detention centers is alive and well within America, as has been shown with the treatment and indefinite holding of migrant families and children.

Japanese-American children saying the pledge during WW2. Photo made available by the Library of Congress.

Despite President Trump’s executive order that families are to be detained together – indefinitely – many migrant children have already been shipped halfway across the nation to land in foster homes and shelters. Hannah Mills, program supervisor for transitional foster care at Bethany Christian Services, recently spoke about her organization’s experience while assisting these displaced children. “These kids are arriving at 11 p.m and 5 a.m. Not only are they being separated from their families, they are being transported in the middle of the night,” she reported to freep.com. “We have found on many occasions that no one has explained to these children where they are going.” She explains, “These kids are hysterical. They’re screaming out for mom and dad.” Migrant children and infants have been transported as far away as Michigan and New York. While many early childhood development experts and pediatricians have explicitly detailed how damaging this trauma is to children, it is unclear what efforts, if any, are being made to reunite the children that have been placed in foster care homes and facilities around the nation. Reports from anonymous workers within the center say that parents are securing their children to their legs once they have been reunited so as to not be separated again.

It sounds like a scene out of some dystopian Hollywood blockbuster.Unfortunately, this is life for the hundreds of children being held at detainment facilities in the United States. Traumatized and sleeping on cots, they are afforded few supplies. Allegations of abuse and mistreatment continue to emerge from workers and prisoners within the walls of places like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas. Meanwhile, these children are forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and show respect to the country responsible for their plight and emotional abuse. While some US citizens express fear of a fascist America, others argue that its already here, right before our very own eyes.

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About Elise Freeman

Happily married to the love of my life, homeschooling our three beautiful children, and fervently trying to be the change I want to see in the world. I am not the person who tells you what you want to hear, but I will always tell you what you need to hear.

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