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24 Hours of Unprecedented News on Trump’s War on Immigrant Children

Courtesy of Pam Martens

This Viral Photo by Pulitzer Prize Winning Photograher John Moore of Getty Images Captures the Trauma of a Two-Year Old Girl from Honduras at the U.S. Southern Border

This Viral Photo by Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer John Moore of Getty Images Captures the Trauma of a Two-Year Old Girl from Honduras at the U.S. Southern Border

Over the past 24 hours, everyone from the Pope to Fox TV producers to foreign leaders like U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to top corporate CEOs like Apple’s Tim Cook to U.S. airlines (who learned they had unwittingly transported snatched children hundreds of miles away from their parents) spoke out in condemnation of President Donald Trump’s inhumane policy to forcibly remove children and toddlers and babies as young as three months old from their immigrant parents attempting to enter the United States at our southern border. In many of these cases, the parents were attempting to pursue asylum applications after fleeing deadly gang violence in their central American country.

The outcry and repulsion of this policy of taking children from their lawful parents, without due process, and incarcerating them in internment camp conditions reached a fever pitch yesterday with longtime GOP strategist Steve Schmidt announcing he was leaving the Republican Party. Schmidt told the Daily Beast’s Nico Hines:

“Make no mistake about it when you’re ripping breastfeeding children away from their mothers and putting them in detention facilities, that’s an evil policy. To see the Republican Party break up the way it has, to lose its moral compass, it is tragic. It’s tragic for me personally, but I won’t be part of it. I won’t share a party label with people who think it’s all right to put babies in internment camps. My fidelity is to my country, not my political party. Country first.”

The nation’s largest doctor organization, the American Medical Association, also spoke out yesterday, stating that: “It is well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last an individual’s entire lifespan.” That condemnation followed a statement earlier this week to CBS by Dr. Colleen Kraft, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, who had visited one of the detention centers holding toddlers. Dr. Kraft called this policy of separating children from their parents a form of child abuse, adding: “This type of trauma can be long lasting and it’s difficult to recover from this. We know very young children who are exposed to this type of trauma go on to not develop their speech, not develop their language, not develop their gross and fine motor skills and wind up with developmental delays.”

By yesterday afternoon the vocal outrage had reached such a crescendo that Trump apparently realized it was not going to be quelled by further lies from his administration. His administration has previously said it had no official policy to separate immigrant children from their parents – in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary and documentation that 2,300 children had been separated over just the prior two months. (Exactly how many children have been separated has yet to be reliably reported due to stonewalling by the Trump administration.) Trump had also previously said he could not sign an Executive Order to stop this practice, and yet, he did just that yesterday, stating that “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

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