America is Killing Children in Concentration Camps. Somebody Help Us!

By Brian Oaster

We should be sending up flares instead of fireworks. We need help.

Democratic legislators visited American concentration camps at the US-Mexico border on Monday, calling them “inhumane” and “abhorrent”. The conditions are comparable not just to the Nazi concentration camps during the holocaust, but to the prisoner of war camps where Confederates mistreated captive Union soldiers. The border camps have sparked widespread outrage with their intentional cruelty. At least seven children have died in them so far.

This is not a drill.

ICE is Making Up Imaginary Debts For Migrants

This week the Trump administration, through ICE, has issued ludicrous fines of up to half a million dollars to individual migrants. The oppressive maneuver continues the American tradition of creating debt out of thin air and weaponizing it to subjugate people, as the federal government did when dispossessing the sovereign Nations of this continent, as the banks do when they overdraft working families, as predatory lenders do with student loans.

An ICE spokesman told NPR that “ICE is committed to using various enforcement methods — including arrest, detention, technological monitoring and financial penalties — to enforce U.S. immigration law and maintain the integrity of legal orders issued by judges.”

Attorney Lizbeth Mateo, who represents a migrant woman living in sanctuary in an Ohio church, laughed when she saw the ICE bill for $497,777. “It’s almost half a million dollars. Are they for real?” she said. “Do they really think that she’s going to pay this?” She said she laughed because “there has to be someone in some basement in D.C. thinking, ‘Oh, what else can I do to mess with immigrants? What else can I do to hurt them?'”

Amnesty International Condemns Trump’s Attacks on Human Rights Defenders

And migrants aren’t the only targets. Amnesty International has condemned the Trump administration’s attacks on “human rights defenders, attorneys, and journalists” working at the border, saying the US has “executed an unlawful and politically motivated campaign of intimidation, threats, harassment, and criminal investigations against people who defend the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.”

The Amnesty International report adds that the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice specifically “have increasingly misused and leveraged the criminal justice system to deter and punish those individuals for challenging — or even simply documenting — the systematic human rights violations by US authorities against migrants and asylum seekers.”

Trump Still Pulling for His Wall Plan

As of May, US Customs and Border Protection has secured $6.1 billion for 336 miles of wall. When Trump campaigned in 2015, we thought this was a joke. But things are only getting worse. We cannot wait until 2020 to stop this. Are we just hoping Trump won’t do too much more damage by then? Do we have any reason to trust that he won’t force his way into reelection? Do we really think he can’t?

The US has already scoffed at the rule of law, terrorized the public with militarized force, overtly violated human rights, aligned themselves with white nationalist demonstrators, built concentration camps, and begun killing children. What more needs to happen before we put a stop to this? Are we waiting for gas chambers?

This is insane. More Democratic outrage is not helping. We don’t need to see any more pictures of dead families on the riverbanks, or children in cages. Somebody help us!

Brian Oaster

Brian is a Choctaw writer in the Pacific Northwest.