We need to take away children

Why did you leave me?

Subscribe now

So can I piss in their food yet or no?

From the New York Times:

The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.

“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.

“Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Bash had declined the cases, but Mr. Rosenstein “instructed that, per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

The Justice Department’s top officials were “a driving force” behind the policy that spurred the separation of thousands of families, many of them fleeing violence in Central America and seeking asylum in the United States, before Mr. Trump abandoned it amid global outrage, according to a draft report of the results of the investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the department’s inspector general.

Here’s Rosenstein’s pinned tweet by the way.


Here’s how one among the thousands of these separations went according to PBS:

A father, H.P.M., was separated from his 6-year-old daughter, A.P.C., between May 12 and May 15 in 2018, after crossing the U.S. border into Arizona.

A Border Patrol agent immediately approached H.P.M. and his daughter, and took them to a detention center, disclosing neither the facility’s name nor location. The agents then took the migrants’ outer garments and gave them each an aluminum blanket before escorting them to a locked, windowless room. H.P.M. described the room as an “hielera” or “icebox” due to the “three large vents” in the room “spouting freezing air at all times.”

After what H.P.M. thought was two days in the cold and constantly lit room with very little food, A.P.C. told her father that she was feeling unwell and fell asleep, and became “almost non-responsive.” H.P.M. tried to get an officer’s attention, but “officers who walked by only ignored him.”

On what H.P.M. believed to be the third day of their detention, an officer gave the father a bar of soap and instructed him to give his daughter a bath. A.P.C. was so weak she could barely stand. After the bath, H.P.M. saw a group of officers waiting for them outside the bathroom.

One “officer explained that the children were being taken to a place for children about half an hour away,” the court documents state.

“A.P.C. tried to run closer to H.P.M., but an officer put his arm in front of her and pushed her back. A.P.C. threw herself to the floor and began crying and screaming. H.P.M. felt devastated but did not know what to do to prevent the officers from taking A.P.C.”

During separation:

The father was moved to another detention center, and then another, and at both places he asked several officers for information about his daughter. Officers ignored his questions or said they knew nothing about her circumstances.

H.P.M. met with an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer, who asked him if he wanted to be deported. HPM said no and that he was still waiting to be reunited with his daughter.

“The officer appeared confused and asked H.P.M. for his daughter’s name. H.P.M. provided her name and showed the officer her birth certificate, which he carried with him at all times. The officer turned to his computer and began typing. After a few minutes, the officer said A.P.C. was in the country, but that she was an unaccompanied minor who had arrived in the United States alone, without a mother or father. The officer told H.P.M. that she would be put up for adoption,” the court filing said, and he began to think he would never see her again.

After nearly two and a half weeks, the father was able to speak with his daughter. When she got on the phone, she began to cry and asked: “Why did you leave me?”

And two others from the AP:


Her 4-year-old son was asleep as immigration agents insisted on separating the two of them in the early morning before dawn.

“If I had known, I never would have come” to the United States, she said.

The Guatemalan mother said she was led to believe when arrested that her son would be returned to her, wherever she was held. She described the boy as tiny and shy.

She located him at a holding facility in New York. When she asked a social worker to speak with him, she was told the boy was angry and would not talk.

“He thinks you abandoned him,” she was told.

It’s unclear when they might be reunited as she pursues asylum in the U.S.


Detained on June 15, she and her 6-year-old son clung to each other after learning they would be separated and that she was being sent to jail.

The 40-year-old single mother from Honduras asked that they be deported together immediately. She was told it was too late. She let go and persuaded her son to do the same after officials said they would be separated — one way or another.

Iris learned her son is somewhere in Arizona after a social worker contacted a relative. Most of the 32 recently released parents are likely to leave El Paso as they obtain more information and seek out their children.

“I go to sleep at night, and the first thing I do is dream of my son,” she said.

These people have never deserved even a modicum of civility or respect — and not just these specific people but These People in general — and yet we’re still told it’s a reflection of our own poor character to wish them ill?

Is it so wrong for me to delight in the visual of our strongman president’s dozens of bungling infected henchmen puking and shitting deadly disease all over each other slipping and skating down the diarrhea covered halls of the White House like an ice slick sidewalk?

Man I am not doing very well this week. Just a disgusting orgy of despair and giving in to unhealthy impulses even more so than usual. One minute giddy the next miserable then back again. They should come up with a mental health diagnosis for that sort of thing.

Yesterday I hit a low point when I saw ol’ Donny No Breath standing on the White House balcony barking out poison from his hopefully rapidly scarring lungs while saluting a departing helicopter and I realized I had crashed after a few days of excitement during which I had let myself  start to think that this horrific pig dick of a man might actually face one single and uniquely hilarious consequence. I should’ve known better. I guess Maddow and them prayed too hard for his speedy recovery.

On the other hand LET’S FUCKING GOOOOOO!!!

I’m back baby!!! Hope springs eternal.

From the NYT in May:

From the early days of the Trump administration, Stephen Miller, the president’s chief adviser on immigration, has repeatedly tried to use an obscure law designed to protect the nation from diseases overseas as a way to tighten the borders.

The question was, which disease?

Mr. Miller pushed for invoking the president’s broad public health powers in 2019, when an outbreak of mumps spread through immigration detention facilities in six states. He tried again that year when Border Patrol stations were hit with the flu.

When vast caravans of migrants surged toward the border in 2018, Mr. Miller looked for evidence that they carried illnesses. He asked for updates on American communities that received migrants to see if new disease was spreading there.

In 2018, dozens of migrants became seriously ill in federal custody, and two under the age of 10 died within three weeks of each other. While many viewed the incidents as resulting from negligence on the part of the border authorities, Mr. Miller instead argued that they supported his argument that President Trump should use his public health powers to justify sealing the borders.


I was of course saddened to hear about the passing of Eddie Van Halen yesterday but it did time up nicely with the news of Miller being sick so at the very least I got to go out in the back yard and crack open an ice cold cold one and listen to him play guitar while dreaming of happier things.

Wait I just had this vivid memory for the first time in years of being in high school and before football games our coach would gather the team in the gym inside and he’d turn off the lights and blast “Dreams” and “Right Now” by Van Halen and tell us to lay down on the floor and close our eyes and imagine that everything we wanted to achieve was possible. Anyway we went 0-20 my last two seasons and then a couple years ago the coach got arrested for molesting his students so now I don’t know what to think.

Here are some previous previous Hell Worlds concerning how we torture migrants in this country if you’d like to read more.

I thought no one is going to believe me I have to somehow document this

Dora Rodriguez grew up in a small town in El Salvador called Santa Ana and when she was a teenager she belonged to a church group she says. It had never occurred to her to come to the United States she loved where she lived she was a happy child she says but then in October of 1979 “it was the first time we got hit by the soldiers in our area,” she says.

“That night we were coming out of our meeting, and Jose, our president of our little group, got murdered in front of us.”

That was when she started planning her trip.

Dora relaid her story to the artist Tom Kiefer while visiting his studio in Ajo, Arizona earlier this year. It was thirty nine years after she and a group of migrants were rescued after being lost in the desert for four days near the border. Of the twenty six that started out in her group only twelve made it… Read more here.

We’ve already established that now we’re just haggling over the price

In June of last summer Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who has been and will forever be the pinched public face of Trump’s cruel ethnic cleansing policy was confronted at a Mexican restaurant near the White House. In a video protestors can be seen approaching her table clapping and chanting. “No borders! No walls! Sanctuary for all!” they chanted. “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace” they said to her and other shit like that. After about ten minutes she left escorted by her guards having had her table-side guacamole completely ruined which is another kind of tragedy in its own right. For a lot of people being chased out of a restaurant by people who hate your fucking guts would be the worst thing to happen to them for a long time. Maybe their entire life. Most people would probably remember that for a while. It would hurt. Why is this happening to me they’d say. I’m not a monster they’d say… read more here.

Give us the money or we'll kill your son

I didn’t want to come over here. To go to another country. You know you have to walk, cross the river, sleep over in the woods in the night. You don’t even know what’s going to happen. But you got two choices, go over there, or stay here and let’s see what happens to you. You die.

Are you given the choice to join the gang?

Yeah, they give you the option to join to the gang. But ours was kind of different, they were asking for money. If you don’t give us the money we’re gonna kill all your sons. I wasn’t the kind of guy, I wasn’t going out with friends to the mall or to play soccer. I was just like from the house to the school, from the school to the house. I was like away from all this kind of stuff to join to the gang. But yeah some people they give you the choice to join the gangsters, or they’re gonna kill you. So, you gotta join, because if you don’t they're gonna kill you or someone in your family. And the first thing you gotta do when you join the gangsters is you gotta kill somebody… read more here.

You start to lose track of how many you’ve killed

Kirstjen Nielsen said she would have to get back to us with the numbers she didn’t know at that particular point in time how many people had died in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security which is to say how many people had died in her custody. You might understand the head of a large government agency not being able to get too granular about all the minute details of everything they oversee like how much money they spent on blankets that quarter say or how many calories the children they’re holding are being fed a day. Someone knows that sure but maybe not the boss right but the number of people that have died on her watch seems like a reasonable one to have access to offhand. How many people have died on your watch for example I bet you know… read more here.

Keep Kirstjen Nielsen unemployed and eating Grubhub over her kitchen sink

One of the biggest regrets of my life is not pissing in Bill Kristol’s salmon. I was waiting on the disgraced neoconservative pundit and chief Iraq War cheerleader about ten years ago at a restaurant in Cambridge, and to my eternal dismay, some combination of professionalism and pusillanimity prevented me from appropriately seasoning his entree. A ramekin of blood on the side might have been the better option come to think of it. He always did seem really thirsty for the stuff.

I was reminded of that episode this week when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, the purportedly reluctant triggerman for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies of ethnic cleansing, announced she would be stepping down from her post at the president’s request. The news comes a little over a year since she took the job, and about nine months since she was infamously shame-marched out of a restaurant – a Mexican one of all things – in Washington, DC, by a group of protestors just as the news of our official policy of separating families at the southern border was first being reported on. What a delight it was to see… read more here.

You could tell he was lying because cops cannot speak without lying

What overlaps are you seeing between the ways immigrants are treated and some of the uprisings we’re seeing around the country right now in response to police violence? Is there a connective tissue there?

I think so. It’s racism against black and brown folks and the criminalization of immigrants is part of this overall racist system. It’s the same struggle against racism and xenophobia and mass incarceration. We see immigration detention as an extension of the criminalization of black and brown bodies. The profit incentive around putting black and brown bodies in jail and cages, it’s really related in that sense. On top of that we see the criminal system is also a pipeline into the immigration detention system, so we see them as very connected and part of the same struggle… read more here.