Human Rights Day commemorates the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s (ICE) official account tweeted the agency was recognizing Human Rights Day by using a photo of multicultural children locking hands.
ICE, who has repeatedly been criticized during the Trump administration for several human rights violations including denying children flu vaccinations, separating families, and detaining migrants in inhumane and overcrowded living conditions often compared to concentration camps, received a huge backlash on Twitter – including a clapback from former HUD secretary Julian Castro.
ICE tweeted about Human Rights Day, and Twitter implodes at the audacity.
ICE’s tweet to honor Human Rights Day included a link to a press release congratulating themselves for being such great big champions of human rights.
“The women and men of ICE dedicate themselves every day to protecting the dignity and human rights of people around the world. Through our work investigating perpetrators of genocide, torture, war crimes and other violations of human rights, they are committed to seeking the prosecution and removal of human rights violators seeking refuge here.” Assistant Director for National Security David Shaw said in a press release, unironically. “We will not allow the United States to be a safe haven for those who violate human rights.”
In October, Castro visited a migrant detention center in Mexico to see what the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy really looked like.
“A lot of families along the border who are part of this MPP program have been subjected to violence, some have been kidnapped, some have been extorted, some have been treated a lot worse than what they were fleeing from,” Castro told BuzzFeed News.
Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy, migrants must wait in Mexican detention centers while their cases are processed in the U.S.
“I don’t see humanitarian shelter,” Castro said of the detention center. “I see a lot of desperate parents, a lot of desperate children, sick children. I see a polluted river… It’s a disaster. People should not live like this.”
Julian Castro had a few choice words for ICE’s tweet.
“Delete your account,” was Castro’s simple suggestion to the agency, adding, “we need to break up ICE and build a more humane immigration system.”
The former HUD secretary advocates for largely redistributing ICE’s duties into other departments. Senator Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that has called for abolishing ICE, according to the Washington Post.
“ICE needs to be overhauled,” Castro told The Post. “My immigration policy would transfer the enforcement responsibilities of the agency to other departments such as the DOJ to guarantee higher standards of conduct and more focused prosecutorial discretion — ensuring resources are focused on targeting criminals and national security threats.”
Castro was the first candidate to unveil an immigration plan calling for a complete reformation of our immigration system. He would end migrant detention except in serious cases, create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented families who don’t currently have one, decriminalize illegal border crossings, and establish a Marshall Plan for Central America.
“I’ve been clear that I’m not going to criminalize desperation. We need to understand that these are human beings. They’re not a criminal record or an invader or an other. They’re human beings that are simply coming — like generations have before — in search of a better life,” Castro told Vox of his plan.
Unlike the other candidates, in Castro’s “People First” plan he calls for a complete investigation into the Trump administration’s immigration policies. It states, “there must be a thorough investigation of ICE, Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Justice’s role in family separation policies instituted by the Trump administration.”
Critics did not miss the irony of ICE’s tweet.
“Satire is dead when the authoritarian gov’t agency that violently rounds up immigrants and throws them into privatized for-profit concentration camps where parents are separated from their children also pretends to honor Human Rights Day with a stock photo,” reporter Ben Norton tweeted.
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition released a statement criticizing the agency wherein it calls out several ICE controversies including deporting cancer patients, military veterans, and taking asylum seeker Nebane Abienwi off life support against their family’s wishes. They called ICE’s tweet gaslighting given the agency’s track record.
“ICE is one of the principal abusers of human rights in the United States,” said Katie Adams, Domestic Policy Advocate with the United Church of Christ and Co-Chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. “This is gaslighting in its purest form. December 10th is about holding ICE, and others like them across the globe, accountable for crimes against humanity. Pretending ICE is somehow part of the solution is outrageous.”
The Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is just 16 years old but she sure knows how to get the best of men in power. The environmentalist who managed to grasp the attention of the world within a matter of year and refocus our attention on the health of our planet has done so by condemning world leaders through passionate speeches and damning essays. Speaking to the world at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York in late September of this year, the teen shamed leaders for their inaction in the climate crisis. “You have stolen my childhood and my dreams with your empty words,” she spat out. “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us for hope. How dare you?”
Her scalding words and personal strike at Donald Trump, during her visit at the time seemed triggering for the U.S. president who in true-Trump fashion mocked her on Twitter. In a belittling tweet the president wrote “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
The tweet only inspired the bright men further, choosing to respond indirectly to his attack and embrace his title she added the words “a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” to her Twitter bio.
The Swedish activist and inspiration is back at again, this time after Trump got a bit too green for his own good after she was giving Time’s title of Person of The Year.
It was announced the Thunberg had been named Person of the Year by Time magazine this week for her uncompromising contribution to changing the course of the climate crisis. Most watching were relieved to find that the magazine had selected Thunberg in favor of a figure like Donald Trump. ( In 2016, the magazine selected Trump after his presidential election and disruption of traditional politics.) His selection had disgusted those who’d watched his horrendous campaign and attacks on women, people of color and other minorities throughout his campaign. So to say that the selection of a person devoted to changing the world for the better delighted most of us, would be an understatement. Donald Trump however, proved to be extremely unhappy.
In a tweet about her newest title, Trump called the decision “ridiculous.” “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!” he tweeted. Taking a tip from his last attack, Thunberg used his words for her latest Twitter bio update.
Now it reads: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”
In case you’re still left wondering, who exactly is Greta Thunberg and what is she campaigning for, ask no further, we got you covered. Here are just a few facts on the relentless teenage activist who has called out world leaders and scolded their actions on this hugely important issue.
“People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction,” Thunberg told the summit. “And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
Greta first gained notoriety after staging a “School Strike for Climate” in front of the Swedish parliament in August last year.
CREDIT: @SHALLOW_NEL / TWITTER
Thunberg’s idea of a global walk-out in the name of climate change drew millions of young people around the world demanding change. Last year, she was along in front of the Swedish parliament demanding action.
She continued to gain popularity after speaking at the U.N. Climate Talks in Poland in December of 2018. “This is the biggest crisis humanity has ever faced,” she said to UN secretary-general António Guterres before the conference. “First we have to realize this and then as fast as possible do something to stop the emissions and try to save what we can save.”
Her strike for climate change inspired young people all around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of students to join her #FridaysforFuture school walkout demonstrations. Young people in more than 123 countries skipped school to demand tighter climate policies and the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.
Her actions to fight against climate change caught the attention of the people at the Nobel Peace Prize.
Greta was nominated for a Nobel peace prize, which would make her the youngest recipient of the award won by the likes of Nelson Mandela, and Mikhail Gorbachev. “We have proposed Greta Thunberg because if we do nothing to halt climate change it will be the cause of wars, conflict, and refugees.” said Norwegian Socialist MP Freddy André Øvstegård in an interview with The Guardian.
She is leading by example.
The teenager traveled to the US on board a zero-emission sailboat to draw attention to the greenhouse gas emissions caused by air travel. A single round-trip flight between New York and California generates roughly 20 percent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in a year. In Sweden, she is said to be credited for the spread of the term ‘flygskam’ which translates to “flight shame,” which has encouraged Swedes to avoid traveling by air.
She has Asperger’s and won’t be shamed about it.
Four years ago, Greta was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism. “Being different is a gift,” she told BBC. “It makes me see things from outside the box…If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance.”
Her biggest inspiration is an American Civil Rights icon.
Rosa Parks is reportedly Greta Thunberg’s inspiration. “One person can make such a huge difference,” she said to Rolling Stone magazine about the civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus.
Thunberg’s glare at President Trump is a social media mood.
Greta’s speech this Monday didn’t go down well with President Donald Trump, who has questioned climate change and has challenged every major U.S. regulation aimed at combating it. He took to twitter to mockingly comment on the 16-year-old activist: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”
Her fight is not slowing down.
Greta continues to miss school on Fridays to protest climate change. This year on September 20, she led the largest climate strike in history, which included an estimated 4 million people across 161 countries to combat the use of fossil fuels and their catastrophic effects on global warming and future generations worldwide.
Share this story with all of your friends by tapping our little share buttons below!