Things That Matter

25 Signs From #FamiliesBelongTogether Protests Around The World

On June 30th, 2018, hundreds of thousands of protesters around the world flooded the streets of Los Angeles, NYC, Seattle, or even their small home towns to protest the U.S. government’s policy to separate children from their families at the southern border.

More than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents since the policy went into effect in April, and people are pissed. Here’s the proof.

1. Tens of thousands rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall.

CREDIT: @MayorOfLA

Democratic representatives have openly opposed Trump’s policy, including the Mayor of L.A., who tweeted, “Tens of thousands of Angelenos rallying to keep families together and stand up for the rights of immigrants. #FamiliesBelongTogetherLA | #FamiliesBelongTogether”

2. Children honestly led the march.

CREDIT: @kathypillsbury / Twitter

It was emotional to show up to these marches and see parents protesting with their children. Meanwhile, we’ve been hearing stories of ICE taking children from their mothers while they’re breastfeeding or deportees listening to their children scream and cry in the room next to them.

???? Boston, Massachusetts

3. “We are NOT animals”

CREDIT: @indivisibleWA2 / Twitter

These protests came just a week after POTUS signed an executive order that prohibits the separation of children from their families at the border. So, what does that really mean?

????Seattle, Washington

4. Kids can now be detained indefinitely.

CREDIT: @IamNotaBERNout / Twitter

The Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement in 1997 states that children cannot be detained for more than 20 days. According to Vox, the Trump administration has been pointing to this agreement as the reason they had to separate children in the first place.

5. But we all know that’s mierda.

CREDIT: @EjquiujmiPlis / Twitter

The executive order doesn’t even address what the administration plans to do to reunite the children who have already been separated.

6. Hasting-on-Hudson, NY had a silent stroller protest.

CREDIT: @commanderfoley / Twitter

They aimed to rally 2300 parents to bring empty strollers on the march, each to represent one child separated from his or her parent at the border, yet to be reunited.

7. Los Angeles had some solid signs.

CREDIT: @abruinoo / Twitter

???? I can’t believe our President ever even made that face. Or that ICE has already admitted that they have no plans to reunite the families.

8. Caption: “Chicago’s puppet game is strong today.”

CREDIT: @Aragog2017 / Twitter

From an administration that claims to be so pro-life and pro-family, we’d all like to see some proof. Your “thoughts and prayers” have done nothing for us.

9. ???? Seattle, Washington

CREDIT: @tulaholmes / Twitter

Some people brought children’s clothes to incite a human reaction from the administration. TBD to see if it helps at all.

10. “How did you Nazi this coming?”

CREDIT: @PWH3 / Twitter

We’re all wondering if the administration is surprised to see this reaction from around the world, or if they hoped for it so that they could try to overthrow the Flores Settlement, and detain families indefinitely.

11. “It doesn’t say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty”

CREDIT: @SusanDoyle1963 / Twitter

God point.

This weekend’s march also brought with it anger around the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Trump’s Muslim ban, and a Supreme Court Justice’s decision to retire, leaving open another seat for a radical right conservative Justice.

This means everything’s at stake, including Roe v Wade.

12. From Antler, North Dakota…

CREDIT: @KRS_RogueShark / Twitter

These 11 people are excellent reminders that, no matter where you are in the world, you have a voice, and it’s only yours alone to use.

P.S.-I like Lady Liberty’s jacket.

13. To Buenos Aires, Argentina…

CREDIT: @TogetherIntl / Twitter

Keeping children out of detention centers is a no-brainer. It has no political lines. Like they say, “The borders are fake, but the love is real.”

Caption: “Today 30/6 in BUENOS AIRES, Argentina at the US Embassy!”

14. Messages for Melania were rampant.

CREDIT: @evrodriguez125 / Twitter

ICYMI, FLOTUS literally wore a jacket that said, “I don’t really care, do u?” on the back just last week.

Caption: “A message from the rally in Texas. #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch

15. Ventura, CA residents had a solid idea…

CREDIT: @IndivisibleVent / Twitter

Caption: “Signs, chants & cheers energized those who turned out to protest immigration policy that has separated an estimated 2,000 children from their parents after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. #Indivisible”

16. They marched to protest outside an ICE station.

CREDIT: @IndivisibleVent / Twitter

See that American flag? It stands for what we believe in. Traumatizing children and families who are seeking asylum and hope for a better life is unAmerican.

17. Latinos turned out in a big way outside of the White House.

CREDIT: @GuilloMena / Twitter

From children of immigrant parents, to people risking deportation, brave souls came out, just one week after 200 women were arrested for protesting outside the Capitol. These are dangerous times, and it’s more important than ever that we exercise our free speech to keep that muscle strong.

18. The #signart was lit this weekend.

CREDIT: @essdeay / Twitter

On the last day of Pride month, the LGBT community also turned out to support an issue that few can turn away from. Whether or not you were able to make a sign and turn out this weekend, there are other ways you can help.

19. Volunteer if you can.

CREDIT: @EjquiujmiPlis / Twitter

The Texas Civil Rights Project is looking for “volunteers who speak Spanish, Mam, Q’eqchi’ or K’iche’ and have paralegal or legal assistant experience.”

Caption: “At the #FamiliesBelongTogether march in Chicago. HOT enough to melt ICE. Police estimate 15k present. #FamiliasUnidasNoDivididas”

20. Donate if you can.

CREDIT: @DawnWatland / Twitter

Organizations like RAICES (the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas), the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights (which advocates for many of the unaccompanied and separated children) and the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee (which organizes to oppose migrant detention) are good options.

Caption: “@waltshaub 100+ in Kalispell, MT!! So proud of our little hometown. #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

21. There is money to be made off detaining children.

CREDIT: @cm1347 / Twitter

With the privatization of prisons and detention facilities, there are some seriously dark political forces at play here that literally profit off keeping families in detention facilities, often described as prisons.

Caption: “Meyer family out to ensure families stay together in #cville #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

22. Call your representatives.

CREDIT: @TogetherIntl / Twitter

Text DAILY to 228466 to sign up for mobile daily action alerts. In their own words,

“Every morning, you’ll receive a text giving you a simple action to take. It might ask you to watch and share a really good video. Or to text a piece of news to five friends. It might link you to your senator, member of Congress, or another appropriate official for a phone call–one that you can make while you’re walking to the bus stop or brewing your coffee. With a tap of your finger, you can do your part to resist this latest age of extremism in America.

P.S.-This is a rally in Barcelona, Spain. They’re rallying for you to do what they can’t, and utilize your civic duty to be accurately represented in our government.

23. If you can, join the next protest.

CREDIT: @_skylar_moore_ / Twitter

Caption:

“Parkersburg, WV 100 people came out in 90 degree heat.

#FamiliesBelongTogether

#FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch”

24. Speak up on social media if you can.

CREDIT: @auntbec15 / Twitter

Calling your reps is the most effective thing you can do to exact change. Once you’ve done that, take to POTUS’ favorite platform and be sure to use hashtags like #endfamilydetention #FamiliasUnidas #FamilesBelongTogether #StopICE #StopSeparatingFamilies #EndChildDetention.

25. Above all, keep caring & keep voting.

CREDIT: @CESand24 / Twitter

A major rallying call this weekend was, “We Care, We Vote.” Prove it and be sure to let your representatives know that you’re paying attention and you have the power to vote them out if they fail you.

#KeepCaring

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In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Things That Matter

In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Photo: Bryan Cox/Getty Images

A bombshell report published in The Guardian alleges that ICE officers are using torture to force Cameroonian asylum seekers to sign their own deportation orders. The report paints an even starker picture of Immigration and Customs Enforcement–an agency that is already widely criticized as corrupt and inhumane.

The deportation documents the immigrants have been forced to sign are called the Stipulated Orders of Removal. The documents waive asylum seekers’ rights to further immigration hearings and mean they consent to being deported.

The asylum seekers allege that the torture in ICE custody consisted of choking, beating, pepper-spraying, breaking fingers, and threats on their lives.

“I refused to sign,” recounted one Cameroonian asylum-seeker to The Guardian. “[The ICE officer] pressed my neck into the floor. I said, ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’ I lost my blood circulation. Then they took me inside with my hands at my back where there were no cameras.”

He continued: “They put me on my knees where they were torturing me and they said they were going to kill me. They took my arm and twisted it. They were putting their feet on my neck…They did get my fingerprint on my deportation document and took my picture.” Other witnesses recount similar violent experiences.

Experts believe that the escalation of deportations is directly related to the upcoming election and the possibility that ICE might soon be operated under a different administration. The theory is that ICE is coercively deporting “key witnesses” in order to “silence survivors and absolve ICE of legal liability.”

“In late September, early October of this year, we began to receive calls on our hotline from Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants detained in Ice prisons across the country. And they were being subjected to threats of deportation, often accompanied by physical abuse,” said Christina Fialho, executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, to The Guardian.

Many of the Cameroonians who are in the U.S. to seek asylum have legitimate claims to danger back in their home countries. Many of these Cameroonians come from an English-speaking minority in Cameroon that are violently target by the government there–some have died. The violence has been condemned by The United Nations and Amnesty International.

As with many immigrant stories of people who are seeking asylum, these immigrants’ lives are in danger in their home country. They are coming to the United States for a better life. But instead, they are faced with the agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whom they claim brutally mistreat them.

According to report, the U.S. is deporting entire airplanes full of asylum-seekers back to their home countries–deportations that have not been given due process and have been authorized under duress.

An ICE spokesperson contacted by The Guardian called the reports “sensationalist” and “unsubstantiated” while roundly refuting the claims. “Ice is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody. Ice provides safe, humane, and appropriate conditions of confinement for individuals detained in its custody,” she said.

Read the entire report here.

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Melania Trump Caught on Tape Discussing Child Border Separation Policy: ‘Give Me a F—–g Break’

Things That Matter

Melania Trump Caught on Tape Discussing Child Border Separation Policy: ‘Give Me a F—–g Break’

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

It looks like the Melania Trump isn’t quite as stoic as everyone thinks she is. The First Lady was caught on tape discussing immigration policy, her negative news media coverage and…Christmas decorations.

The audio recording was captured by Mrs. Trump’s former friend and senior advisor, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff in July of 2018. Winston Wolkoff is currently promoting a book about her friendship with Mrs. Trump called, ‘Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady’.

The conversation about Trump’s border policy appears to have been sparked by Mrs. Trump and Winston Wolkoff’s discussion of Melania’s Christmas duties and the media’s reaction.

“I’m working like a – my ass off at Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f* about Christmas stuff and decoration?…And I say that I’m working on Christmas planning for the Christmas,” she says, her tone audibly frustrated.

She then launches into a sarcastic-sounding imitation of her critics: “And they said, ‘Ooh what about the children, that they were separated?’ Give me a f—–g break.”

The recording reveals a radically different portrait of Melania Trump than the public is used to seeing. Contrary to her public persona as unflappable and detached, this Melania appears to resent being called “complicit” and has frustrations over of influence over government policy–specifically over Trump’s controversial policy of child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“They say I’m complicit. I’m the same like him. I support him. I don’t say enough. I don’t do enough,” she laments to her friend.

In the recorded conversation, the First Lady discusses her thoughts about undocumented immigrants and forced child separation at the border at length.

When talking about the refuge women who say they are running from gang violence, Mrs. Trump expressed her skepticism at the veracity of their claims.

“Some of them are using the lines [that they’re running from gang members]. They’re kind of…not ‘professional’, but they’re teached [sic] by other people what to say to come over…” she said. “Because, you know, they could easily stay in Mexico. But they don’t want to stay in Mexico because Mexico doesn’t take care of them same as America does.”

She also explains that she “was trying to get the kid reunited with the Mom” at the border, but she “did not have a chance” because the process “needs to go through the law.”

She also expressed frustration at what she believes is unfair treatment of her by the news media.

Talking about her June 2018 visit to a border detention facility in Texas: “They [mainstream media] will not do the story. We put it out. They would not do the story. You would not believe it,” she tells her friend. “They would not do the story because they are against us because they are liberal media. Yeah, if I go to Fox, they will do the story. I don’t want to go to Fox.”

Some Americans are pointing out the media’s double-standards for Mrs. Trump compared to former First Lady Michelle Obama.

Many are concerned with Melania Trump’s lack of empathy when it comes to the situation of children being separated from their parents at the border.

One thing is for certain–this debacle appears to be the least of the Trumps’ worries right now.

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