Things That Matter

Separated Immigrant Children Young As 3 Years Old Ordered To Appear In Court Alone

According to attorneys in Texas, California and Washington D.C., immigrant children as young as three years old are being ordered into court alone for their deportation proceedings. While having children appear in court without their parents is not uncommon, more children are being summoned in record numbers. Since the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, more children — including toddlers — are being prosecuted more frequently than ever before.

More than 2,000 detained migrant children could face court proceedings in the coming days.

“We were representing a 3-year-old in court recently who had been separated from the parents. And the child—in the middle of the hearing—started climbing up on the table,” Lindsay Toczylowski, executive director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles, told the Texas Tribune. “It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids.”

Toczylowski said parents are usually prosecuted with their young children and are often the ones defending the circumstances that led them to seek asylum in the U.S.

This news comes out after a federal judge ordered separated families be reunited within 30 days.

On June 26, a federal judge commanded the White House to reunify families within 14 days if the child is under 5 and 30 days if the child is older. The Justice Department has not said whether it will appeal the ruling. Attorneys involved in the case said they’re not sure how the judge’s order will work and when and how it could take effect.

Despite the judge’s order, some children are facing legal immigration proceedings without their parents.

According to NBC News, leaders at three legal services organizations and a private firm said that the children are being served with notices to appear for their court proceedings. Migrant children that appear in court are not entitled to an attorney but rather are given a list of legal services that might help them.

A Health and Human Services spokesperson said on June 26 that the agency is trying to reunite children with either a parent or a sponsor. But they did not provide a timeline for how long that process would take.

Since April, more than 2,000 children have been separated from families.

The “zero tolernace” policy, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in April, ordered the criminal prosecution of anyone who enters the U.S. illegally. Such crossing were formally handled as civil matters allowing families to stay together. President Trump signed an executive order to keep migrant families together after outrage forced him to change his policy.


READ: RAICES Collects Millions To Help Keep Families Together. Here’s Where The Money Is Going

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Trump Would Do Well In Remembering That His Grandfather Begged To Be Spared A Family Separating Deportation

Culture

Trump Would Do Well In Remembering That His Grandfather Begged To Be Spared A Family Separating Deportation

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Familia, what you are about to read is rich. Harper’s Magazine has recently uncovered and translated a German letter written by Friedrich Trump, President Trump’s grandfather. At the time of its writing, in 1905, Friedrich Trump was living in Bavaria as an “illegal alien” in what was then Bavaria, and had just received a letter of deportation. Trump responded by penning a letter begging for repatriation to Prince Luitpold. Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s deeply reverent yet desperate request on behalf of his family’s mental health. The family later resettled in New York.

“Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!,” it begins.

Credit: @PeterFotopoulos / Twitter

Trump begins by explaining how his “parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers.” They strictly held [him] to everything good.” He then goes on to explain that he “apprenticed to become a barber,” emigrated to America and with “God’s blessing” he “became rich.” He moved back to Kallstadt, his birthplace in Bavaria, because his wife “could not tolerate the climate in New York.” He brought his “dear family” back to Kallstadt.

He pleads on the count of not separating his family.

Credit: @glennf / Twitter

“The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age. But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria.”

“We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished.”

Credit: @fofochavez / Twitter

“My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick. Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.”

People are shooketh that POTUS hasn’t derived any empathy from his own abuelo’s experience as a deported illegal immigrant.

Credit: @MauiGigner / Twitter

Two generations later, Friedrich Trump’s grandson is the President of the United States and enacting new policies that specifically separates families at the border as a “deterrent” to immigration. When Friedrich’s reasons for immigrating was New York’s harsh climate and wanting to be close to his aging mother, we’d expect his grandson to have compassion for families who are fleeing gang violence, LGBT discrimination, and threats of death to protect their families.

That said, Bavaria rejected Trump, Sr. for dodging the military draft.

Credit: @mssenator / Twitter

Friedrich had fled Bavaria (now-Germany) when he was young as a method to escape the military draft. He obviously failed to report his emigration 20 years prior to receiving the letter because it was shady AF. Germany denied his request to stay in the country since he failed to notify the government of his emigration and for dodging the draft.

Given his recent hate speech to “send back” the four Congresswoman of color, this news has folks reeling in Trump’s own hypocrisy.

Credit: @MarioAVazquez7 / Twitter

Twitter user, Mario Vazquez, tweeted his thoughts, “HYPOCRISY: Melania, from Slovenia, illegally worked under a tourist visa in the 90s and then brought her parents over through “chain migration.” Trump’s mom immigrated from Scotland and his grandfather came from Germany. Should they all “go back” then?”

Fourth-generation Americans are chiming in acknowledging their privilege and degrading Trump’s hypocrisy.

Credit: @nosnibornasus / Twitter

What makes America great is that it did welcome Trump’s family at a time when immigration laws were tightening in the U.S. The President at the time had to veto a law passed in Congress that would require immigrants a literacy test by reading five lines of the Constitution. That POTUS rejected the requirement as un-American.

Friedrich Trump became a U.S. citizen after immigrating as an unaccompanied minor who didn’t speak English.

Credit: @AshaRangappa_ / Twitter

He certainly wouldn’t have passed Trump’s citizenship screening test that prioritizes those with Ph.D.’s and wealth. 

It seems as if our own abuelos are trying Twitter for the first time to “burn” Trump.

Credit: @RoberL01302168 / Twitter

We see you, Mr. Lopez. Solid burn.

We’ll leave you with one final reaction to the surfacing of Friedrich Trump’s letter.

Credit: @nharmertaylor / Twitter

You’re not aging very well, Mr. President. Might we suggest honoring the stories of your own ancestors? This country is built on family. Trump’s own family is built on “chain migration.” Without family, you’re just an old, unhinged, racist white-bordering-orange dude.

She Fled El Salvador With Her Father To Escape The Civil War, Now She Is Running To Be A Judge In Texas

Things That Matter

She Fled El Salvador With Her Father To Escape The Civil War, Now She Is Running To Be A Judge In Texas

Selena-for-Judge / Facebook

If last year’s midterm primaries taught us anything, it was that everyone, regardless of their background or story, has a right to run for office. Furthermore, first-time politicians who want to help the marginalized community are encouraged to run, and we now have proof they can win.

Meet Selena Alvarenga, a gay immigrant of El Salvador, that is seeking to run for District Court Judge in Texas.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

Alvarenga’s campaign for judge of Travis County’s 460th District Court is steaming rolling right along as they prepare for an election. While this new seat has never been conquered, the election will be an exciting one to watch. It won’t take place until March 2020, but there’s no better time to jump into campaign mode.

She understands that her background isn’t a typical one, but that’s what makes her a perfect candidate to fight for people’s rights.

Credit: @selenaforjudge / Twitter

Her history as a lawyer spans two decades, and she’s an alum of St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio.

Alvarenga migrated to the U.S. with her father in the 1970s after they fled the Salvadoran Civil War.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

“One day, I literally woke up, and my father said everything was packed. He said it was getting too dangerous and we had to leave. We got in the car and we started driving north,” Alvarenga said in an interview with Popsugar.

According to her website, her father worked as a computer programmer at a bank in El Salvador but in the U.S. he could only get work serving fast food. “When he finally did find a job in his field, it was in Alaska. Selena was one of three Latin American immigrants in her class.”

“I didn’t know any English, so I went to [an English as a second language] school,” she said to the publication. That adversity only helped Alvarenga excel in school.

Some of the issues she’s ready to address in her campaign include LGBTQ+ rights and ending cash bail.

Facebook/Selena-for-Judge

Her background includes serving as a current Board Member of the Austin Bar LGBTQ Association. She also seeks to reduce pretrial detention and explore alternatives to cash bail.

Click here to learn more about Selena and her campaign.

READ: These Latinx Queer Organizations Need Your Money More Than You Need Corporate Rainbow Socks