UN Human Rights Complaint Against Trump For Confiscation of Migrant Kids (In Depth)

last update May 28 14:20Z by Melissa Hemingway, @MelisaHemingway Feminine-Perspective Staff

Last week the Civil Society organization The RINJ Foundation filed a human rights complaint with the UN human rights commissioner against the Trump administration. Here’s why.

The Human Rights ViolatorsUS President Donald Trump

Photo: Donald Trump – White House Portrait

US President Donald Trump ordered the arrest and prosecution of all migrants attempting to enter the US illegally. He also ordered the confiscation of their children.

Donald Trump has pushed his Cabinet, some to near resignation (i.e.: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen), to deliver to illegal migrants entering the country a regimen of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, without a hearing.
Secretary Nielsen has orders that a self-respecting person who abides the rule of law would reject prima facia. If she feels she can work past a moral dilemma & abide the rule of law, congrats and #respect for the decision to stay. https://rinj.org/missingchildren #WhereAreTheChildrenSecretary Nielsen has orders that a self-respecting person who abides the rule of law would reject prima facia. If she feels she can work past a moral dilemma & abide the rule of law, congrats and #respect for the decision to stay. #WhereAreTheChildren

Trump is the first US President to publicly call displaced migrants “animals”. He has promised his xenophobic alt-right fan base that he will build a wall between Mexico and the United States. He also says he doesn’t want to bother with immigration judges and due process for asylum-seeking migrants.

Jeff Sessions

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a new “zero tolerance” policy on May 7 for people caught illegally crossing the US border, vowing to criminally prosecute every border-crossing case in a policy that could confiscate thousands of migrant children from their parents, indefinitely. See: OHCHR – Convention-on-the-Rights-of-a-Child

“That’s why the DHS  is now referring 100 percent of illegal Southwest Border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution.  And the Department of Justice will take up those cases.”

Jeff_Sessions_official_portraitJeff Sessions official portrait

“If you cross the southwest border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you,” Sessions told law-enforcement officials on May 7 in a speech.

If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law. If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”

(“as required by law”) No such law has been found nor has the illusive statute been cited by the US Attorney General. We think he is referring to a long standing policy for unaccompanied alien children trying to enter the country.  These kids the US Government  absconds and puts in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) foster homes.  That is reputedly a certain hell for the children in this federal system as opposed to various State-run programs that maintain oversight of the so-called foster-homes.

Sessions wants children taken from migrant parents as a deterrent to future migrants approaching the United States.

The problem is that Sessions doesn’t know HHS. The kids in the HHS system don’t come back out of the system until they are no longer kids. Mostly, HHS doesn’t know where the children are.

This system was created for handling the child sex slaves discovered coming into the country unaccompanied by an adult. Many HHS children are being sold into trafficking agencies.

That means that migrants, the minute they are suspected of coming into the USA illegally have their children confiscated, without a finding of guilt, forever lost, and the adults are handed off to the US Marshall Service which trucks the parents to Detention Centers.

John F Kelly

John Kelly

(John F. Kelly Photo: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Official Portrait. Kelly served as the shortest term secretary of DHS before becoming White House CoS)

John Kelly, now the White House chief of staff told National Public Radio that “It’s not ‘cruel’ to separate families at the border — children will be ‘put into foster care or whatever’.

Steven Wagner, not A Human Rights Violator but a Whistleblower

Feminine-Perspective MagazineSteven Wagner Acting Assistant Secretary (Administration) for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services told the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the United States Senate that:

  • from October to December 2017, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) attempted to reach 7,635 UAC and their sponsors.
  • Of this number, ORR reached and received agreement to participate in the safety and well-being call from approximately 86 percent of sponsors.
  • From these calls, ORR learned that 6,075 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) remained with their sponsors.
  • Twenty-eight UAC had run away, five had been removed from the United States, and 52 had relocated to live with a non-sponsor.
  • ORR was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 UAC.
  • Based on the calls, ORR referred 792 cases, which were in need of further assistance, to the National Call Center for additional information and services.  Download: Department-of-Health-and-Human-services-Wagner-Testimony
  • Wagner has an impressive resume and a career as a caring and accomplished humanitarian. His testimony seems helpful, truthful and candid. He sounds like a whistleblower. HHS is seriously dysfunctional in at least some of its functions.

The Migrants

Young girls flee sexual exploitation and violence in Central America
Young girls flee sexual exploitation and violence in Central America

People fleeing from crime, poverty and civil unrest in countries like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are marching over a thousand miles through Mexico.  Some continue to the American border.

Girls and young women are fleeing sexual violence in record numbers. Misogyny and femicide are increasing problems in undeveloped nations as overpopulation increases and authoritarian macho-fascism usurps democracy.

Before they leave they gather all of their money in cash. The carry what they can of their possessions. What they can’t carry they sell for quick cash or leave behind.

Along the routes they travel, corrupt law enforcement and criminals attack the migrants and rob them. They have no recourse.

Three CBP officers and a Border Patrol agent work together at the Calexico Port of Entry by searching automobiles and questioning drivers that are coming from Mexico into the U.S.Photographer's Name: Josh DenmarkThree CBP officers and a Border Patrol agent work together at the Calexico Port of Entry by searching automobiles and questioning drivers that are coming from Mexico into the U.S. Photo: DHS/Josh Denmark

American law allows immigrants without visas to present themselves at ports of entry and claim asylum.   If asylum seekers pass what is known as a “credible fear” interview with an asylum officer, in which they must establish they have a reasonable expectation that they would be persecuted if returned home, they then have a chance to present their claims to a judge according to prior law.

Donald Trump wants to put an end to that.  He is not happy with the need for immigration judges, suggesting that America’s guarantee of due process was part of a “mess” of a legal system.

According to the LA Times, among the 34 immigration judges in Los Angeles, two judges granted fewer than 3% of the hundreds of asylum claims that came before them in the past five years, while another judge granted 71% of them. The disparity is even greater in San Francisco, where the judge’s rate of granting asylum claims ranged from 3% to 91%.

Overall, asylum seekers would do much better in San Francisco, where 32% were denied between 2012 and 2017, compared to a 68% denial rate in Los Angeles during the same period, according to TRAC data from Syracuse University.

A decade ago, several law professors published a study called “Refugee Roulette” that revealed how asylum cases depend heavily on the views of individual judges.

“The level of variation was shocking. And it hasn’t changed,” said Georgetown University Professor Philip Schrag.

Trump’s solution is to massively criminalize illegal entry. 

They Hoped to walk across US Border

When a particular Guatemalan family reached the USA border, they hoped, and were told by many people, they could just slip across the border and ask for asylum from the danger they run away from in their own country.

This family with three children had only one English-speaker. That was their oldest child, an eight-year-old girl who learned English at her school and from a friend who was the daughter of an English-speaking diplomat.

Not far from where they crossed into the United States they heard shots fired. They later heard rumours that a Guatemalan lady had been killed. The distraction of the gunfire was nothing new. Their group had been robbed many times on their long journey. This time the gunmen wore dark uniforms and were very cruel. They scooped up the three children and tossed them into a van with other children while the two parents were chained and sitting on a steel bench in the back of a crude and smelly prisoner transport, listening to their children crying out for them.

In over nine weeks, that’s the last time they heard their children’s crying voices.

Today the couple have a lawyer and they are in detention hoping to get released with ankle bracelets so they can find their children. They have a lawyer who is handling many similar cases and who may be somewhat overwhelmed, or he is just processing paper for fees. No amount of effort by non-profit humanitarian groups has found the three children.

What do you think of that? What would you do?

According to the information we have received, the three children have entered a system that will treat them as unaccompanied alien children, a system used to disseminate children entering the country as child slaves.  In this time the three have probably been sent to Foster Homes, are shrouded behind protective secrecy (that also hides crime), and will never see their parents again.

If you dig deeper you will encounter anecdotes of so-called “Foster Homes” being conduit gateways for getting children back into the slave trade. These enterprising fakes were the response of the criminal slave trading groups to the unaccompanied alien children project America created to deal with child sex slaves slipping across the border from Mexico.

The Trump Administration is trying to tell you Illegal entry into the USA is not worth it... you will lose your children.

The Trump Administration is trying to tell you Illegal entry into the USA is not worth it… you will lose your children.

We see this as a human rights violation.

The couples whose kids have been confiscated are unable to focus on preparing a defence against charges that they illegally entered the United States for suspected wrongful purposes.

Every precious thing they had with them has been confiscated, including their children.

The RINJ Foundation has filed an official complaint to the UN Human Rights Commissioner under the non-binding (Common Law) Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s not a complaint for putting Mr. Trump or Mr. Sessions in prison, it’s about finding a fair and humane remedy for the migrants. But the aspects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights we cite are covered in other statutes in America and internationally. See the Report of the Special UN Rapporteur.

Article 5. Universal-declaration-of-human-rights
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

A UN investigatory group recently reported “alarming rates of police brutality and excessive use of lethal force by law enforcement committed with impunity and racial bias in the criminal justice system”. An example would be the indigenous Guatemalan woman shot dead by US Border Patrol last Wednesday. Numerous commentaries of America having a xenophobic culture suggest that this is a problem that has hit new extremes since January of 2017 when Donald Trump took office.

This is significant. Without accepting as many new immigrants as in the past, the US population will drop. That will have an economic impact. The current total fertility rate in the US is 1.84 births per couple. To maintain its current population that would need to be 2.1 births per couple. Until 2015, the US population grew at around 7%. It is estimated to fall this year. Unless you are white as a ghost, why would anyone want to migrate to America.

Strict New Policies Oppose Immigration Rates of the Past and Impose Prosecutions on Migrants Trying to enter.

According to recent hearings in the US Senate, until recently, families that illegally crossed together into the United States generally faced deportation proceedings in civil court.

Hundreds if not thousands of children are missing. The so-called Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is tasked with finding “Foster Homes” for these children it calls UACs. It says it is unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 UAC.

The RINJ Foundation workers on the 5th Annual, End Child Sex Trade campaign have been tracking this UAC program and have filed critical reports of their experiences. The system is alleged to be corrupt and an unintended  intrinsic component of the human slave trafficking sector in the United States.

Children confiscated from nice, loving migrant families, are lost, maybe forever.

Trump’s order to confiscate children must be rescinded.

If there needs to be detention for migrants, then detention, as in other countries, must by family-suitable.

Excerpts from: Report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children – Mission to the United States of America 

The United States faces challenges as a destination, transit and source country for men, women, children, including LGBTI individuals, migrant workers and unaccompanied migrant children, runaway youth, American Indian and Alaska Natives, persons with disability. In some places African American women and girls are disproportionately affected by trafficking in persons. Both US nationals and migrants, mainly from Central America and South East Asia, are trafficked within and into the United States. Mexico, China, the Philippines, Guatemala and Honduras are the most common countries of origin for trafficking victims.  According to the national hotline, the highest number of trafficking cases has been in California, Texas, Florida, Ohio and New York. The close proximity to international borders and high rates of immigrant populations make, amongst other factors, these regions more vulnerable to trafficking in persons.

The United States is party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Protocol), and to a number of international human rights instruments, including the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Regrettably, the country is not party to several human rights conventions pertinent to the fight against human trafficking, although it had pledged to ratify a number of them during its Universal Periodic Review of 2015 including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and numerous ILO conventions are yet to be ratified.

The United States is a signatory to the American Convention on Human Rights but is yet to ratify the Inter-American Convention on the International Traffic in Minors from 1994.

Additional reading:

Feminine Perspective News & Opinions
  1. UN Human Rights Complaint Against Trump For Confiscation of Migrant Kids (In Depth)
    Published: Sun, 27 May 2018 10:28:50 by Melissa Hemingway, @MelisaHemingway
    Last week the Civil Society organization The RINJ Foundation filed a human rights complaint with the UN human rights commissioner against the Trump administration. Here’s why. The Human Rights Violators … Read 
  2. Trump Pushes USA into OHCHR Territory
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Complaint: UN Human-Rights Commission Letter re Confiscated Children of Migrants (USA)