Friday, August 15, 2008

Bush's deportation policies dumping thousands of children into squalor

-- by Dave

We've already seen, here in the States, the travesties created by the Republican push to deport illegal immigrants: police-state tactics, the bastardization of justice, the destruction of families, the inhuman treatment of cancer victims. But that's just the beginning of the ugliness.

Then there's what happens afterwards -- particularly to the children. A La Jornada report (translated; see original here) gives the basic outline:

During the first seven months of the year, at least 90,000 Mexican children were deported by the U.S. government, in the context of its anti-immigration policy, reported a study of the working group for migration issues of the PRI in the Chamber of Deputies. It also has deported around 300,000 adults.

He reported that about 15 percent of children, some 13,500, are living along the Mexican border, without any government protection. Those best off are attended by religious institutions or NGOs.

The group's coordinator and secretary of the Commission on Population, Borders and Migration Affairs, the PRI deputy Edmundo Ramirez Martinez, pointed out that children are entrusted to polleros, or traffickers, to be brought to the United States with their parents and if the would-be migrants are deported, the children are virtually stranded on the Mexican border.

In addition, the report states that for every three adults deported from the United States, a child of Mexican origin is left in that nation. He said that many children accompanied their parents in the adventure of reaching the country from north to find work, but were deported by the authorities of that country.

A more localized La Jornada Michoacan report (translated version -- original here) describes the outcome for these children:

The unit also estimated that 6,000 minors between 14 and 17 years old originating in Michoacan remain in the border city of Tijuana after being abandoned by the authorities of the United States. And, for those who survive, those minors are devoted largely to illicit activities. Deportation of such children has a greater impact on the states with high migration flow such as Michoacan, Jalisco, Guanajuato and Zacatecas, and involves a systematic violation of children's rights by the U.S. authorities.

Most of these children are forced to survive by begging, stealing, and squatting, lending themselves out as prostitutes and drug runners:

One of the effects of lack of child protection in transit between Mexico and the United States, is that these fall into prostitution or drug trafficking networks when they are alone.

The Registry of Migrante described the situation of 6,000 children who are abandoned in Tijuana, having failed in an attempt to cross the border, and so have opted to find work doing anything with to survive without their parents. They have become, often, victims of abuse by coyotes and criminals.

All this is in violation of international conventions on children's rights, which clearly state that children are not to be deported, but repatriated.

Of course, to this administration, such conventions are just so much paper to be wadded up and discarded -- just like the human beings they sweep up in their inhuman raids.

[H/t to Henry Fernandez.]

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake.]

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