Wednesday, October 3, 2018

America's Concentration Camps for Children


There should no longer be any doubt that the Trump administration is pursuing policies last used in Nazi Germany—concentration camps that now house up to 13,000 young Hispanic refugees—mostly unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum in America.

To deal with the surging shelter populations, which have hovered near 90 percent of capacity since May, according to the New York Times, mass reshuffling is underway and shows no signs of slowing. Hundreds of children are being shipped from shelters to Tornillo in West Texas each week—mostly in the middle of the night to escape publicity--totaling more than 1,600 so far.
“Roughly 100 shelters that have, until now, been the main location for housing detained migrant children are licensed and monitored by state child welfare authorities, who impose requirements on safety and education as well as staff hiring and training,” said the NYTimes.
“The tent city in Tornillo, on the other hand, is unregulated, except for guidelines created by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, schooling is not required there, as it is in regular migrant children shelters.
“The number of detained migrant children has spiked even though monthly border crossings have remained relatively unchanged, in part because harsh rhetoric and policies introduced by the Trump administration have made it harder to place children with sponsors.”
Does the Trump administration have no shame? What made America great is the fact that we are a land of immigrants, yet President Trump and his white-nationalist supporters want to restrict immigration to 50 percent of what it was historically—“to more like those from Norway,” he has said.
“Traditionally, most sponsors have been undocumented immigrants themselves, and have feared jeopardizing their own ability to remain in the country by stepping forward to claim a child. The risk increased in June, when federal authorities announced that potential sponsors and other adult members of their households would have to submit fingerprints, and that the data would be shared with immigration authorities.”
There is a reason America and Americans have always welcomed immigrants. America has been a nation whose innovation and new industries have outdistanced its labor workforce, historically, hence been always been in need of a new influx of workers.

For most of the past half-century, baby boomers — those born after World War Two and before 1965 — have been the main driver of the nation’s expanding workforce, but now that they’re heading into retirement only two groups of workers are projected to grow over the next two decades: immigrants and those whose parents are first-generation immigrants, a new report by the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., concluded. “The most important component of the growth in the working-age population over the next two decades will be the arrival of future immigrants,” it said.

Which is why it is so important to find a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers that fulfill jobs very few America citizens will take. And there have been several bills to give a path to those undocumented workers employed in agriculture, construction, and the hospitality industries. But, alas, congress has not been able to pass any of them.

Roughly 36 percent of plasterers and stucco masons were undocumented workers in 2014, the highest share of any occupation, according to a report released recently by the Pew Center. Some 30 percent of miscellaneous agricultural workers, 31 percent of drywall and ceiling tile installers and 28 percent of graders and sorters of agricultural products and 23 percent of sewing machine operators were also undocumented. Also 12 percent of miscellaneous personal appearance workers — manicurists and pedicurists and makeup artists — were undocumented.

Chart: PEW

More than 43.7 million immigrants resided in the United States in 2016, accounting for 13.5 percent of the total U.S. population of 323.1 million, according to American Community Survey (ACS) data.
And a recent CNBC report mentioned America’s chronic labor shortages, as the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession is now highlighting. “A report Thursday from ADP and Moody’s Analytics cast an even sharper light on what is becoming one of the most important economic stories of 2018: the difficulty employers are having in finding qualified employees to fill a record 6.7 million job openings,” said CNBC.

But chronic labor shortages have always been the case, and are part of our history. Trump’s, racist, anti-immigration policies are only making matters worse, not to speak of what can only be called his de-facto ethnic cleansing of non-Eurocentric populations.

Harlan Green © 2018

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