¡Quiero a mi mami! ¿Papi? "I want my mommy! Daddy?"

Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
edited June 8 in Purgatory
Something very troubling is happening on the southern border of the United States. Border agents are forcibly taking children away from their parents. They are being put in detention centers with no family support. Recently, US Senator Jeff Merkely (D. Oregon) tried to visit a child detention center in Brownsville, Texas. He was denied entry and eventually ordered to leave. He was able to see a child processing center at the border and he painted a pretty grizzly picture.

The UN has condemned this illegal act and is demanding the children be returned to their parents.

What can one do? My Congressional Representative is in the back pocket of the Fake King. She was challenged at a recent town hall to do something about it, but she blew it off. Fortunately, our two Senators are on it, but they are limited in what they can do since they are in the minority in the Senate.

Hopefully, we can flip the House. I even think my Congressional Representative may be on her way out because of her votes on Obamacare, and her supporting the Fake King's withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and imposing tariffs on our allies. The farmers, which are her base support, are being impacted.

And, even though we might not get enough to impeach the Fake King, if we can gain just two Senators we can begin to put some checks on the abuses at the border.

Just wish this is not happening


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Comments

  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    The American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Justice Department, and a federal judge has said the lawsuit can go forward.

    What steams me is that these are not undocumented people who have crossed the border illegally. These are people who have followed the law and have presented themselves at the border to ask for asylum because of persecution in their home countries. Now the US becomes yet another persecutor.

    To angry for even the fire face emoji

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    How are they being persecuted?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    sabine wrote: »
    What steams me is that these are not undocumented people who have crossed the border illegally. These are people who have followed the law and have presented themselves at the border to ask for asylum because of persecution in their home countries. Now the US becomes yet another persecutor.

    The legal justification is that the parents (or other adult guardians) are being charged criminally and that minors cannot be held in prison facilities. This is a change from previous policy where illegal entry was regarded as a civil rather than criminal offense. Of course as you point out most of those arriving with children are seeking asylum. My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How are they being persecuted?

    In addition to breaking up families (if that's not enough for you) imprisonment and criminal prosecution of refugees seeking asylum would seem to most folks like a form of persecution.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    edited June 8
    Crœsos wrote: »
    sabine wrote: »
    What steams me is that these are not undocumented people who have crossed the border illegally. These are people who have followed the law and have presented themselves at the border to ask for asylum because of persecution in their home countries. Now the US becomes yet another persecutor.

    The legal justification is that the parents (or other adult guardians) are being charged criminally and that minors cannot be held in prison facilities. This is a change from previous policy where illegal entry was regarded as a civil rather than criminal offense. Of course as you point out most of those arriving with children are seeking asylum. My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How are they being persecuted?

    In addition to breaking up families (if that's not enough for you) imprisonment and criminal prosecution of refugees seeking asylum would seem to most folks like a form of persecution.

    Thank you for explaining what I had thought was clear from my previous post.

    If someone is fleeing persecution and then has their children taken in the country where they've fled, it's worse than salt in a wound.

    There is a difference between someone seeking asylum and someone who has crossed illegally, although the two are frequently confused both in discussions and by our government

  • chrisstileschrisstiles Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.

    Though some of these types of detention date back to previous administrations.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.

    Though some of these types of detention date back to previous administrations.

    Not the asylum ones. I don't really care which administration is at fault for punishing people (and children, some of them babies) for lawfully seeking asylum. That's just cruel.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.

    Though some of these types of detention date back to previous administrations.

    During the Obama administration there was a wave of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the U.S. Being minors standard forms of detention were unreasonable so they were released into foster care under the auspices of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Very often these foster families were relatives already living legally in the United States.

    What's happening now is a very different thing. Instead of dealing with the issues that arise from a minor arriving at the U.S. border without an accompanying guardian, the current policy is to deliberately turn accompanied minors into unaccompanied ones. In addition to creating extra legal hassle and traumatizing parents and children alike, there are additional logistical problems that have been added by this process. Pretty much by definition a minor who can make it to the U.S. border to request asylum without an adult is going to be in their teen years and largely self-sufficient, at least when it comes to personal care. The need for adult supervision and interaction is a lot greater if the child is five years old. Or one year old, as has been reported. A system set up to foster teenagers is not necessarily set up to permanently detain a whole bunch of toddlers.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate




    Unaccompanied minors have piss poor legal representation, if any.

    A Senator tried to visit one of the detention centers where children were being kept and was turn away. Eventually, however, he was able to tour the facility. If you read far enough you will find his description of "cubicles".. made of hurricane fencing "like you would use to build dog kennels."

    https://www.thenation.com/article/senator-jeff-merkley-saw-immigrant-detention-center-children/
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Would I be unfair in thinking that there's a certain sort of Trump supporter to whom these sort of stories play very well, who wants more of the same?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    1st time round I was sober. 2nd time round I felt a pulse of anger. They're rare. This is fucking outrageous.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited June 9
    sabine wrote: »
    Unaccompanied minors have piss poor legal representation, if any.

    That's one wrinkle of the new system that I haven't seen addressed anywhere. Since the U.S. is now prosecuting asylum seekers in criminal, not civil, court, are the accused being provided legal representation at public expense? U.S. law dictates that those facing criminal charges more serious than infractions (e.g. speeding tickets, loitering, etc.) are entitled to the services of a public defender. Is this being done?
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/how-the-trump-administration-is-rewriting-the-rules-for-unaccompanied-minors/

    From this 2018 article: "Among the other actions taken so far: the Department of Justice decided not to renew approximately $4.5 million in funding for Justice AmeriCorps, a program created three years ago that helped provide legal services to nearly 7,000 unaccompanied minors – amidst a backlog of almost 90,000 children with cases in immigration court as of August 2017, according to data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse."

    I'm not sure if there have been improvenents in representation in the last few months (I'm inclined to doubt it), and I suspect it's not a system one can rely on, even with law firms willing to do pro bono work
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    sabine wrote: »
    What steams me is that these are not undocumented people who have crossed the border illegally. These are people who have followed the law and have presented themselves at the border to ask for asylum because of persecution in their home countries. Now the US becomes yet another persecutor.

    The legal justification is that the parents (or other adult guardians) are being charged criminally and that minors cannot be held in prison facilities. This is a change from previous policy where illegal entry was regarded as a civil rather than criminal offense. Of course as you point out most of those arriving with children are seeking asylum. My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How are they being persecuted?

    In addition to breaking up families (if that's not enough for you) imprisonment and criminal prosecution of refugees seeking asylum would seem to most folks like a form of persecution.
    Asylum from what? Apart from a hopeless life?

  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Not all the people who show up at the southern border are economic migrants looking for jobs. There are some from Central America who are fleeing situations involving death squads, cartels, gangs, etc.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    "they would be the victims of persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political views, or membership in a targeted social group if returned to their home country."

    https://www.vox.com/2018/4/30/17302140/caravan-border-illegal-asylum-trump
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.

    Though some of these types of detention date back to previous administrations.

    Not the separating children from parents. That's a lower low than anyone ever imagined. You gotta have a special sort of mind to come up with something that horrible.

  • sabine wrote: »
    "they would be the victims of persecution based on their race, nationality, religion, political views, or membership in a targeted social group if returned to their home country."

    https://www.vox.com/2018/4/30/17302140/caravan-border-illegal-asylum-trump

    Yes. There are three central American countries in particular that fit the UN definition of a refugee. This is where America's asylum seekers are coming from.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited June 10
    FFS. Even we, the holders of the Worst Asylum Seeker Policy (though maybe we pass it to you...) don't separate children.
    Crœsos wrote: »
    My eternal admiration will go to the first reporter who asks Trump or Sarah Huckabee Sanders if it is now considered a crime to seek asylum in the United States.
    Has anyone called them queue-jumpers yet? That's the favoured term of the extreme right (or even moderately right) down here, even though no queue exists.

    My heart aches. But I can say nought as we have one of the most inhumane policies. People die due to infection/illness, they jump from moving buses and are killed, etc. and still the echo of "We will decide who comes to this country and the manner in which they come" rings out.

    Here's to any action that can stop this. If this goes along long enough to be acceptable to the general population (you'd be amazed how many support our policy...or don't think on it...these are brown people after all) I shudder to think what would be next.

    Crœsos wrote: »
    In addition to breaking up families (if that's not enough for you) imprisonment and criminal prosecution of refugees seeking asylum would seem to most folks like a form of persecution.
    From here, I think you are putting a lot more faith in the general populace to care than I would. But perhaps I'm terribly jaded.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    In addition to breaking up families (if that's not enough for you) imprisonment and criminal prosecution of refugees seeking asylum would seem to most folks like a form of persecution.
    Asylum from what? Apart from a hopeless life?

    This news item has been making the rounds lately:
    A Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month, according to Border Patrol agents and an incident report filed by sheriff’s deputies.

    The death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security, and it did not appear in any local news accounts. But according to a copy of a sheriff’s department report obtained by The Washington Post, Muñoz was found on the floor of his cell May 13 in a pool of blood with an item of clothing twisted around his neck.

    Starr County sheriff’s deputies recorded the incident as a “suicide in custody.”

    <snip>

    According to Border Patrol agents with detailed knowledge of what occurred, Muñoz crossed the Rio Grande with his wife and 3-year-old son on May 12 near the tiny town of Granjeno, Tex. The area is a popular crossing point for Central American families and teenagers who turn themselves in to apply for asylum in the United States.

    Soon after Muñoz and his family were taken into custody, they arrived at a processing station in nearby McAllen and said they wanted to apply for asylum. Border Patrol agents told the family they would be separated. That’s when Muñoz “lost it,” according to one agent, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the incident.

    “The guy lost his s---,” the agent said. “They had to use physical force to take the child out of his hands.”

    Muñoz was placed in a chain-link detention cell, but he began punching the metal and shaking it violently, agents said.

    Though Muñoz did not attempt to assault Border Patrol staff, he was at that point considered to be “pre-assault” because he was so agitated. As one agent described it, Muñoz “had the look of a guy at a bar who wanted to fight someone.”

    “We had to get him out,” the agent said. “Those cells are about as secure as a dog kennel. He could have hurt someone.”

    Unruly detainees typically are taken to local jails, where they can be placed in more secure settings or isolation cells, known as administrative segregation. Border Patrol agents found a vacant cell for Muñoz 40 miles away at the Starr County Jail in Rio Grande City. When they attempted to place Muñoz in the van, he tried to run away and had to be captured and restrained.

    “He yelled and kicked at the windows on the ride to the jail,” an agent said. Shackled and handcuffed, Muñoz attempted to escape again upon arrival and once more had to be restrained.

    According to the sheriff’s department report, Muñoz was booked into the jail at 9:40 p.m. He remained combative and was placed in a padded isolation cell, it says.

    Guards said they checked on Muñoz every 30 minutes and observed him praying in a corner of his cell the following morning.

    A guard who walked by the cell at 9:50 a.m. said he noticed Muñoz lying in the center of the floor, unresponsive and without a pulse. The guard “noticed a small pool of blood by his nose” and “a piece of clothing twisted around his neck which was tied to the drainage location in the center of the cell,” according to the incident report filed by the sheriff’s department that morning.

    So what was Muñoz and his family fleeing? Well, let's see what the U.S. State Department has to say about conditions in Honduras right now. Apparently they've issued a Class 3 Travel Advisory ("Reconsider Travel"). The most severe advisory is Class 4 ("Do Not Travel"), and that's usually reserved for war zones or countries openly hostile to the United States. Details from the Travel Advisory:
    Violent crime, such as homicide and armed robbery, is common. Violent gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, rape, and narcotics and human trafficking, is widespread. Local police and emergency services lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime.

    Yeah, I suppose you could consider those things could lead to "a hopeless life". Exactly why gang murders and human trafficking are spurious grounds for seeking asylum I leave to @Martin54 to explain in greater detail.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Crœsos. One of my anthems is Imagine. I don't believe in borders. There are none in paradise. There is nothing spurious in these poor people's utter desperation. Or in actually granting them asylum from it if you could get away with it politically. But it's never going to happen. Any more than it is in to the UK from Calais. Ever. Is it.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Martin54 wrote: »
    There is nothing spurious in these poor people's utter desperation.

    I have a hard time believing you think that given your fairly lackadaisical attitude towards their "utter desperation".
    Martin54 wrote: »
    How are they being persecuted?
    Martin54 wrote: »
    Asylum from what? Apart from a hopeless life?

    Those aren't the words of someone who believes that there is genuine human suffering involved here.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    If you say so.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I personally read Martin54's Asylum from what? Apart from a hopeless life? as a stinging indictment on the powers that be, with the second sentence being, forgive me I have no idea what the term is, but when you use a phrase which superficially seems to mean one thing (a hopeless life is not worth seeking asylum) but in fact means the other... Not a joke, but a way of expressing agreement that the powers-that-be have no idea whatsoever and do not see the hopeless life asylum seekers have.

    But I may be off my rocker...
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Meanwhile, Spain has given permission to allow The Aquarius safe port to bring 600 refugees from Lybian coastStory here.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    I personally read Martin54's Asylum from what? Apart from a hopeless life? as a stinging indictment on the powers that be, with the second sentence being, forgive me I have no idea what the term is, but when you use a phrase which superficially seems to mean one thing (a hopeless life is not worth seeking asylum) but in fact means the other... Not a joke, but a way of expressing agreement that the powers-that-be have no idea whatsoever and do not see the hopeless life asylum seekers have.

    But I may be off my rocker...
    Aye Climacus.

    Legalistically they have absolutely no chance. Spain is being awesome. But it won't go well. It's not sustainable. Political reality will bite. Look at Italy. The Balkans, Austria. The UK. Australia.

    And they see the ghastliness, they have every idea, but shake their heads.

    Unless you're oppressed for being something other than just poor.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Here's a report of federal officials taking a child while it was being breastfed

    https://cnn.it/2sV6MML
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    If you're on Facebook, here's a video of US elected officials protesting outside the White House and prepared to be arrested (no GOP, surprise, surprise).

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=818626731661228&id=153418591515382
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Correction: the protest was outside the ICE office in Washington, DC
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    The San Diego Diocese is seeking a way to shelter asylum-seekers so they can remain with their children, according to Bishop Robert McElroy who celebrated a binational Mass June 9 at the U.S.-Mexico border.

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/san-diego-diocese-aims-shelter-asylum-seekers-their-children
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    A major fraternal insurance company that had been serving Lutherans in the US for over 100 years before opening up to other Christian denominations has about 3mil dollars invested in GEO Group which is a private prison company that the feds are using to detain undocumented immigrants. I am trying to find out if this private prison company is also being used to detain children or their parents. This is in direct conflict with the ELCA social statements on Social Justice. There are now several memorials going to the churchwide assembly urging divestiture from that company. Time will tell.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited June 14
    Off topic:

    Gramps, or anyone: what does memorials mean in that context?

    --

    I read 1,000+ boys were in one such centre. Jesus wept. Or weeps.


    edit: 1,000+. With Trump murals:

    https://twitter.com/juliamacfarlane/status/1007149885399986176
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    No idea who this woman is, but have any Shipmates seen this story with a short video clip from today's UK press. It shouldn't be behind a paywall.

    Apparently, Romans 13, a passage which has been misused by governments for centuries, now isn't just an injunction to the rest of us to behave. According to her, it imposes on the President a positive obligation to enforce the law in such a way as to separate children from their parents - even if he doesn't want to.

    Weirdly, she's saying that as the representative of a state whose constitution, as my minimal understanding has understood hitherto, forbids its having an established religion.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    No idea who this woman is, but have any Shipmates seen this story with a short video clip from today's UK press.

    Are you sure you've seen it? The article says who "this woman" is on the very first line.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Yes, it says who she is, but she's someone I've never heard of before and just saying she works in the press office in the White House doesn't even say whether she's personally significant or just an employed mouth.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the White House Press Secretary, so she's the official spokesperson for the president*. Think of her as the Mouth of Sauron with an Arkansas accent. As her middle name indicates she's also the daughter of Mike Huckabee, the first Republican politician of note to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid. For those who are interested in the the whole, unedited exchange and not just Sarah Huck's answers a video can be found here [ Youtube ]. My favorite bit is when Brian Karem asks her "You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?" (starting around the 3:15 mark). In part because the spectacle of watching Playboy's White House correspondent lecture a notorious God-botherer about empathy really schaden's my freude, but also because it recalls Joseph Welch's most famous utterance [also Youtube].
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The impetus for this was Attorney General Sessions' use of Romans 13 to justify separating parents seeking asylum from their kids. Naturally this is going to be something that's asked about at the next White House press conference, as indeed it was.

    Yoni Applebaum points out the historical context of citing Romans 13 in a series of tweets.
    Whatever one thinks of the exegetical merits of this argument, it’s quite surprising in one particular way—Romans 13 was widely quoted in political debates of the 1840s and 1850s, but rarely thereafter. There is a reason for this sudden drop-off. Abolitionists of the era argued that slavery was unconscionably cruel; in particular, they pointed to the forcible separation of families as running counter to God’s law. Apologists for slavery recognized the strength of the claim:
    There is one trait among the incidents of negro slavery, upon which abolitionists fix their eye with an awful and fierce intensity, all on all mankind to come and see the horrid sight; and this is the circumstance of separating the families of slaves, by their being sometimes sold to other masters.

    In response, defenders of slavery insisted on the duty to abide by the law—including the Fugitive Slave Act. They cited verses which stressed this duty, Romans 13:1 prominent among them.

    It seems a bit overdetermined for Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama to cite the passage in favor of keeping brown people in cages, but whoever is writing the political satire we're all now living in is a bit heavy-handed.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    edited June 15
    Romans 13 is written by one leading Christian to others, to advise then to keep their heads down. That's prudent and it's not their calling to rebel. It wasn't addressed to the emperor of the day. Nor was it theology written for him.

    It's pretty bad when the state invokes Romans 13 to tell the churches or individual Christians they ought to shut up, stop complaining and do as they are told. Most states, though, over the centuries, have given way to that temptation.

    However, that isn't even what Ms Sanders is saying here. She's saying something else. She's invoking Romans 13 to justify the administration for which she speaks in oppressing the children of the stranger in the gate, and splitting up families. If she has enough theological literacy to cite scripture in a press conference, she has to accept that she's expected to know that this is misusing the text. No amount of imaginative exegesis can make it carry that meaning.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the White House Press Secretary, so she's the official spokesperson for the president*. Think of her as the Mouth of Sauron with an Arkansas accent. As her middle name indicates she's also the daughter of Mike Huckabee, the first Republican politician of note to endorse Donald Trump's presidential bid. For those who are interested in the the whole, unedited exchange and not just Sarah Huck's answers a video can be found here [ Youtube ]. My favorite bit is when Brian Karem asks her "You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?" (starting around the 3:15 mark). In part because the spectacle of watching Playboy's White House correspondent lecture a notorious God-botherer about empathy really schaden's my freude, but also because it recalls Joseph Welch's most famous utterance [also Youtube].

    Sanders seems more concerned about the fact that Karem is "yelling" (although to me he sounds more urgent & passionate than loud) than she is about the fact that children are being ripped from their parents. Which tells you everything you need to know about Sanders and this administration.

    The clip cuts off when Sanders cuts Brian off to call on "Jill" so I don't know what happened next. In my fantasy, Jill stands up and says "I, too, would like to know how you sleep at night". The pattern continues for each reporter called on.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    The clip cuts off when Sanders cuts Brian off to call on "Jill" so I don't know what happened next. In my fantasy, Jill stands up and says "I, too, would like to know how you sleep at night". The pattern continues for each reporter called on.

    Sadly Jill asked a question about Russia and Crimea, which is what you have to do if that's the article you've been assigned to write.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Both Sessions and Sanders were proof texting Romans. They invoked one passage to indicate that people should obey the law because governments are ordained by God and overlooked the part in Romans that says loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law. Oops.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    sabine wrote: »
    Both Sessions and Sanders were proof texting Romans. They invoked one passage to indicate that people should obey the law because governments are ordained by God and overlooked the part in Romans that says loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law. Oops.

    But maybe those kids don't count as neighbors. It's not like scripture addresses that question.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    The clip cuts off when Sanders cuts Brian off to call on "Jill" so I don't know what happened next. In my fantasy, Jill stands up and says "I, too, would like to know how you sleep at night". The pattern continues for each reporter called on.

    Sadly Jill asked a question about Russia and Crimea, which is what you have to do if that's the article you've been assigned to write.

    (Sigh) reality is never as good as fantasy

  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    sabine wrote: »
    Both Sessions and Sanders were proof texting Romans. They invoked one passage to indicate that people should obey the law because governments are ordained by God and overlooked the part in Romans that says loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law. Oops.
    Yebbut.

    First of all, Paul is addressing Christians who were a small intermittently persecuted minority in a large and authoritarian empire. He was telling them to keep their heads down. He was not addressing the Emperor with a discourse on political theory or even the local optimes. So, however one interprets Romans 13, it is not authority for the quite different point Ms Sanders is citing it for. She was not just saying that people shouldn't criticise the President, but that Romans 13 imposes a positive obligation on the President to enforce the law so as to separate children from their parents. That is a theologically illegitimate misuse of Romans 13.

    Second, the Roman polity and the US polity are not similar. I'm not a USian. There's a lot I don't quite get about the US constitution. However, as I have always understood it, everything the US stands for is postulated on its citizenry being encouraged, indeed expected to do their bit, vote, play their part in civic life, engage in their public duties etc. So the application of Romans 13 to modern US politics does justify the argument that Christians should not engage in armed rebellion and sedition. It does not justify any argument that Christians should not engage in lawful political discourse or that they have a moral obligation uncritically to say 'yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full Sir' to everything the President of the day says or does. In applying Romans 13 to US life, that too would be theologically illegitimate without first legitimately and by following due process, changing the US political culture.


    Even if somebody was stupid or malevolent enough to want that, I don't know how one would do it. Wouldn't it require a new Constitutional Convention?
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    edited June 16
    @Enoch, thanks for expanding on Romans 13. I'm fairly confident that Sessions doesn't know (or care) much more than to search until he finds something, anything, he thinks might justify this policy. Quite a few American Christians are pushing back, including Franklin Graham. That one surprised me.

    Re the Constitution. Trump doesn't seem to understand it well, and all sorts of people have pushed the boundaries over the years. I'm not a constitutional scholar, but I don't think this issue would require a change in the Constitution.

    The right to apply for asylum is part of US immigration law. The ACLU currently has a case in court against the practice of separating children from parents, so this may be decided through a court interpretation of that law....or several courts, if it works its way up.

    Congress is also working on new immigration legislation, but I doubt it will amount to much and even if it does, Trump would have to sign any bill to become law and I'm not betting in that.
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    US Catholic Bishops have released a statement saying that this is a "right to life" issue and oral. Further, they say that Catholics who cooperae may be denied the right to receive communion.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-immigration-catholic-bishops-moral-us-mexico-border-a8399016.html

    The backlash from Christians is mounting.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Sabine, the bit I was suggesting might require something more fundamental even than a change to the constitution (and I do know that even that is quite difficult) was,
    " everything the US stands for is postulated on its citizenry being encouraged, indeed expected to do their bit, vote, play their part in civic life, engage in their public duties etc. So the application of Romans 13 to modern US politics ..... does not justify any argument that Christians should not engage in lawful political discourse or that they have a moral obligation uncritically to say 'yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full Sir' to everything the President of the day says or does."
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    @Enoc. Very idealistic. When was it ever so? :cry:

    The people in power certainly don't appear to have such ideals at heart. But thise ideals inform myself and other activists I know. Perhaps someday....
  • sabinesabine Shipmate
    Although I must add (after edit window) that more and more faith leaders are calling for folks to not say yes sir (see some previous posts). But changing the political environment that creates and sustains such situations will be very hard at the moment.
  • Dave WDave W Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Yes, it says who she is, but she's someone I've never heard of before and just saying she works in the press office in the White House doesn't even say whether she's personally significant or just an employed mouth.
    The article doesn't just say "she works in the press office in the White House", it says she's "the White House press secretary" answering reporters questions at "Thursday's White House briefing." The fact that they didn't explain in detail what a press secretary is, what a press briefing is, or even what the White House is, should have alerted you to the fact that the Guardian expects people who follow political news about the US already know these things. That you have never head of her before is simply a consequence of your extremely low level of awareness.
    Enoch wrote: »
    sabine wrote: »
    Both Sessions and Sanders were proof texting Romans. They invoked one passage to indicate that people should obey the law because governments are ordained by God and overlooked the part in Romans that says loving your neighbor is the fulfillment of the law. Oops.
    Yebbut.

    First of all, Paul is addressing Christians who were a small intermittently persecuted minority in a large and authoritarian empire. He was telling them to keep their heads down.
    This is simply ridiculous. Romans 13:1-5 says:
    13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
    You may find the blatant divinely ordained authoritarianism a little awkward, but glossing it a simply a message to "keep your heads down" is laughable.
    Second, the Roman polity and the US polity are not similar. I'm not a USian. There's a lot I don't quite get about the US constitution.
    You don't say! (BTW, there's no such thing as a USian.) Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. I'm sure I too would find myself confused by the politics of a place with which I was almost entirely unfamiliar.

  • cliffdwellercliffdweller Shipmate
    edited June 16
    sabine wrote: »
    Quite a few American Christians are pushing back, including Franklin Graham. That one surprised me.

    me too
    sabine wrote: »

    Congress is also working on new immigration legislation, but I doubt it will amount to much and even if it does, Trump would have to sign any bill to become law and I'm not betting in that.

    legislation introduced this week would ban the policy of separating children from parents. I am hopeful that there with the growing pressure on Congress from pretty much every faith leader and everyone with a beating heart that they'll even be able to override Trump's promised veto.

    What is clear is that this is yet another one of Trump's thug strategies to get his wall, which has become fetishized in his own mind. He did the same thing a few months ago in the budget negotiations with CHIP-- the health insurance policy for children with catastrophic medical needs (which happened to have saved my infant granddaughter's life). CHIP has always rec'd bipartisan support because... well, desperately ill & dying children. Seriously, folks. And the GOP is supposed to be pro-life (tho you'd hardly know it these days). But this year, for the first time ever, Trump put CHIP on the chopping block-- imperiling thousands of American children--- to get concessions on DACA (Dream Act). It was a thuggish practice, the kind mobsters use when they swagger into a joint and say "nice little business you have here. I'd hate to see anything happen to it..." Basically he put a gun to sick children's heads. Not once, but twice.

    And we let him get away with it. So he's back to his thuggish tactics. He'll continue to terrorize children until we give him what he wants-- a wall, an end to all immigration, or all Americans standing wet-eyed at attention for his military parade.

    Then I suppose he'll allow the kids to return to their parents until he has something else he wants. Then the thug will be back with yet another group of innocent, vulnerable children to use as a bargaining chip.

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