Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas in America, 2018

"Holy Family" by Kelly Latimore.

Jakelin Caal died at age 7, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Felipe Alonzo Gomez died at age 8 on Christmas Eve.

Both were in the custody of the US Border Patrol.

This is how the Infant Jesus is coming to us today, whether we like it or not: as the migrant child. And we are neither welcoming Jesus, nor caring for Jesus.

And how sad that so many people are blaming the parents for the deaths of these poor children! Their parents were fleeing to a safer country precisely to protect their sons and daughters. You might as well blame Mary and Joseph for bringing Jesus to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-22).

"I was a stranger and you did not welcome me" (Mt. 25).

James Martin, SJ
via Facebook
December 26, 2018

[A] second Guatemalan child, an 8 year old boy, [has] died in U.S. Border Patrol custody after being held for more than a week while seeking asylum. This tragedy was not an accident, but the result of systematic set of policies attacking the humanity of our neighbors to the south.

There's no reason this child seeking asylum should have been detained since December 18th except this: Trump is enacting an extrajudicial policy of maximizing trauma and violence as a deterrent to refugee seekers, while ignoring U.S. and international law.

A 38 year old statute clearly states people seeking asylum can apply in a timely manner no matter where they cross, which Trump's Supreme Court just failed to overturn 5-4 with Ruth Ginsberg casting the deciding vote from her hospital bed.

These assaults on human dignity are the result of the rise of white supremacist ideology embodied by Trump, which blames immigrants for our economic crisis instead of greedy corporations.

After failing to secure funding for the wall he promised Mexico would pay for, Trump has shut down the federal government costing us more than $1 Billion per day. The stock market Trump loves to brag about is having it's worst December since the great depression, and Trump seems more erratic with every day that passes.

If it's not clear yet, it should be: This right wing movement will stop at nothing to advance its hateful agenda.

As we enter 2019, we are entering a new chapter in American history with more at stake than ever. We must choose unity over division, clarity over confusion, and courage over despair.

– Nick Espinosa
via Facebook
December 26, 2018

– Andy Marlette (The Pensacola News Journal)

Related Off-site Links:
Guatemalan Boy, 8, Dies at Border While in Government Custody, Second to Die This Month – Lindsay Schnell (USA Today, December 25, 2018).
Who Killed Jakelin Caal Maquín at the US Border? – Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby (The Nation, December 17, 2018).
A Migrant Girl Dies at the Border. She Was No Terrorist, Mr. President – The Editorial Board (Chicago Sun Times, December 16, 2018).
At Christmas, Remember That Jesus Was a Refugee – Jay Parini (CNN, December 22, 2018).
At Christmas Time, Why Aren’t We Protecting Contemporary Holy Families? – Jim McDermott (America, December 21, 2018).

UPDATES: Another Child Dies: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Blames the Family and "Open Borders" – Igor Derysh (Salon, December 30, 2018).
"Absolutely Disgusting": In First Comment on Deaths of Two Young Kids in US Custody, Trump Falsely Blames Democrats and Child's Father – Jake Johnson (Common Dreams, December 30, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Prayer for Asylum Seekers Being Tear-Gassed at the Border
Opposing the Trump Administration's Inhumane Treatment of Immigrant Families
Something to Think About – November 27, 2018
"What We're Seeing Here Is a Tipping Point"No Room for Them
Something to Think About – December 25, 2016
2000+ Take to the Streets of Minneapolis to Express Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees
Something to Think About – December 25, 2012

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