Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday July 23rd 2019

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Outtakes—Children as Pawns

By Rick Outzen

Has our federal government lost its compassion for children? Having read the Associated Press report on a migrant detention facility near El Paso, Texas, I’d have to answer in the affirmative.

I’m surprised we haven’t seen ChildFund commercials on television with Sally Struthers pleading for donations to help the infants and children in living in squalor in the overcrowded Border Patrol facilities.

AP obtained data that showed the facility had three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.

The news agency spoke with a team of lawyers that interviewed 60 children that described mistreatment, neglect and inadequate food, water and sanitation. AP reported, “Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.”

I may need to rethink my ChildFund commercial because the treatment of these children at the hands the U.S. government is more horrific than those from Third World countries, especially considering the splendor enjoyed by the multi-millionaires that created the facilities.

The other problem with my ChildFund commercial is the federal government won’t accept donations to improve the living conditions of these children. The Texas Tribune reported that a group of Texans tried to donate $340 worth of diapers, toys and hygienic supplies for children being held at the facility but were told the center doesn’t take donations.

Two days before the AP report, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco held a hearing on the U.S. government’s appeal of a federal judge’s 2017 ruling that U.S. authorities breached the agreement after young immigrants caught on the border said they had to sleep in cold, overcrowded cells and were given inadequate food and dirty water.

The DOJ attorney tried to argue that the government didn’t necessarily have to provide a toothbrush and soap to migrant children in the detention facilities. The judges appeared not to buy her argument.

On “Meet the Press” last Sunday when asked about the conditions at the detention facilities, President Trump told host Chuck Todd, “We’re doing a fantastic job under the circumstances.” And he blamed congressional Democrats for “holding up the humanitarian aid.”

In other words, the children are merely political pawns. I worry for the souls of our national leaders, almost as much as I do for the children who have been treated so callously.