Have you ever thought about being a child prisoner? Most of us haven’t because the idea of keeping babies behind bars isn’t even a part of our shared vision of what society is supposed to look like, because we all know that kids should be protected from tragedy and mundane doom.
But apparently, Oklahoma is about to rehouse our classic concentration camp. It’s housed Native-Americans, Japanese-Americans, and now, immigrants from central and southern America. That’s multiple generations of misguided and disgusting imprisonment.
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) — The federal government has chosen a military base in Oklahoma as the location for a new temporary shelter to house migrant children and is considering a customs port in southern New Mexico as another option as existing shelters are overwhelmed.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement said Tuesday it’s dealing with a dramatic spike in the number of children crossing the border without parents. The agency already has received referrals for nearly 41,000 kids so far this fiscal year, marking an increase of almost 57% over the same period last year.
The facility at Fort Sill near Lawton, Oklahoma, would be capable of holding 1,400 kids. Fort Sill served as a temporary emergency shelter for unaccompanied children in 2014 as a result of a migration surge at that time.
1,400 children is more than twice the size of my graduating class, and I wonder how many of them voted for the pricks that made all of this a real hellscape. (Before you jump to the comments, yes, this happened under a previous administration, doesn’t make any of this right. Also, yes, this definition of ‘concentration camp’ is correct)
Oklahoma Republicans had a problem with detaining asylum seekers during the Obama administration, but have turned their heels recently. Was this purely because of partisanship, or because now they can see cruelty enacted in real-time towards people they view as dirt?
Although news broke about the Fort Sill Camp two weeks ago and nobody has really discussed it locally, there’s been international outrage about how America is treating our borders. The New York Times ran a story last week that blew up:
A chaotic scene of sickness and filth is unfolding in an overcrowded border station in Clint, Tex., where hundreds of young people who have recently crossed the border are being held, according to lawyers who visited the facility this week. Some of the children have been there for nearly a month.
Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.
Most of the young detainees have not been able to shower or wash their clothes since they arrived at the facility, those who visited said. They have no access to toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap.
“There is a stench,” said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility. “The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border.”
This is what is coming to Oklahoma- sick children caring for other sick children, and the adults in charge are wearing uniforms but their sole responsibility is keeping sick children in jail so they can care for other sick children. Nothing makes sense other than disgusting individuals putting babies and adults into jail cells because no real reason other than xenophobia.
I don’t know if my grandparents ever read this site, but they’re the type of folks who probably voted for Trump and Inhofe and Lankford and all the other culpable Republicans who made America what it is right now. If they found this article and read this deep down, maybe they could have a good ol’ fashioned heart attack, and if that’s what does it, sure, fine. The last thing we need are people who support the monsters that are enabling the concept of putting children in concentration camp jails. Bye, Grandma.
What is the Oklahoma we want to see? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the guy who allegedly wandered around as a savior and cared for strangers, like sex workers and immigrants and people who needed redemption? Do you believe in mindless capitalism and want to see jobs filled by itinerants who are looking to fulfill their idea of the American Dream? Or are we destined to meander in this absolute darkness where borders are closed and people are forced into prison camps for the simple aspiration of looking for a better life?
I keep on knocking and knocking and knocking…