Targeting parents who risk all for their children

 Eric Gay AP
I just returned from the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network conference at Holy Cross. The conference is designed to encourage students, staff, and faculty to learn more about some of the world's ongoing humanitarian crises, what universities are doing to contribute in their own way, and how students might be able to break into the field. JUHAN is a really interesting initiative that has yet to take off beyond a few select schools.

Something the panelists said over and over was the sheer absence of compassion from President Trump and other members of his administration.  So, of course, I return home yesterday to his derogatory comments about Mika and then this Franco Ordonez report from McClatchy.
The Trump administration has begun a new surge of immigration enforcement targeting parents who have paid to have their children illegally brought to the United States.
The recent arrests, which had been largely rumored but not confirmed until now, have set off a new wave of confusion and fear through immigrant communities that have already been subject to greater enforcement.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have begun sharing information with immigration agents about U.S.-based relatives of unaccompanied children. The information is being used to track down the parents, according to lawyers and government case workers familiar with the practice.
Parents of the children report receiving surprise knocks on their door by immigration agents — sometimes the day after their children arrive — asking about their children and demanding that they be let in, according to government case workers. Once the parents open the door or leave the house they are detained.
“The kids are basically being used as bait at this point,” said a field specialist with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the federal agency that takes custody and shelters unaccompanied immigrant children.
Many of these minors are fleeing unspeakable violence in Central America. Their parents have spent thousands of dollars, sometimes leveraging all their possessions, to pay for the trip. They do so with full knowledge that their children might suffer sexual abuse, trafficking, and death during the migration. Yet now, the Trump administration is looking to punish parents and relatives for their involvement in human smuggling operations. No compassion.

At the height of the unaccompanied minors crisis, there were advertisements warning parents not to send their kids with coyotes. They were bad parents. There were efforts in the Northern Triangle to arrest coyotes. There were statements and rumors to the effect that those who paid for their kids' passage would be held criminally responsible. At least, I remember some of those stories from Guatemalan media. However, I don't think that ever came to fruition.

But now the US wants the world to know that we are no longer a compassionate people.