Get Those Kids a Toothbrush, Soap, and Blankets!

Watch Mike Pence dodge the question and try to blame it all on the Democrats.  It is sad and pathetic to watch this Christian man put politics over conscience.  Notice how Pence tries ignore Tapper’s questions by bringing up long-term and big picture solutions.

If Trump wanted to help these kids, he could do it and do it now.  And where is court evangelical Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse?  Doesn’t Graham’s ministry help kids like this?  Why isn’t Samaritan Purse’s in El Paso TODAY with shoe boxes full of supplies.

Here is what Franklin is tweeting about these days:

But apparently not in El Paso.

Here is Franklin picking a fight with Madonna:

And while kids are living in unsanitary conditions on the border, Franklin is railing against the “secularists”:

And he wants everyone to know that Kathie Lee Gifford is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

Court evangelicalism paralyzes people like Graham.  He can’t help these kids because he has to remain loyal to the POTUS.  Let’s hope and pray he changes his mind and makes a phone call to Trump asking for permission to bring his relief agency to El Paso.

And while we are at it, let’s try to solve our immigration problem in a way that makes such detention camps unnecessary.

15 thoughts on “Get Those Kids a Toothbrush, Soap, and Blankets!

  1. Jeff, I think a more accurate comparison would be to the Foster Care system, where the government is also housing children temporarily. It’s also helpful to me because I personally know some Foster kids. Imagining the Foster kids I know being put into a facility like this really breaks my heart.


  2. Tony,
    Your quotation from the Flores Agreement and your analysis was most enlightening. Thanks.

    It would be interesting to see if the 9th Circuit wants to mandate better treatment for the economic refugees than the municipal help which indigent U.S. citizens are receiving on the streets of Los Angeles. The vocal DEM mayor of L.A. (add also Seattle and S.F.) can’t seem to handle that problem. It appears to be getting worse.


  3. I think there has been an idea floated within this administration that it’s a helpful thing to scare off some number of potential asylum seekers with tough conditions at the border.


  4. Jeff: these are technical legal arguments, not broad policy proposals. What the DOJ lawyer was addressing — btw, the same lawyer who argued on behalf of the Obama administration that children, in certain circumstances, could be held in solitary confinement (the silence from the Perpetual Outrage Machine was deafening) — is whether the plain language of the Flores Consent Decree, under Section 5, paragraph 12A (“Procedures and Temporary Placement Following Arrest”), requires the provision of soap and toothbrushes. Let’s see exactly what that paragraph sets forth as mandatory:

    “Whenever the INS takes a minor into custody, it SHALL expeditiously process the minor and SHALL provide the minor with a notice of rights …. Following arrest, the INS SHALL hold minors in facilities that are safe and sanitary and that are consistent with the INS’s concern for the particular vulnerability of minors. Facilities WILL provide access to toilets and sinks, drinking water and food as appropriate, medical assistance if the minor is in need of emergency services, adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and contact with family members who were arrested with the minor.” (emphasis added)

    Remember — this is a legal proceeding focusing on the interpretation of that language, not a normative policy argument. To wit: does that provision require soap and toothbrushes? Certainly, reasonable minds can differ, but the very explicit laundry list of “shall” and “will” necessities does not include those things. (And remember, this contemplates, at most, a 3 day — or in limited cases 5 — temporary shelter. That is the duration.)

    As a legal argument, based on standard rules of construction, I think the DOJ’s position is more persuasive. Again: that’s entirely separate from the moral question of whether an administration should do its utmost to ensure that children are well cared for. I think that would include providing toothbrushes and soap. But does the failure to provide those things constitute a violation of the provision cited above? I would say no. Of course, given the venue — the Ninth Circuit — there is no question where the court would come down on this issue. But this lawyer is now being demonized by the media and twitter mob as a heartless minion of the Bad Orange Child Abuser, which is completely unjustified. But helpful to the narrative.

    Your insinuation that this is all about bigotry against brown people would be more persuasive if this didn’t involve conditions under the Obama administration. Unless you want to argue they, too, were maliciously depriving children of access to personal hygiene. Somehow, I doubt you are making that claim.


  5. So why is the current administration arguing in court against common necessities? They are for children in their custody.
    If FEMA was holding back on these things for kids in a shelter housing people made homeless by Midwest flooding we would probably see the issue.


  6. James: you assume that encouraging more unlawful behavior — that is, incentivizing people to make a dangerous journey to cross our southern border illegally, with children in tow — is not a desired outcome. I’d suggest that for many amnesty/open borders advocates and activists, which includes basically every D candidate for President, that is precisely the goal, for political and/or ideological reasons.

    I think we can all agree that children should be cared for in safe, sanitary conditions. But our immigration agencies (DHS, HHS, etc.) are overwhelmed by the present influx. We need more resources at the border. I hope Congress allocates them. This was a problem for the Obama administration, and it is now a problem for the Trump administration. The partisan media had no interest in what was going on under the former (which is why, as I pointed out above, they intentionally hide the fact that the viral sound bite of the “cruel” DOJ lawyer who allegedly wants to deprive children of tooth brushes resulted from a district court finding that the Obama administration was in material breach of Flores), but now the fake outrage machine has been spooled up once again.


  7. Jeff,
    There is a balancing act between providing help and encouraging more of this unlawful behavior. It requires the Wisdom of Solomon to sort out the priorities between these two poles.

    As far as the unofficial donations, I can understand why they are forbidden. Relief should be only from screened organizations. The reason is that substandard or even harmful products could be introduced into the camps. It is not beyond certain nefarious people from putting toxic substances into the supply system. After all, every year or two we all hear the Halloween warnings about poison candy and razor blades in apples.


  8. I just saw a news article where the border folks are turning away supplies people are trying to donate.

    Anyway, if you doubt the accounts of conditions I must ask what or why is the administration arguing against these things? Is there some good reason for the US government to argue against basic humanitarian care for minors?


  9. Jeff,

    Obviously, people of good will———both secular and religious———don’t want to see small children deprived of life’s basic needs. At this point, however, I am not sure what we can believe about the situation at the border camps. The mainstream media has invested so much into promoting a slanted narrative about the conditions there that I really don’t know what to believe. Short of visiting the refugee camps myself, I don’t know what to believe about the unaccompanied children.

    In answer to your question, the unaccompanied children are likely not flush with cash. Certainly, they should be given basic care, but that’s not fundamentally what this lawsuit is about. The activists are using the whole thing as a cudgel against Trump. If these open borders advocates really had any concern for the children, they could summon the money from the deep pockets who initially have financed this unlawful migration. The children in particular and more broadly all of the refugees are being used as pawns by these hidden forces. I’d like to see Jake Tapper or someone else in the mainstream journalistic community do some genuine investigative journalism into the folks who have ultimately precipitated this crisis.


  10. James, do you believe the children in question who are being held separately from their parents have wads of cash stashed on them? And backpacks stuffed with toothpaste, toothbrushes, first aid supplies and blankets and soap?
    Isn’t the point that there are minors in US custody right now, and how they should be cared for?
    I doubt the children are the masterminds of any political tactic. They are children.
    This current administration was arguing against the interpretation of a ruling that they should receive toothpaste and brushes and soap and something beyond concrete to sleep on.
    Whatever happened under Obama, whatever help they got getting here, they are here now in US custody.


  11. Yes, and the case relates to conduct of the — wait for it — Obama administration. The hearing before the 9th Cir. related to the interpretation of the Flores Consent Decree, and the scope of what it requires relating to sanitary conditions at detention facilities. So now, the media — either through ignorance or intentional misrepresentation (I know which I’d choose) is using this to bash Trump, even though it’s the prior administration’s policies at issue. Ever wonder why the intrepid, truth-to-power Jake Tappers of the world never saw fit to ask these hard-hitting questions during the era of Hope and Change? It is a puzzler.


  12. Thanks Marsha. I read the link you posted. Interesting piece.

    Of course, the CBS piece brings out the fact that the terms “soap and toothbrushes” per se are not mandated by a law nor has this sort of litigation been directed only against the Trump Administration. Apparently these same sorts of zealous immigration attorneys sued the Obama Administration for related matters.

    The fact remains that these refugees have been backed financially on their journey through Mexico. Were their blankets and toothbrushes left on the south side of the border? They had resources before crossing or they would not have been able to make the long trek through Mexico.

    Interestingly, these immigration attorneys took this case to the 9th Circuit which is composed heavily of leftist activist jurists.

    I still think that Jake Tapper engaged in unethical ambush journalism. A court case of this nature is hardly a forum free from political theatre. Tapper used it for his own purposes.


  13. The administration was arguing against the necessity of these items. However minors, or anyone else for that matter, that are in the custody of the US government, got there they should get basic needs met. That would include toothpaste and brushes, a blanket and mattress, a clean environment and other things this administration has been arguing against.
    If they arrived by first class on a jet, or washed up penniless on a raft, they should be treated humanely.


  14. First of all, who has authoritatively documented the dire shortage of sanitary items at the border?Jake Tapper hasn’t been down there this week as far as I know. Has a genuine audit of the supplies been conducted?
    Second, what did these economic refugees use for toothpaste and soap while they were in transit through Mexico? Did they make that journey sleeping without blankets and cleaning without soap? They obviously had money for gasoline, food, and other necessities.
    This whole story does not quite pass the smell test. Tapper might have simply been attempting to ambush Pence journalistically.


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