Monsters Inc: They Treated Us Like We Were Animals

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Jakelin's funeral. Getty Image

The evil clown-in chief just visited his fabled border, where he spewed the usual rancid mix of lies, threats, insults and incoherence "unmoored from operational reality." In a brief visit to Calexico, California before jetting off to raise funds for more atrocities, he warned beleaguered, coincidentally brown-skinned immigrants "our country is full," whined we should "get rid of the whole asylum system" and judges who don't agree with him, claimed "asylum people" are gang members - "It’s a scam, it’s a hoax - I know about hoaxes," FYI also wind - and boasted about a two-mile section of his "new wall" - "It’s called anti-climb, so it’s a great wall" - that is in fact a restored barrier authorized by Obama, even though it now bears a comically fraudulent plaque reading, "The first section of President Trump's border wall." His lies largely hit their own wall of derision: The Southern Border Communities Coalition called his visit “trite political theater," and Gov. Gavin Newsom blasted his cruelty with, “Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American."

Newsom could have added, "what it means to be a human being." Trump arrived at the border too late to witness last December's gruesome, entirely preventable deaths of two children in the custody of his U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Jakelin Caal Maquin, 7, who had traveled from Guatemala to the border with her father, died two days after being detained; by the time she was taken to a hospital in El Paso, her fever was 105.7 degrees, she was vomiting and having seizures, and she could barely breathe. A couple of weeks later, Felipe Gómez Alonzo, 8, also from Guatemala, died in CBP custody after spending six days being shuffled from cold facility to cold facility; he died on Christmas Eve. Trump's monstrous response to these tragedies: He insisted "we've done a fantastic job" caring for migrants, whined "any deaths are strictly the fault of Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies," and, most grotesquely, blamed the victims, arguing that both kids were already dehydrated and sick when they arrived - flagrant lies repeatedly contradicted by their grieving parents and multiple officials.

And, now, by the release of both autopsy results this week. The El Paso Medical Examiner wrote that Jakelin died of a rapidly progressive infection” known as streptococcal sepsis; bacteria was found in her lungs, adrenal gland, liver and spleen, leading to multiple organ failure. Doctors told the New York Times her infection was so aggressive she likely would have been visibly sick for many hours” before her death. Days later, the same office found Felipe also died of a "rapid, progressive infection" - in his case, flu - that led to organ failure. Officials wrote they hoped the release of information would bring "closure," but God knows why it would: In truth, both infections could have been easily treated with common antibiotics. Because there is no low to which he will not go, Trump responded to the findings by again attacking dead children's parents. Congressional Democrats, being human, instead announced probes into both deaths. They also visited the facilities where they were detained; they found inadequate food/water and reportedly what will be scarred-for-life children lying on concrete floors in frigid rooms with loud noises and lights on all night, and concluded, “The only reason this facility is still open is because the cameras can’t get in.”

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And the abuses continue. They are led in large part by Homeland Security Kirstjen "Eichmann" Nielson, who once declared "they're not cages - there are places to sit" and has called for deporting children and detaining their families to solve the border's “growing crisis.”  The real crisis, many say, is the medical neglect at border facilities and immigration jails that has led to at least 22 deaths, all preventable, including Jakelin, Felipe, and 19-month-old Mariee Juarez. Doctors at those sites report horrific conditions "unsafe for adults and deadly for children," from not enough water to freezing temps to no medical care to human rights abuses. Most recently, reports of migrants crowded into concentration camp tents and under an El Paso bridge have brought ACLU charges of cold, dust, verbal abuse and sleep deprivation at the hands of out-of-control border agents. "They treated us like we were animals," said one victim. "They call us bodies." The stunning images of those families huddled behind barbed wire disturbed many, not least Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "When you’re looking at this photo, you’re looking at a mirror," she tweeted in response to images by Nick Miroff. "This is America. This is Texas. This is our course of action, the one we chose. I cannot and will not accept it." Nor should any of us.

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Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Image

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Photographer unknown, probably Nazi

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Jakelin's mother. Photo by Oliver de Rose/AP

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Felipe's funeral/ AP photo

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Felipe, the eldest son. Family photo.

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Jakelin, who was excited to be making the journey in her first pair of shoes. Family photo

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