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Children in immigration detention facilities are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, according to the Washington Post. (Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

Detained Children Forced to Recite Pledge of Allegiance 'Out of Respect' for Country That Tore Them Away From Parents

"This is calculated sadism."

Julia Conley

While tearing children away from parents under a policy designed to keep asylum seekers from entering U.S. society, the Trump administration is forcing those same children to pledge their allegiance to the country that is actively trying to expel them.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week stating that families would be detained together under his "zero tolerance" immigration policy, but thousands of children remain separated from their parents.

The Washington Post on Monday detailed the conditions in which many of those children are living, in detention centers like Casa Padre in Brownsville, Texas, describing "a converted Walmart where each morning they are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in English, to the country that holds them apart from their parents."

A facility employee told the Post, "We tell them, 'It's out of respect.'"

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, Casa Padre also features a prominently displayed mural of President Donald Trump.

As details about the treatment of children in detention facilities have emerged, many have drawn comparisons to internment camps for Japanese-Americans that were established during World War II. Actor and activist George Takei's memories of the camp he lived in as a child mirror the descriptions of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

As the Post's report coincided with much discussion of the Virginia restaurant whose owner refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the weekend—and other public protests against administration officials—many critics strongly pushed back against the notion that Americans should be concerned with "civility" toward the Trump administration—while children are being forced to show "respect" for the government holding them hostage.


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