This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

UN Asks US to Stop Separating Migrant Kids and Parents

Thanks to Liz Kennedy for linking me to an AP story that the United Nations has called upon the United States to stop separating children from parents as they are detained after crossing the border into the U.S. seeking asylum. 
The United Nations human rights office called on the Trump administration Tuesday to “immediately halt” its accelerating policy of separating children from their parents after they cross the U.S. border with Mexico, insisting there is “nothing normal about detaining children.”
Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights, scolded the United States over the hundreds of children removed from parents who were jailed for entering the country illegally. She said border control appears to take precedence over child protection and care in the U.S.
Nikki Haley, who is the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, responded just as Martin Short did in one of his great comedy sketches several years ago: "Go interview yourself!"
Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, lashed back: “Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council.”
Liz also pointed to another recent article detailing the horrible conditions in which the separated children are living, and which also reminds us of the Trump administration's "rationale" for the separations:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has defended the practice of separating parents and family members from children at the border, which comes as part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” border policy. “If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said in a speech last month. “If you don’t like that, then don’t smuggle children over our border.”
The idea here is that Jeff Sessions wants to send a message to potential migrants to not bring their children with them. It turns out that if the Trump administration wants this message to be out there, it needs to come from the passage of immigration legislation by the U.S. Congress. Instead, a U.S. Senator from Oregon tried to visit a facility in Texas that was housing some of the children, and the facility called the local police to escort him away. 

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