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Adam Klasfeld @KlasfeldReports
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“I simply cannot believe that my government could have done this to these people,” legal coordinator for a Texas nonprofit, under oath, on Trump’s family separation policy.

One of 900+ pages of declarations by attorneys, immigrants and others recently made public.

Thread.
“G and her mother said goodbye to each other while crying, but G’s mother comforted her, saying she was going to visit her wherever she was going. Only later did G realize this was not true.”

Declaration by an investigator inside Washington AG’s office.
“I have seen separated families struggle with the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR’s) requirements for reunification.”

Project director for the Border Rights Project of Al Otro Lado, Los Angeles
“When I took off his clothes he was full of dirt and lice. It seemed like they had not bathed him the 85 days he was away from us.”

Mother from El Salvador on her youngest son “M,” born in August 2016
“I did not receive information about my grandchildren’s whereabouts after they were separated from me on April 25, 2018.”

Grandchildren’s ages: 3 and 7.
“[One] of the officers asked me, ‘In Guatemala, do they celebrate mother’s day?’ When I said yes, he said ‘Then Happy Mother’s Day’ because the next Sunday was Mother’s Day. I lowered my head so that my daughter would not see the tears forming in my eyes.”
“I was finally able to get through to someone at the shelter, but learned that the only way for S.K. to be returned to me was to submit a ‘reunification packet request’ to the shelter in order to be qualified as a ‘sponsor’ of my own daughter.”

S.K. is eight years old.
“Ludin was not allowed to bathe or brush her teeth for the eight days that she spent in the ‘dog pound.’”

Ludin is a mother who was separated from her 9 and 17 year old children.
“Because the detainees were chained together at the ankles, several stumbled and fell as we struggled to ascend and descend the steps of the bus and airplane. One man urinated himself as the detainees were not given bathroom privileges.”

Honduran mom, ripped from daughter 3 mths
“My daughter is at such an enjoyable age, when it is so sweet to be with her. ... My thoughts run in circles, and I feel as though I am going to lose my name.”

The daughter is half a year old, separated from her asylum-seeking father, who is detained in Oregon.
“The lawyer said that if I did not declare myself guilty, I would be unable to contact my daughter.”

Mother of a six-year-old girl from El Salvador
“The officer kept saying that I wasn’t my daughter’s mother. ... My life is my daughter.”

Asylum-seeking mother separated from her six-year-old and detained in the “icebox.”
“No one has interviewed me about my request for asylum.”

Mexican mother of twins, who crossed the border on May 19
“My daughter heard this and cried, she came to me and, crying said, ‘oh mom, oh mom’ (ay mami, ay mami), and she grabbed my leg. ... She was crying and crying while they took her away. I couldn’t say goodbye to her. My soul was breaking apart.”
“When I first spoke with ICE officers, they told us, ‘why did you come from your country?’, ‘don’t you know that we hate you people?’, ‘we don’t want you in our country.’ ... We are being treated like criminals in chains and everything. We’re just seeking refuge.”

Guatemalan mom
That should read: “I feel as though I am going to lose my mind.”

Autocorrect issue
“They did not let me say goodbye to him and I did not see him again... If no one can get him, he will stay in a place with children with no parents. I felt as though my life was over.”

Honduran mother separated from her son since May 18.
“The officers said that the children would not return. One said ‘it is the price to pay for crossing the border. We do this so that when you return to your countries you do not return, and so you tell your relatives not to come because we will take your children from you.’”
“I was in a section with only women. Karla was in another with only girls her age. I only saw her once when she was in line to get her food. We said hello from afar. She looked very sad. I never saw her again.”

Mother from El Salvador separated from her six-year old in May.
“The following day the officer told me that they were going to take my son to shower and they sent me somewhere else and they never returned with my son. I felt deceived. I never saw him again. ... I only ask that I be reunited with my son. He needs me.”

Mother of a 6-year-old.
Note: We are not one quarter of the way through these declarations, shared by @NewYorkStateAG this morning in three documents filed in the Western District of Washington.

This is the first of them.

agportal-s3bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/uploadedfiles/…
"They took me to the ‘icebox.’ ... It was very cold and we were only given blankets made of aluminum foil. We were sleeping on the freezing ground. We were being grossly shouted at.”

Honduran single mom separated from her 6-year-old
“Parents are desperate to talk to their children. Every time a parent has called me after calling their child, they cry.”

Volunteer at Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a humanitarian group that works in Mexico and the United States.

He recorded nine in this declaration.
“Not a night goes by without me crying, thinking that they aren’t with me and that they need me. Well I just want to tell the Government Committee to put yourselves in my place for a bit and think.”

“M,” parent of 2– and 7-year-old children.
“As of our last communication with them, none of the above individuals had been informed of plans to reunite them with their minor children, grandchildren, or other minor aged family members.”

Senior staff attorney for ABA Immigration Justice Project, referring to families here.
“I learned that the fathers were suffering from physical, emotional or psychological trauma as a result of being forcibly separated from their children.”

Portland Democratic @RepBlumenauer, describing his interactions with 123 men in Sheridan Federal Prison on June 16.
“The women I spoke to were extremely upset. Many of the women cried during our meeting.”

@RepJayapal, D-Seattle, on meeting 174 women, mostly asylum seekers, inside the SeaTac Federal Detention Center on June 9.
“Children who have been forcibly separated from their parents face not only this trauma, but also the trauma of having been torn from their parents, placed in detention centers and brought to new places and people that they may not know.”

Catholic Charities, Boston, refugee dir.
"I am confident that children’s rights have been or will be violated and that the State of New Mexico will be ill-prepared to provide a healthy environment for them should they be placed in New Mexico."

Stanford University-based child advocate with 25 years experience.
"My client reports that she wants to go back to 'my mama and my papa, and my three little sisters and my little brother' [ASAP]. After being separated from her father, she has no interest in remaining in the [US], even if she has a valid claim to legal status here."

She's 8.
"[It] is my belief that there are up to 300 total children separated from their families who are placed with these agencies and living in [NYC] at any given time, and that in recent months there have been over 350 separated children who have been placed in [NYC]."
"[If] children in Oregon have no family or any other source of support in Oregon, it is likely that at some point in the future, the children will enter the Oregon foster care system or become dependent on some form of public assistance."

He's referring to separated kids.
"I remain concerned about the effects of the family separation policy and I anticipate learning of other similarly distressing stories about immigrant children being forcibly separated from their parents and then brought to Virginia."

@RepDonBeyer, D-Virginia
"Of particular concern are children of tender age, for whom placement in foster care for several months represents a significant portion of their life & can create strong attachments. When these attachments need to be broken, the children experience add'l trauma."

@LIRSorg, VP
These are all declarations from the first of three documents submitted in federal court.

They represent roughly a third of the testimonies.
As a 10-year veteran reporter on the court beat, I have read countless legal documents, some quite brutal. You develop a thick skin. These were heart-wrenching. My eyes welled up writing excerpts.

I am pausing this thread for now and will return to it some other time.
These families do not have a holiday today. Moving on to the testimonies from the second document, the largest one at 423 pages. agportal-s3bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/uploadedfiles/…
First, clarifying the record of the thread on one typo in this tweet. There was an autocorrect error, and this should have read: “I feel as those I was going to lose my mind.”
I also want to call attention to the part of the excerpt here where the mother testifies that authorities threatened to put up her son with "an American family for adoption. That scared me a lot."
Now, back to the second document.
It "is evident to @supportKIND that there is no consistent policy for ensuring communication among separated children and parents."

Policy director, Washington-based legal nonprofit @supportKIND
"Both men struggled to maintain their composure while recounting the trauma that they experienced since coming to the [US] and ultimately broke down into tears. Our interpreter too broke down into tears, finding their stories too painful to bear."

Rep. @Call_Me_Dutch, D-MD
"I am concerned that now the process for Maria's children to be reunited with my family will have to start all over again."

D.C. resident, describing sponsoring her niece Maria, who emigrated from El Salvador with 2- and 7-year-old.

Read the process.
"I have made several calls to request access to Sheridan Federal Prison for the purpose of interviewing immigration detainees who were separated from their children. I have not received a single return call for any of the messages I left."

Oregon DOJ investigator. See the dates.
"The parents and children whom the defendants have separated at the border have not been afforded these visitation procedures, nor has there been any process to recognize or protect their rights."

Deputy commissioner, New York State Office of Children and Family Services
"I am very frustrated by this process and extremely worried about Agosto and his health and well being."

Agosto is her 8-year-old great-nephew
"The 'zero-tolerance policy' instituted at our border, which directly led to the sep. of children and parents, has caused irreparable social & emotional trauma to the hundreds of children now in our city as well as to their families detained across the country."

@RobinHoodNYC
Data "on the monthly number of US Border Patrol apprehensions of family units at the Southwest border shows that recent policies intended to deter families from attempting to enter the US without authorization have not had their desired deterrent effects."

U of Calif scholar
"Like millions of Americans, I was deeply concerned when I learned about the US Government policy of separating parents and children and sending the children to ORR custody."

Senior fellow at @MigrationPolicy Institute, Washington-based non-partisan think tank
We are about a quarter of the way through the second document. Taking a brief break.
"It makes me wonder, how is it possible that we did not learn from what we did to Japanese-Americans in World War II? I feel a lot of despair because it is happening again."

Joni Kimoto, put in a Japanese-American incarceration camp at age 4
"I simply cannot believe this is happening here, in America, in this day in age. For me and other survivors of the Holocaust, it feels like the horrors of World War II are beginning all over again."

Read this survivor's declaration. (p. 126 to 131) agportal-s3bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/uploadedfiles/…
"I feel an urgent necessity to speak out, to prevent the repetition of history, and it is in that spirit that I provide this declaration to the court."

Director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, referring to the "Nazi practice" of family separation
"Child separation was also the policy of a number of Latin American dictators and paramilitaries in the mid-twentieth century, which sought to terrorize communities thought to be involved in insurgencies and to avoid the raising of another generation of 'reds.'"

UMass scholar
"The separation of enslaved children from their parents was a regular and even commonplace dimension of slavery in the United States."

Johns Hopkins scholar
We are slightly more than halfway through the second document. Pausing for now. Will return soon.
“The potential crises for public health from the FLETC barracks housing contributed to the case for closure of the facility.”

APA fellow and doctor, warning of history of communicable diseases in the military camps like the ones where Trump wants to send the families
“I am aware of reports of unsafe and poor conditions at CBP facilities, including concrete floors, fenced enclosures, brutally cold temperatures in holding cells and sheets of foil used as blankets.”

Director of child welfare @FamiliesUSA, referring a study of 300, half under 12
“The separation of children from their families causes trauma to children.”

A chief of one of the branches of the California Department of Social Services
“In the long term, such trauma and high levels of stress places children at risk of heart disease, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

President @KidsPartnership
“Toxic stress from family separations often causes illness in children, causes them to miss school or act out at school. In Oregon, almost 25 percent of the K-12 school population is Latino,so the effect is felt.”

Oregon social worker, ex-state representative
“We all deserve an opportunity to pursue the American Dream and not be subjected to the American Nightmare that separates children, babies from their parents and loved ones.”

Chair, Oregon Commission of Hispanic Affairs
“I have observed the negative impact that the family separation policy has had on Rhode Island’s young people.”

Founder, @CASORhodeIsland
“The Family Separation policy of the Federal government requiring the separation of certain families who enter the U.S. causes serious and severe harm to the mental health and well-being of the children and parents who are subjected to it.”

Clinical psychologist
“As a tragic example of the current policy’s serious potential for harm, a Honduran man who was separated from his wife and 3-year-old son recently took his own life while detained in a holding cell.”

APA president and CEO letter to Trump on June 14
“Our study found that the odds of parents’ high psychological distress are 250% greater for parents who frequently worry that family members would get separated.”

George Washington University scholar on the psychological impacts beyond those immediately affected by the policy.
Almost through the second of three documents. Fewer than 100 pages left. Pausing again for now.
“This is one of the first empirical accounts of how immigration policy changes and news have impacted the lives of Latino families raising adolescent children.”

This is an exhibit for the prior declaration. Read the prior tweet for the startling statistic.
“The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-Term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families and Communities.”

Society for Research in Child Development. Exhibit among the declarations.
“The forcible separation of immigrant children from their parents is traumatic and cruel, and runs counter to our ethical standards, societal norms and national aspirations.”

Social worker with 30 years of experience, now working in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
“Parent-child separation causes more than momentary stress; it can have long-term detrimental effects on physical and emotional well-being.”

@NYSOMH, associate commissioner for division on children and families
“To that end, the state has directed [Delaware’s] courts, where possible consistent with the safety of family members, to ensure that homes ‘remain unbroken.’”

Child Advocate for the state of Delaware
“The current policy of separating children from their families has our community afraid of what is going to happen next.”

President, Latin American Community Center, Delaware
“She told me that she was never compensated for work totaling over $40,000. Though she has a record for the proof of invoices... she is afraid to officially submit to the Delaware Department of Labor b/c of the fear of being reported to ICE by the developer.”

On community fears.
“The challenged Trump Administration policy to forcibly separate families fundamentally contradicts the principles set forth in the New York Stage Constitution and Social Services Law.”

Executive Deputy Commissioner, @NYSOTDA
“Given... that children separated from their families as a result of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy have been placed in licensed facilies in California, CCL attempted to determine which licensed group homes and foster care agencies have contracts with ORR.”

State administrator
If you read that last one closely, it reveals that California’s state agency does not appear to have enough information about the kids. They have no census about how many are detained by the federal government, according to the administrator.
“If add’l resources are deflected away from foster children in the state’s custody in favor of contracts to care for children in ORR custody, that is likely to adversely impact the Dptmt’s mandate to safeguard the health, safety & well-being of these children.”

Washington state
Those are the declarations in the second of three documents of testimonies in the family separation case.

I will post declarations from the third and final document tomorrow.
Under the circumstances, a July 4th greeting doesn’t feel right here.

I’ll just say, if you are fortunate enough to spend the holiday with family, friends, and/or loved ones, treasure that.

“And yet I swear this oath-
America will be!”

Langston Hughes m.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/…
The sun sets behind the Statue of Liberty on my New York City ferry.
The third and final document of declarations (of the recently released batch) in the Trump family separation lawsuit in the Western District of Washington.

165 pages. agportal-s3bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/uploadedfiles/…
“Separating children from their immigrant parents will also threaten public safety and welfare in Somerville [Mass]. Anti-immigrant federal policies have created a culture of fear that has eroded trust in the police & local authorities.”

Somerville mayor & school superintendent
“If our schools experience an influx of children who have undergone severe trauma, including the forcible separation from parents, transfer from various locations around the country, & incarceration in immigration detention facilities, add’l resources will [be needed].”

Calif.
“The Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care is a program that provides public health expertise in meeting the medical, dental, mental and developmental needs of children and youth in foster care.”

California Department of Health Care Services, chief deputy director
“By statute, vulnerable communities include immigrants and refugees.”

California Department of Public Health, financial management branch chief
“As reported by legal services providers, almost all unaccompanied minors served by the State’s legal services program have viable legal claims.”

California Department of Social Services, Immigration and Refugees Programs, branch chief
“While children forcibly separated from their parents pursuant to the Trump Administration’s policy are not presently located w/in any facility within the State of Delaware, Bethany Christian Services... has a business location w/in... Delaware.”

Contractor tied to @BetsyDeVosED
More on that, plus other Trump-linked contractors detaining immigrants, in this New York Times article published yesterday. nytimes.com/2018/07/04/us/…
"The ongoing fear of Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE') & deportation, and increased ICE visibility, in the community has children arriving at school upset, fearful, & in tears, & has led families to avoid seeking health and preventive services."

Chelsea, Mass. schools
"[Boston Public School] social workers and guidance counselors may need to spend more time with their students, to help them overcome the impacts of the trauma inflicted upon them."

@BostonSchools, assistant superintendent from the office of English learners
"In Minnesota, all children, including children who have been separated from their parents, are entitled to a free public education."

Minnesota Department of Education, assistant commissioner
"Non-citizen children are eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program in settings that are subject to public education standards, such as Head Start or pre-kindergarten or school-age care programs operated under public education standards."

@MinnesotaDHS, CCAP manager
"Undocumented minors, who are residents of Minnesota, are eligible to receive [Emergency Medical Assistance], provided they meet all other Medical Assistance eligibility requirements apart from immigration/citizenship status."

@MinnesotaDHS, state medical director
"The infliction of undue trauma on children, & the reckless placement of children in New Jersey in potentially unsafe settings, reasonably ensures that
@NJDCF will incur add'l costs and obligations as a result of the [US'] policy of separating asylum seeking immigrant families."
"Removal of a child from the family should only be considered as a temporary, last resort."

Trump's @StateDept's 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, as quoted by @HealthNYGov's commissioner here
"While costs will vary depending on the school district's location and child's needs, the state-wide average to educate a student in New York is approximately $22,000 per year."

@NYSEDNews, director of education finance, building a record on what Trump's policy will cost schools
"@NYCHealthSystem facilities have treated several children who, based upon information provided to us in the course of taking patient histories, were separated from their families at the southwestern United States border."

@NYCHealthSystem, president

Inc. for suicidal ideation
"It is possible that children who are detained by the federal government in Oregon may not be in @DHSgov custody and may not qualify for any healthcare programs and/or coverage in Oregon."

@OHAOregon, director
"As explained above, children in Oregon, including those separated from parents, are entitled to a public education. The cost of that education as of 2016-17 was $11,715 per student, with 92% from state and local resources."

@ORDeptEd, government and legal affairs manager
Roughly halfway through the last of the three documents. Pausing this thread right now and will return to it later.
"These children have often suffered severe trauma in their home countries and are fleeing from violence, abuse and neglect."

Attorney with @YouthRightsJust, a Portland-based non-profit public defense law firm
"It has been reported that children abruptly separated by their families suffer severe long-term psychological harm. It remains to be seen how the separation of these families will affect the children living in the state of Rhode Island."

@myRWU School of Law scholar
"Unaccompanied children who have been separated from their families at the southern border of the United States, transported and housed in Virginia will likely result in the add'l expenditure of limited state resources in the area of public education."

@VDOE_news, exec officer
"Depending on each child's needs and location, per pupil spending could vary significantly. For example, students with disabilities, those who have experienced trauma, and those who are not English speakers will often have greater needs."

@VTEducation, acting secretary
"If federal policy changes result in more children residing in the state of Vermont, the state is committed to ensuring that those children are receiving safe and adequate care."

@VermontDCF, commissioner
"If federal policy changes result in more children residing in the state of Vermont, the state will make sure those children receive health insurance coverage."

Department of Vermont Health Access, financial director
"This would further reduce the already limited resources that are available to children in foster care in the State’s custody, especially those with very highly specialized needs."

@waDSHS supervisor, on their group homes contracting with the federal gov't instead of state
"Children separated from the parent(s) because of the @DHSgov's 'zero tolerance' policy are likely experiencing some level of psychological trauma."

@waDSHS administrator, calculating the costs of long-term inpatient psychiatric treatment
Washington state court administrator authenticating a list of more than 400 cases with the docket code FOSIJS ("Findings and Order Regarding Eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status').

DHS classifies kids they separate as UACs, eligible there for that status.
As you can see, this last batch of declarations largely shows state administrators calculating the costs of Trump's family separation policy and how it will strain their local services.

Turning to other news for a moment. I'll return to and finish this thread later today.
Now, let's finish up these declarations and finish up the thread.
"If federal policy changes result in more children residing within the State of Washington, we will make sure those children have the opportunity to obtain a high quality education. That will require add'l state and local expenditures."

Chief legal officer, Washington OPSI
"In state fiscal year 2018, the State's projected cost to cover undocumented immigrant children is $24 million, and the State's average project cost per undocumented immigrant child is $1,280."

Washington State Health Care Authority, CFO, saying health costs "relatively stable"
"@HeartlandHelps is a participant in the Program and receives reimbursement from the State of Illinois for breakfasts and lunches provided to children in its custody at seven (7) Heartland Alliance sites."

@ISBEnews, exec director of Safe and Healthy Climate on school lunches
Context for the declarations on the costs to states: One of the forms of relief that the federal lawsuit seeks is "Award such additional relief as the interests of justice may require."
"The children and their parents will likely need additional behavioral health services due to the emotional trauma they have endured as a result of the separation resulting for the Trump administration policies."

@DCHealthCareFin, Director of Health Care Policy & Research Admin
"If federal policies result in more children within the state of North Carolina, the State will have to make sure those children have an opportunity to obtain a sound, basic education. This will require add'l state and local expenditures."

N. Carolina, Deputy Human Services Sec.
"Over the past two months, the population of @HeartlandHelps care has increasingly included children who have been separated from their families at the borders of the United States."

@HeartlandHelps, VP, who also is exec director of its human services agency
"If @DHSgov continues to separate children from their legitimate families and place them in long-term foster care programs and facilities in our state, it will almost certainly have detrimental effects on the federal and state programs."

@waDSHS, refugee office chief (ORIA)
Those are excerpts from all 99 declarations, spanning 910 pages, in three documents filed in the Western District of Washington, attached to a motion seeking expedited discovery into Trump's family separation policy.

That's 99 stories, from across the country.
Here is the table of contents, to check to see if I missed any of them. ag.ny.gov/sites/default/…
Here's the caption of the original complaint, with all the states leading the lawsuit and the defendants.
This may seem like a lot of stories, but this is the tip of the iceberg.

"Most Plaintiff States know that separated parents or children have been relocated within their borders - but several States have been unable to speak with them," this motion for expedited discovery says.
Here is that motion in full. ag.ny.gov/sites/default/…
Collectively, these declarations paint a portrait of how Trump's family separation regime has been experienced from the POV of immigrants, attorneys, advocates, non-profits, scholars, and administrators from overextended state agencies.
A Holocaust survivor and a woman who lived in a Japanese-American incarceration camp as a young girl testified about how the program reminded them of their own painful historical memories.

With dozens of dots, these declarations comprise a chilling pointillist image.
Since I started live-tweeting this, multiple people have asked me how they could help. Endorsements may be beyond my ken, but I will note that these declarations have shone a light on several organizations working directly with the children.
This thread may guide your own research for local groups in your area and national groups working on the ground and fighting in the courts.

Thank you for following this long thread, and thank you for caring.
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