Where are the girls and toddlers in the families separated by Trump's cruel policy choices? That's a question we've been asking here since last weekend, but no answers appear to be forthcoming.
Nicolle Wallace asked reporter Jacob Soboroff about it during her show today, and his answer was grim. "HHS won't let us in to see the girls," he reported.
"I spoke today with a high level official at HHS," Soboroff told Wallace, "and asked them can we go in and see them or at least get some photographs?"
"He offered me photographs from 2016 before the zero tolerance was put into place. I politely declined. We don't want those photos. We want to see the girls and toddlers."
Soboroff was told they would have footage and photos, but not for two more days. In the age of digital media, there is absolutely no reason for such a delay. None.
Where are the girls? Where are the toddlers. We understand that the administration wants to show only the boys so they can pretend those children are future MS-13 gang members, but we are taxpayers and we need to see ALL the children being held in cages in our names.
A bit later in the segment, Jennifer Palmieri, Hillary Clinton's communications director, expressed serious concerns about those girls.
"If HHS is not showing photos, there is not a good reason," she said. "There is a really terrible reason why they're not showing the photos."
"I find it really distressing they're telling Jacob it's two more days before we can see the state that these girls are in."
Yes, it is really distressing, for a number of reasons. They have separated children from their parents and from their sibliings. Girls are separated from boys; toddlers from older siblings. They will only show us the boys because it fits their narrative, but there is a far darker one emerging.
It has long been known that evangelical organizations use foreign adoptions as a way to fill their pews. Kathryn Joyce's 2013 book details how evangelical organizations take these kids in and essentially are human traffickers in Jesus' name.
To tens of millions of evangelicals, adoption is a new front in the culture wars: a test of “pro-life” bona fides, a way for born again Christians to reinvent compassionate conservatism on the global stage, and a means to fulfill the “Great Commission” mandate to evangelize the nations. Influential leaders fervently promote a new “orphan theology,” urging followers to adopt en masse, with little thought for the families these “orphans” may already have.
Conservative evangelicals control much of that industry through an infrastructure of adoption agencies, ministries, political lobbying groups, and publicly-supported “crisis pregnancy centers,” which convince women not just to “choose life,” but to choose adoption. Overseas, conservative Christians preside over a spiraling boom-bust adoption market in countries where people are poor and regulations weak, and where hefty adoption fees provide lots of incentive to increase the “supply” of adoptable children, recruiting “orphans” from intact but vulnerable families.
One of the agencies mentioned in the book is Bethany Christian Services. You will, therefore, not be shocked or otherwise surprised to discover that this particular NGO is one handling these children ripped from their parents.
While this policy is too new to know whether or not it will become an opportunity to fill evangelical quivers and pews with frightened young faces, it isn't hard to imagine it going in that direction, particularly since Donald Trump loves to pander to his evangelical keepers.
It's important, I think, to step back far enough from the hysteria to understand two things: First, Trump does not want the border situation to ever resolve. And second, he does not see these families as families, or even human. To him, they are vermin, insects and roaches, "Infesting" his lily white country.
It is up to us to drown out his cadre of old white bigots and stand up for what's moral and right. There are marches and actions planned for June 30, 2018. Plan to attend one. Plan to stand up for the families. Plan to register voters. Plan to get people to the polls.
Make this policy his downfall.