As the warm and fuzzy Father’s Day video greetings roll in over Twitter, Congressperson Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) is planning a march on Tornillo, Texas, a name which is fast becoming synonymous with barbarity. It’s been widely reported that up to 360 migrant children who have been separated from their families are expected to be held at a tent encampment there, representing just a fraction of the nearly 2,000 children who’ve been separated from “alleged adult guardians,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.
On Thursday, Jeff Sessions delightedly invoked the power of God, and a touch of 19th-century bigotry, to justify the new “zero tolerance” policy. “I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13,” he said, grinning, “to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes.”
“The government tolerated lynching just like they tolerated slavery,” Reverend Jesse Jackson pointed out on Friday.
The past month has brought a torrent of horrible stories stemming from the new policy: an undocumented mother says her baby was taken from her while she was breastfeeding, which the DHS denies; a Honduran father took his own life in custody after being separated from his wife and child, which Border Patrol confirms; and MSNBC toured a detention facility, finding “essentially a prison” for migrant children.
It’s also been brought to the public’s attention that Tornillo is a furnace this week, with temperatures expected to rise to 104 degrees next Saturday.
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But, Rep. O’Rourke said in a statement on Thursday, “It really doesn’t matter where the tent cities are constructed, we shouldn’t be doing this.”
Several Democrats, including Senators Chris Van Hollen (MD) and Jeff Merkley (OR) will be making the trip. The march convenes tomorrow at 9:30.