One in Four Miamians Are Cool With Trump Ripping Children Away From Their Parents

If you haven't taken five minutes to listen to the audio published yesterday of young children screaming in terror and begging for their parents while a Border Patrol agent laughs at them, it's your duty as an American to hear it. This is the United States in 2018, where President Trump's official policy is to rip kids away from their parents and lock them in cages.

In Miami, that brutal truth is right around the corner. More than 1,000 migrant children are locked in a heavily guarded compound near Homestead Air Reserve Base. Either you're either OK with that reality or you're not. It cannot be ignored.

Take a good look around your office and on the road this morning, because one in every four of your neighbors is, in fact, totally cool with a plan that Catholic church leaders have rightly called "wantonly cruel."

That's the result of a poll out this morning from the Global Strategy Group, which surveyed voters in Rep. Carlos Curbelo's Miami-to-Key West district. Curbelo's district includes the Homestead area where a former Job Corps site is now the de facto prison for hundreds of migrant children. 

Sure, there's a more positive way to look at the results of the survey, which shows that 64 percent of residents oppose taking kids as young as infants away from their parents and putting them in jail. The most commonly used word they chose to describe the plan was "inhumane." And 78 percent said they were "concerned" by what Trump's administration is doing to these children.

But in a few decades, when historians ask how the most developed nation on Earth could allow psychological torture of thousands of children to become government policy, take a look at survey results like these.

Twenty-seven percent of Miamians say that they're fully aware of what Trump is doing and that they support it. That's more than a quarter. Assuming the poll is accurately weighted, it means that countywide, hundreds of thousands of your neighbors have seen photos of innocent children crying behind chain-link fences and decided that's just fine.

In a way, that's more frightening than Trump's all-too-predictable move to dehumanize even the children of immigrants.

It's incumbent upon the rest of us not to accept this atrocity. Call Sen. Marco Rubio, who defended the policy this weekend when asked by a Florida TV station. (His office numbers are 202-224-3041 and 305-318-8553.) Call Curbelo and Mario Diaz-Balart, who both say they're opposed to Trump's policy (202-225-2778 and 202-225-4211, respectively). Call lame-duck Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (202-225-3931). Call Debbie Wasserman Schultz (202-225-7931) as well as Sen. Bill Nelson (202-224-5274), who is visiting the Homestead compound today to check on the welfare of those kids.  

Activists are planning nationwide marches against the policy June 30. Get involved. Show up.

Maybe most important, if your family, friends, or co-workers are onboard with this blatant and horrific abuse of human rights, call them out on it. Save a link to that audio of screaming children on your phone and make them listen to it.

Anyone who backs Trump on this should have to listen to those kids crying every night. 
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink