Another open letter to congress:
Today is traditionally the day Americans mark their independence from tyranny. However, today Americans are imposing their own tyranny on migrants and their children in concentration camps. America’s president is using these camps for political purposes as well as to enrich his cronies. As if this were not enough, 45 is marking today with an expensive military parade, just like his totalitarian heroes. You should be furious. You should be doing all you can to stop these camps, and this president’s violations of the constitution. Instead, you enable them.
I am writing you to demand that you take action. 1) Close the concentration camps; 2) investigate 45 and his allies for corruption concerning the funding of these private camps; 3) block 45’s diversion of funds from their congressionally approved purposes to 45’s vanity projects.
1) Concentration Camps. The children are being detained for political reasons, without trial, due to their racial profile, and in terrible conditions. The US, to its shame, has done this before. It did it to Germans in WWI and Japanese in WWII. The Nazis also did it to Jews, LGBT, and Roma in WWII. The Japanese did it to the Chinese in WWII. In all of these cases, the camps started just as the detention of these children. None of them started as explicit death camps, though some of them became so.
It is legal under US and international law to enter a country to seek asylum. Simply being Hispanic does not make one a criminal. Even if one granted the faulty premise that all of these people were criminals, tearing children from their families remains inhumane, contrary to their rights, and in violation American values—human dignity and worth, freedom, and, yes, immigration.
It is your duty to end these concentration camps before they turn into death camps. It is time for you to rediscover your compassion and sense of humanity, rather than political ambition and fear of defeat at the polls. Your job is not to protect your party or to get re-elected. Your job is to do the right thing. Concentration camps are never the right thing.
I am furious over the treatment of children by the state. Moreover, the Jewish and Christian traditions understand God to be on the side of the marginal, the weak, and the foreigner. Exodus 22:21, 23:9, “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Lev. 19:33, “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien.” Instead of merely the external trappings of religion, the prophet Isaiah declares, “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (58:6). Indeed, the oppression of the foreigner and the poor are main parts of prophetic critiques in the Hebrew Bible: “The people of the land have practised extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress” (Ezek 22:29); “Then I will draw near to you for judgement; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow, and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.” (Mal 3:5). Many people in the US wish to carry the mantle of this tradition; but to do so, you must understanding it requires you not only to not cage the children of foreigners, but also to provide them succor graciously. Otherwise, you are merely those who will claim they know God but will be told was never known by God (Matt 7:21–23).
2) Private Enrichment of 45’s allies. The government is paying $750 a person per day to the private company Comprehensive Health Services to house children in concentration camps. Nevertheless, the government claims they cannot afford to give them basic sanitary conditions. That is more than a night in 45’s own “luxury” hotel in DC! For that price, the children ought to be eating luxury foods and sleeping on Egyptian cotton, not in squalid conditions with no sanitation. The reason is not lack of funding. The reason is clear: greed and cruelty. This is providing profit for the investors in DC Capital Partners, who own 75% of Comprehensive Health Services’ parent company, Coliburn International. On the Board of Caliburn is John Kelley. Guess who are officers of the board of DC Capital Partners? Richard L. Armitage, Michael Corbin, Michael V. Hayden, Donald M. Kerr, Jr., Anthony C. Zinni, Stephen F. Loftus. (see https://dccapitalpartners.com/overview/boardOfAdvisors.html). All former military and administration persons. A key element of Germany’s Fascist regime was the granting of government functions to businesses run by party cronies. These concentration camps are functioning the same way. There was no competition for this contract. It was awarded quietly, under the radar.
3) Use your congressional power over funding. I am still furious that, despite the above situation of excessive money being poured into private hands for migrant detention despite their appalling conditions, that you funded the system even more. Despite the administrations’ claim to be short of money, they are still willing to divert money designed to protect our national parks to have planes and tanks to celebrate 45’s ego today. He is also using it to entertain his GOP supporters, just like he is using the concentration camps to enrich his supporters. This is another sign of graft, and it is your job as congress to stop it.
Free the children. Free the migrants. Open impeachment proceedings.