Today is Universal Children's Day. Who knew?
I'm guessing not the unknown number of innocents locked up across the country by Homeland Security as undocumented immigrants. We didn't have time to crank out an expose since the event only came into the inbox a few hours ago.
However, reliable sources have it that "more than 120 U.S.-based non-governmental organizations and advocates working to protect children issued a Call to Action to the U.S. and the international community to end the practice of detaining migrant children and ensure that these children receive the necessary care and services."
"Many of these children are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian," said Richard Parkins, Director of Episcopal Migration Ministries and Chair of Refugee Council USA, in the release.
"They may have fled to escape persecution, trafficking, gang violence or family abuse, and they need urgent protection.
The Call to Action is a plea to Bush and the U.S. Congress to protect migrant children. And then some.
Alternatives to detention programs should be fully funded so that the detention of migrant children and families with children is a measure of last resort and only for the most exceptional circumstances.
The Department of Homeland Security should immediately transfer unaccompanied migrant children to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and children in immigration detention or custody should receive legal services as well as education, medical and mental health care.
The statement also calls on the United States to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child — an important human rights treaty that has been signed by every country BUT THE U.S. AND SOMALIA. [Emphasis: mine; Outrage: ours?]
"The U.S. should be a model for the international community on the protection of migrant children", said Andrea Black, Executive Director of Detention Watch Network.
"We urge our government to act now to fully protect these most vulnerable children."
Sounds reasonable enough. But this U.S.-Somali thing... Makes you imagine all sorts of stuff. I mean are their child fighters really covert CIA operatives training to tackle Iran or Osama. And would that, you know, make it okay?
I mean, as Wolf Blitzer went to great pains to grill our Demotic candidates in Vegas: It's Human Rights or Security, right? Healthy children or our War on Terror.
Tell the truth now. If 50 Somali child "warriors" could take out Osama, wouldn't you give the innocents over to intensive military training, likely torture and death? What about 500? 1,000?
If you're not offended by this course of questioning, I suggest you turn in your citizenship papers now. Hand them over to some morally superior, though unrecognized, immigrant.
Preferably a child.