There is a growing humanitarian crisis in America precipitated by Donald Trump and his regime of hardline nationalistic xenophobes — most of whom have little or no experience in public policy and have spent their self-satisfying existences trying to get rich in one manner or another. As Trump returns from yet another excursion in what has become a regime on a four-year extended vacation, he sets foot in an America that is not so much unlike North Korea anymore. Our nation is nearly unrecognizable in less time than a reality television season and witnessing a level of brutality only seen historically during times of upheaval and war.

Not since the American Civil War when families shot at each other across fields, or either of the World Wars when public panic spurred the segregation of our “enemy” and development of internment camps, have Americans responded so negatively and harshly to perceived threats. In 2018, our nation is marginalizing and abusing more people than any other era of any living generation. In a country where less than one third of the population fits Trump’s ideal, another 225 million are suffering: they are the men, women, and children of various races, religions, sexual preferences, and journalists that have become the so-called “enemies” of the Trump state.

Most disturbingly, Trump and his regime are targeting the most vulnerable and most innocent of all in their march toward a new kind of America that is less “land of the free, and home of the brave,” and more a scary and all-too-real episode of “Handmaid’s Tale.” In the new Trump America, the most innocent find themselves under a constant barrage of attack where our nation is no longer a place where parents are hopeful that children will have better lives than they have had.

This week, while Trump rubbed elbows and drooled over pristine beachfront real estate in North Korea, the regime’s SS-era equivalent, Jeff Sessions — and his thuggish minions in ICE, CBP, and DHS — began caging children in concentration camps. Not since Nazi Germany has such a once great nation suffered the shame of its leaders.

In Nogales, Arizona and Brownsville, Texas, the regime is establishing a new kind of modern concentration camp to house children who law enforcement agents have forcibly separated from their parents. They are the latest and most unfortunate victims of the Trump regime’s heartless new humanitarian violations designed to terrorize immigrant populations into submission. Under the influence of rabid Trumpism, fueled by ignorant flag-flying Wal-Mart shoppers and so-called Evangelical Christians who fear non-whites as much as Trump himself, Sessions has taken the U.S. down a dark new path.

While children as young as only a few weeks old are being taken from their nursing mothers — some arriving at the border to seek asylum from terror, abuse, and wretched lives of danger — the regime is scrambling to build concentration “tent camps” to house parentless children. Too many questions remain unanswered and attempts by some officials to peer behind the new American Iron Curtain demonstrate the ruthless nature of the Trump regime.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) travelled to the facility in Brownsville to investigate. Merkley attempted to visit the concentration camp to verify the safety and condition of children — some of whom may be among the 1,500 that the Trump regime has “lost” in the system — and was denied access…just like a U.N. weapons inspector getting stopped at the North Korean border.

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Sen. Jeff Merkley attempts to get answers from a the Gestapo offices in Texas.

However, in Trump’s new America, not only immigrant children are being neglected and abused by the regime. The impacts of Trump policies reach far beyond the steel cages and space-blanket beds in Texas and Arizona. The regime makes no distinction between citizen child and alien in executing policies that harm children.

As American students prepare to leave elementary, junior, and high schools for the summer, many face the unfortunate uncertainty of their next meal. Like their captive counterparts in cages in the desert southwest, millions of American children suffer from malnutrition and poverty influenced hunger; and without school lunches during the summer, some may not have the security of knowing when they will have a hot meal again.

The federal school lunch program provides meals to nearly 31 million children every school day. In 2016, it accounted for a mere $13 billion in federal expenditures. In an attempt to “drain the swamp,” last year the Trump regime and the GOP scaled back nutritional guidelines for school lunches. The move allowed schools to provide lower quality foods and less healthy meals, putting America’s children at increased risk of failure, obesity, diabetes, and a multitude of other problems.

While the U.S. free lunch (and breakfast) programs provide some nutrition and full bellies each school day, the typical lunch menu pales in comparison to many other nations. In U.S. schools, the focus is on budgets, time, and dollars, rather than fruits, vegetables, and healthy choices. Despite the program’s downsides, for millions of children, school meals are the highlight of their dietary day when mom and/or dad are unable to provide adequate meals at home.

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Find out how your county ranks for child hunger and food insecurity.

In the Deep South, the heart of Trump’s foolish and ignorant base, food insecurity rates are higher than anywhere else in the nation. In both rural southern communities and metropolitan food deserts, school students rely on the education system to provide a meal that might not otherwise be had at home. Where food insecurity and hunger rates among children are above 30%, school lunch programs are a necessity.

Whether an immigrant child in a fenced warehouse in Arizona, or a hungry kindergartner in Alabama, how America is treating the innocent and vulnerable is not congruent with “greatness” as a measure of a nation. Trump returned from his photo op with another dictator, lauding the accomplishments and qualities of Kim Jong-un — a man whose nation struggles to survive on a pittance of rice rations and locks up or kills dissidents without hesitation. Yet, the regime is mimicking much of the same behavior domestically.

America has sunk to a new low in how it treats children — those who live here legally, and those who know no better what legal means. One need only ask where the regime is finding money in a morally barren and bankrupt swamp to build cages and concentration camps to punish immigrant children…and discover that the answer may lie where a school lunch program used to exist for the innocent students of a once great nation.

 

Featured Image: Ross D. Franklin/AP

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