How It Starts: There Is Something Terribly Beyond Wrong In Texas

How It Starts: There Is Something Terribly Beyond Wrong In Texas


There has been a child who has died after leaving the ICE Detention facility in Dilley, Texas — which is about an hour southwest of San Antonio. Reports by The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times report the death of this child happened after he/she left the facility.

With all the confusion of families being separated, lack of accurate records, outright neglect to the children in custody and allegations of sexual abuse to those being held in these for-profit detention centers, it almost seems like the appropriate Hollywood thriller twist someone now should wind up dead under mysterious circumstances.

These articles identify the child who died in two ways:  as a toddler in terms of age, and having a grandmother in New Jersey. The article in the interest of fairness and just reporting, state they are having a hard verifying when exactly this toddler died. In a country in which one can boast of being able to do everything from the comfort of home with any electronic device which hosts Bixby, Siri or Alexa, the fact a government agency cannot keep track of something basic as names in a database is staggering!

The toddler is reported to have contracted a respiratory infection while in the Dilley Detention facility. Despite ICE officials saying the conditions are appropriate and the children are cared for, this incident is a reminder even in the ‘best’ of circumstances, not everything can be controlled. Even in the best of times, with all things being equal, the human factor in an equation is always an unstable variable.

In looking at the tragedy of this story, in the face of explanations of the head of the Department of Health and Senior Services, what cannot be avoided or explained, is the base fact there are better than 1,500 children either misplaced, still displaced and lost in this system. From this system, and as a result, this child– who had a naturalized American grandmother–was prevented from getting to her. This is the part of this story which is heartbreaking.

There will be some upon reading these articles whom will spin the fortified talking points regarding immigration:  immigrate ‘correctly’, follow the law, ‘ICE is doing nothing wrong’, and ‘if we have to take away children to let immigrating adults know we’re serious we will.’

Herein lies the problem.

In exercising logic, there should be a basic record of names for all those being housed in these facilities. If only for the merit of returning children to their parents according to the policy put forth, and complying with the ruling of a federal court. That is, if the system by which this child was a part of was honorable. It does not matter when this child died; the child died after being separated from anyone and everyone whom could help. This child was, and is, an example of the causalities of dishonorable, false and racially motivated policy.

The depth of this matter can only be imagined. There are children being housed in a for-profit detention facility, and after the release of one child, a toddler, from cramped quarters with other children (whom it would seem have not had traditional vaccination schedules put forth and adhered to by the American Academy of Pediatrics), this ‘respiratory’ infection could literally be anything airborne!  This situation is compounded by this child’s age:  toddlers’ range from one to three years of age.

In review, there was a child of immigrant parents, taken from his/her parents, held in a United States government for-profit detention center. This toddler was housed in a facility with children with normal childhood illnesses which are all but eradicated in this country. From time spent in this facility, this child became ill. After leaving this facility, this child died from an infection contracted during the time in detention. In these facts, what is made all the more devastating, is major new outlets have yet to determine the name, sex, age or exactly when this child died!

It is one thing to have racist, xenophobic ideals. It’s another to have racist, xenophobic ideals to powered by those whom agree and know how to mask these belief to give these ideals or attitudes power and flight. When this happens, people die, and no one wants to be responsible. Yet everyone involved in this situation, from ICE agents to the President, is.

Jennifer P. Harris

Jennifer P. Harris

Jennifer P. Harris is a lifelong St. Louis, Missouri resident, married mother of two, and founder of the blog The Ideal Firestarter ( since December 2016. She is a freelance writer, and contributor to the blog Write To Life. She is an independent author of several books available on Amazon, including the poetry series Love Songs Of the Unrequited, and her newest release, Writelife.