Judge orders all detained immigrant children released. But only because COVID-19 is 'on fire' in detention centers.

As a result of declining health conditions within ICE Family Retention Centers, a U.S. District Judge from California has ordered the release of all detained immigrant children by July 17. While this is presented as a victory on a humanitarian level, it still leaves a copious amount of questions. Why can't all families be released while the coronavirus is running rampant? Why are kids the only concern? How long do kids have to wait to see their families again? Will they ever see them? If no one in the U.S. will sponsor the kids or they don't have a relative on site, will they be placed in better conditions?


Children are locked in cells and cages nearly all day long. Yazmin Juárez, a Guatemalan woman, watched her 19-month-old daughter Mariee die of a viral lung infection from neglect and mistreatment after being held in an ICE facility in 2018. She told a congressional panel that she begged for medical staff for help. She watched as her daughter got more and more sick, while doctors and nurses barely treated her. "We made this journey because we feared for our lives," she said in Spanish at the hearing, with a photograph of her and her daughter next to her. "I hoped to build a better, safer life for my daughter. Unfortunately, I watched my baby girl die, slowly and painfully."

This shouldn't be happening. Why are the detention centers in such poor conditions? Babies should not be dying. Families shouldn't have to lose their loves ones. Although children being released may seem like a victory right now, it's a very small one, as there is still an overall systemic health and human rights problem at these detentions centers continually plaguing the United States.





Upon hearing reports from federal court monitors, Judge Dolly Gee referred to the ICE-operated facilities as being "on fire." According to NPR, Gee wrote, "Although progress has been made, the Court is not surprised that [COVID-19] has arrived at both the [Family Residential Centers] and [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities, as health professionals have warned all along."

ICE has been reluctant to release children being held in retention centers. "In order for [ICE] to do it in a humane way, they have to release the child with the parent," says attorney Holly Cooper, co-director of the University of California and Davis Immigration Law Clinic. She tells NPR, "What we're hoping is that ICE will do the humane thing and not separate any child from their parents because that's what the children want. That's what the advocates want. That's what the parents want."

Gee's orders can be carried out in two ways: one is that minors can be released to suitable sponsors provided there is signed consent from their parents or guardians. Secondly, minors can be released along with their parents or guardians in the event ICE, or a court document, determines that the conditions at their current facility justifies a transfer to a non-congregate setting.

The real problem lies with our definition of "humane." These families risked everything to come to this country for a better life. It is easy to say they broke the law because they didn't go through the appropriate channels, but not everyone is educated on American law.



These families risk so much to start another life in America. Let's be honest, it's probably not the best environment where they are escaping from. But these detention centers may even be worse. President Trump kicked off his 2015 campaign calling immigrants from Mexico "rapists" and "killers." Our country can do better.

Perhaps some may have unsavory intentions, but last time I checked, so do American citizens. So, put yourself in their shoes. Unless your children have a safe place to go with a relative or close friend, would you really let them go to a foreign building where you cannot protect them?

Ask yourself, is this really a victory for humanity? What would wealthy and privileged Americas do if faced with this issue? Our government can do more.

Courtesy of Creative Commons
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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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Public Domain

A very simple thing happened earlier this week. Dr. Seuss Enterprises—the company that runs the Dr. Seuss estate and holds the legal rights to his works—announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss children's books because they contain depictions of people that are "hurtful and wrong" (their words). The titles that will no longer be published are And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat's Quizzer.

This simple action prompted a great deal of debate, along with a great deal of disinformation, as people reacted to the story. (Or in many cases, just the headline. It's a thing.)

My article about the announcement (which contains examples of the problematic content that prompted the announcement) led to nearly 3,000 comments on Upworthy's Facebook page. Since many similar comments were made repeatedly, I wanted to address the most common sentiments and questions:

How do we learn from history if we keep erasing it?

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