Torture of immigrant Children Continues, But the Public Outrage Reflects the Profound Transformation of U.S. Child Rearing

Bill Resnick

October 18, 2018



On July 14th  2018 the  The New York Times reported that holding facilities for immigrant children separated from their parents were enforcing a "no touching" policy: children, even siblings, were not permitted to hug, hold hands, or touch one another in any way.  It quoted a 9 year old girl not allowed to touch her baby brother. A Washington Post report quoted one staff worker in a toddlers room who had failed to calm a distraught child. The worker explained that she couldn’t console the child because we’re “not allowed to touch the children.” Widely covered in media, a big story for a short time, it triggered a great public outrage that forced the administration to temporarily retreat.

The whole episode is quite revealing. One of its lessons is well known, the thoughtless depravity of Trump and his agencies and their baleful impact on public services. The other amounts to a revelation, less appreciated but profoundly encouraging especially for the left. For the episode demonstrates a transformation of child rearing values and practices over the last century, part of a broader democratizing movement in U.S. social life, with a long way to go.

What does this episode tell us? Part 1: The Depravity of Trump World

The no touching rule, which came from the top of the Federal immigration apparatuses (No one seems to be taking responsibility) amounts to child abuse. A considerable body of research documents that children, particularly the youngest, deprived of physical touch are diminished in every capacity -- physically, emotionally, and intellectually. In early studies so cruel they can’t be repeated, “Harlow’s monkeys,” well...

Socialist Resistance
October 18, 2018

As the Labour Party conference starts, Socialist Resistance looks at the challenges for the left in the coming months.

Resisting the right has been a theme over recent months on three interrelated fronts – the offensive against the possibility of a Corbyn government, against the increased likelihood of a hard Brexit and against the growth of the far right in the shape of Tommy Robinson and his supporters.

The Right against Corbyn

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn entered the contest...

October 14, 2018

Following is a statement by Nicaraguans living in the United States protesting the Nicaraguan government’s most recent repression. See Nicaragua’s Popular Rebellion Stopped — For Now by Dan La Botz for background. Solidarity denounces the repression and at the same time opposes U.S. intervention in Nicaragua, which would only make a bad situation worse.

This morning, October 14, 2018, Nicaraguan citizens in use of their constitution right gathered to march...

Ecology Commission of the Fourth International
October 8, 2018

Not surprisingly, the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming of up to 1.5°C confirms that the impacts of anthropogenic climate change are formidable and have been underestimated, both socially and environmentally.

The 1°C warming we are already experiencing is enough to cause major tragedies: unprecedented heat waves, hurricanes, flooding, glacier and ice-cap dislocation. These give an idea of what awaits us if human warming is not stopped...

The Editors
October 8, 2018

A Letter from the Editors of Against the Current

HE’S CONFIRMED, ALL right: A confirmed liar, confirmed nasty-drunk sexual predator and hardcore reactionary hand-picked for his confirmed anti-worker judicial record, Brett Kavanaugh is now a confirmed Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The whole spectacle became one of those moments that brought the country face to face with the real condition of its political system—and  the rage it’s generated is the hope for the future....

Bill Smaldone
October 2, 2018

Donald Trump’s election has emboldened white nationalist groups and armed militias who are entering public space in ways almost unprecedented in the years since the civil rights movement. In debates on the left about how to respond to this upsurge and, in particular, about the tactics we should use, Antifascist organizers often reference Germany during Hitler’s rise. They argue that Hitler, like Trump, began as a buffoon and that the early Nazis were a relatively small force, like the militias...

Dawn Starin

On October 7, 2018 the anti-choice group Life Chain will hold rallies across the U.S. to oppose the right of women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The group claims to be nonviolent, but its provocative rhetoric and images incite violence against abortion providers and harassment of women seeking abortions. The rallies are a chilling reminder that the war on reproductive rights has two fronts: the political front in Washington, DC, and in many state legislatures, and the street front.

The following...

September 28, 2018

A broad coalition of women has come together to protest the Presidential candidacy of far-right politician, Jair Bolsonaro. Organized by the parties of the left, women’s organizations, and some members of liberal parties, this coalition will march in cities across Brazil on September 29.

According to one Brazilian activist, “The political temperature is high, the situation very tense. Bolsonaro gives signs that he is going to start dropping in the polls, and his followers are becoming unnerved....

Jason Schulman
September 27, 2018

David McReynolds was a titan of the peace and justice movement, a socialist, pacifist, Socialist and Green party political candidate, and photographer.  He helped organize one of the earliest draft-card burning protests against the Vietnam War and served on the staff of the War Resisters League for 40 years, remaining active with the organization afterwards.  He was the first openly gay presidential candidate for any party, running on the Socialist Party ticket in 1980. His photography...

Robert Caldwell
September 26, 2018


On September 6 Dallas police officer Amber Guyger shot to death Botham Jean, a neighbor in the housing complex where she lived.  Recently, Robert Caldwell interviewed Olinka Green, regarding the murder and the community response in the weeks since.  Olinka Green has been a community activist for the past thirty years, fighting against racism, police abuse and brutality and environmental racism. She is a member of DALLAS ACTION coalition, the NORTH TEXAS ACTION committee and the DEMOCRATIC...

Joan Lichterman
September 18, 2018

This September 8 more than 900 climate actions took place on seven continents and in 95 countries as people worldwide demanded climate action from their local leaders. As noted on the Rise for Climate website, “Rise is a global moment organized by hundreds of local leaders and dozens of partners. It’s coordinated by a global steering.... Every individual action is different, but most are organized by local groups who are leading the way for climate action...

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