After CNN reported on several depressing drawings purportedly drawn by migrant children, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History reached out to potentially obtain the artwork.
The museum gave the outlet a statement that read: “The museum has a long commitment to telling the complex and complicated history of the United States and to documenting that history as it unfolds.”
The drawings, reportedly made by three children “who had just been released from US Customs and Border Patrol custody,” were provided to the American Academy of Pediatrics by a social worker, CNN reported. The drawings came from a respite center in McAllen, Texas, which is run by the Catholic church.
Brenda Riojas, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, told CNN that the children also make happier drawings and hoped the museum would want those drawings as well.
“Children use bright colors and draw things like sunshine and children playing. It shows their resilience. It shows there’s hope for their healing,” she told CNN.
Riojas shared one such image with CNN, which used brighter colors than the ones provided by the social worker and misspells “Dios es marvilloso,” which translates to “God is marvelous.”
The Daily Wire sent the museum a list of questions, including an inquiry into how the Smithsonian plans to authenticate the drawings, which would be received third- or fourth-handed.
In response, the museum provided the Wire with the full statement it provided to CNN:
The National Museum of American History does not publicize nor speculate on potential collecting prior to formally accessioning artifacts.
On July 4th, one of our curators reached out to CNN and the American Academy of Pediatrics about the children’s drawings as part of an exploratory process.
The museum has a long commitment to telling the complex and complicated history of the United States and to documenting that history as it unfolds, such as it did following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and as it does with political campaigns.
Sister Norma Pimentel, the director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, told CNN that children were traumatized not just by the detention facilities, but also their journey to the U.S., which may be hundreds of miles long.
“They find themselves in these facilities that are overcrowded and families are separated from children and they don’t know what’s going on — they’re traumatized,” she told the outlet. “The children don’t know what’s happened to them, and they’re afraid and crying. It’s so disturbing to know we can’t do something better for them.”
At the end of June, House Democrats reluctantly passed a bill that would provide $4.6 billion in emergency funding for border security, much of which would go to help children in the facilities. House Democrats opposed the clean Senate version of the bill because it didn’t include funding cuts to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Defense. Cutting funding to ICE would have made the immigration crisis far worse. Media outlets called the bill “controversial” even though it was a clean funding bill passed by 84 senators on both sides of the aisle; 129 Democrats joined 179 Republicans to pass the bill in the House.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was not happy about the bill, claiming it was disrespectful for senators to ignore the partisan demands of her and her party.