Trump’s anti-family policy

With shelters for migrant children separated from their families filling up fast, the Trump administration is planning to house additional children at military bases:

If the pictures of young children sleeping on mats in a chain link cage or the descriptions of toddlers being forcibly separated from their mothers don’t break your heart, you truly have no soul.

The Trump administration is now prosecuting parents who cross the border illegally with smuggling their own children, even if the family is seeking asylum, running from violence and terror in their home country. Border patrol agents grab the children, put them on a bus to a far away detention center, and then proceed with prosecution or deportation of the parent, sometimes without reunifying with their children. An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said they’ve come across cases where children who are barely one year old have been ripped away from their families.

It’s cruel. It’s sickening. It’s inhumane. And it’s un-American. At least it used to be.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions justifies these actions as rightful punishment, pure and simple, intended to deter others from attempting the border crossing. Trump chief of staff John Kelly is famously blasé about the fate of these children, saying, “They’ll be taken care of, put into foster care, or whatever.”

“Whatever” appears to be the operative word. The Republican Congress doesn’t seem to care very much, its members unwilling to put any pressure on Trump to stop enforcing the policy of separating children and their parents, scarring immigrant families and vulnerable children for life. Democrats are objecting, however. Representative Ted Lieu tweeted: “There are many ways to describe the @realDonaldTrump policy of ripping children away from their parents at the border. It violates human rights laws. It is unAmerican. It would shock Jesus. But I think the most appropriate way to describe it is this: The policy is evil.”

What can you do about it? Contact Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei immediately and demand they put an end to separating children from their families. Call often and get others to call. You can also donate to the ACLU Immigrant Rights project and commend them for filing suit against our government to stop the traumatization of immigrant families.

Another group of children may also be in peril. The New York Times reported in late April on a congressional hearing at which the Department of Health and Human Services admitted they’ve lost track of 1,500 migrant children who showed up by themselves at our southern border, fleeing chaos, crime and persecution in their homeland, desperately seeking asylum in the United States. The children are placed with “sponsors,” some of whom are family members, although others are strangers. Many of the sponsors did not respond to follow-up phone calls from HHS, preferring to fade into the underground network of families without documents. But some of the children have been shuffled off to serve as unpaid labor in unscrupulous businesses.

Our lack of concern for all of these undocumented children is shameful, no matter how you feel about immigration policies. Removing young children from their parents who are seeking asylum or crossing a border to reach the promise of America is unconscionable. Paradoxically, even President Trump thinks so, blaming the Democrats for his own policy of separating children from their parents. Trump tweeted, “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the Border into the U.S."—even though this policy is his alone.

It’s election season and a particularly good time to put Republicans running for office on the spot. Ask them if they endorse ripping immigrant families apart. If they do not, ask what they are doing to denounce it. And ask why they remain in a party that supports such dehumanizing policies. Tell them anyone who approves of these actions doesn’t deserve to represent you. Ω