Urge Peterson to advocate loudly to end separation of parents, children

To the editor:

Where to begin? Our administration is literally tearing children from the hands of parents and placing them in detention centers while their parents are hauled off to jail for illegally crossing our border.

The AP reports Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures reveal, “1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31.” Apparently there is this new way to justify being cruel and inhumane to innocents, like the young child taken away from its nursing mother, like leaving a separated child under the age of two to cry and cry with no one to comfort her, like a former Walmart building currently used to warehouse almost 1,500 boys. DHS grabs the child but the parents get no information on child’s whereabouts. This is not the America I grew up in.

Yes, the previous administration, detained families crossing the border and federal courts curtailed those actions. Something deeply dark took place as our new president obsessed on making his mark on the backs of immigrants. Call it the “illegal justification strategy”. This strategy allows people to pretend that anything goes because someone decided it is against the law.

These families did not come here on a whim. Many of them faced violence from their own government, gangs, domestic violence or were simply unable to feed their family. What would you do? Risk a border crossing or remain in a situation that was becoming increasingly desperate each day.

Yes, it’s complicated, but turning away and writing off such inhumane actions with the “illegal justification strategy” does not bode well for the values of our country. The American Psychological Association warned of the very serious threat to long term physical and mental health caused by separation.

The United Nations human rights office calls this a serious violation of the rights of children. The Catholic bishops have even called it immoral. Who in their right mind wouldn’t? Yet it seems to be falling on deaf ears. I’m hoping the ears are just hard of hearing and that when you and I speak up, the Trump administration will hear and change this inhumane policy.

There are things you can do. Contact Rep. Collin Peterson (202-225-2165) and ask him to advocate loudly to end this practice and support bills to keep families together, join protests or vigils that are happening in our state and community. (Watch for an opportunity in Marshall.) Activate critical thinking when the administration tries to blame someone else for actions of their choosing. Choose compassion over fear.

Darwin Dyce

Ghent

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