Letter: Trump’s separation policy is vile


U.S. Border Patrol

Children and parents sit in a cage at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, on June 17, 2018 before being separated.

Kathryn Titus

“There are children living in cages.”

Today my mother told me this on my way home from work and I thought to myself, there is absolutely no way that we, in America, would cage children. I fired up Twitter, turned on the news and what I heard I could barely fathom.

It is true.

Nearly 2,000 children have been displaced from their families and put into camps over the course of six weeks after Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy, according to Time. Since then, these children, some as young as toddlers, have been living in prison like conditions on the Mexican-American border with no air conditioning, no parents and living off of a mere two meals a day. 

I cannot possibly imagine a crime so vile that a child should have to suffer for it. While some of these parents are being tested in courts of law or detained waiting for hearings, these kids sit and wait.

They wait in the brutal heat of southern Texas, they wait with their stomachs empty. They wait through the night when there is nobody there to tell them lullabies or promises that they will be OK. And the sad fact of it is they could be waiting for a long time.

Some parents awaiting trial on cases of illegal immigration could be facing years in prison.

So what is President Donald Trump’s plan after administering this executive order? To have these children wait longer?

For undisclosed purposes, the media has been forced out of the picture. When the media arrived to take photos and videos of the containment centers for these children, they were met by guards who did not let them through with their equipment.

They were allowed only a notebook and paper to document what they saw, and their findings, even without photos, were disturbing. 

Kids have been documented living in tent cities and Walmart buildings that are no longer in use. Children are being kept in chain link pens and not allowed to leave.

The Associated Press reported that children were kept “inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets.”

America, is this how you treat a child? Is this how you would want the President of the United States to treat a child?

I have heard the argument that children are separated from their criminal parents all the time and are fine. If that is the case, are those children also being detained? Or do they get to go on and live in a free America like the rest of us day to day. We can all agree it is the latter. 

Parents, think of your children tonight. Think of them cozy in their beds and imagine what it would be like for them to be separated from you indefinitely because you chose to bring them to America for a better life.

Documented or not, we are talking about children. People who cannot take care of themselves and have been stripped of the only people they know can take care of them.

This is OK because they are illegal? What a world we are living in that we enslave babies. What a government we protect that forces kids to sleep on cots on the floor terrified of what tomorrow might bring them. 

These actions made by our government and our president are not ones that I will support. Trump made the remark that he will “not let the US become a migrant camp.” So instead he creates a tent city camp and throws 2,000 children in it to call it good, because in Trump’s eyes their parents are killers and thieves. 

Is this the America we stand for?

Ask yourself, what would you do? What if this was your son, your daughter, your closest friend and their family? Would you stand by and wait, or would you take action?

I have not put on my journalist cap in a long time, but when I heard this news I had no choice. I ask the same of each and every single person reading this. Blog, tweet, speak out and spread the word.

We will NOT stand by while children’s well being is at stake. Use your voice! Let it be known that while Trump may sit in the highest seat of this country, it is our citizens that keep this country alive. 

And what a country we would be if we let these babies live in a tent city hell.