Editorial End cruel policy of taking kids from families

June 19, 2018 GMT

America should not be in the business of separating innocent children from their parents. Period.

The plaque on the Statue of Liberty says “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” — but the Trump administration adds — we’ll take your crying children from your arms and turn you away.

An estimated 2,000 children were taken from families and detained since April when Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a “zero tolerance” policy toward people who try to enter the country illegally.

This is a shameful, heartless policy that must be reversed immediately. To a majority of people in this country, it is not representative of American ideals.

The outrage transcends political parties.

Every living first lady this week has denounced separating families, including Melania Trump. Michelle Obama retweeted Laura Bush’s link to an op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post. “This zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart,” Bush said on Twitter.


A majority of voters — 66 percent — oppose the policy of separating children and families when crossing the border illegally to get into America, a Quinnipiac University National Poll released Monday found.

More than one-third of Republican voters were against it, however 55 percent support the policy, the only demographic among gender, education, age or racial group to do so.

“When does public opinion become a demand that politicians just can’t ignore?” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

If the Trump administration doesn’t care about herding little children — and apparently it doesn’t — it does care about popularity. Speak up. Write a Letter to the Editor. Write to Congress. Share on social media.

Tell them you’re tired of the lies, hypocrisy and obfuscation.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen denied such a policy existed, tweeting over the weekend that her department does “not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” This was while her department was enforcing the order.

Sessions justified the policy, saying it was to deter families from crossing the border illegally. And he quoted the Bible to seemingly support his ungodly actions. What an insult to the many Americans who hold their religion dear and live their lives accordingly.

Initially, the Trump administration attempted to divert attention and cloud the issue by blaming Democrats. If the Democrats would cooperate on immigration reform and give Trump the billions he wants to build a wall along the border with Mexico, then children wouldn’t have to be taken from their families, the reasoning went.

That sounded suspiciously like blackmail: Give us money for the wall and we’ll stop taking kids. Americans can see through this and do not like children’s lives becoming political pawns.

We are not saying that the country should ignore illegal immigration. There is room for reform and it requires much hard work in Congress, which could vote on parts this week.

Reform will never happen, though, through diabolical policies that are counter to American values.