Immigraton policy cannot stand

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Posted 6/19/18 (Tue)

Whines & Roses
By Cecile Wehrman

Is this America? 
Is this a country that supports the idea of using children as pawns to achieve a political end?
President Trump’s tweet in which he suggested that if Democrats “care” — his quotation marks — they will agree to build a wall, is to me the most disgusting and inappropriate thing a grown man, never mind a president, could possibly express.
What kind of a man admits he is using children as bargaining chips to attain a goal that, during the presidential campaign, was supposedly going to be paid for by Mexico? Even as I type those words -- a promise from a man whose relationship with the truth is loose to say the least -- I can’t believe we are even in the position of reminding people that was the original plan.
It only makes what’s happening now even worse.
Based on the amount of outrage I am seeing in all forms of media, I question how many people support the policy of separating families of immigrants who, whether seeking asylum or entering the country illegally, deserve to be treated with the same human dignity you would appreciate for your own family.
I have seen one poll showing as little as 27 percent of voters believe this is an appropriate way to go about addressing illegal immigration. It’s interesting that figure correlates with the oft-cited Trump base -- people who support Trump no matter what he does. These are the people who like to point fingers at previous administrations.
As Anthony Scaramucci, one-time communications director for the White House, pointed out this week, “You can’t simultaneously argue that family separation isn’t happening, that it’s being used as a deterrent, that the Bible justifies it and that it’s @TheDemocrats fault. @POTUS is not being served well by his advisors on this issue.” 
To say the least.
To the people on social media who mimic Trump’s assertion that Democrats are to blame both for the law allowing these actions, but also, for “refusing” -- my quotation marks, not Trump’s -- to adequately address stemming illegal immigration, I’m just going to go ahead and not challenge that assertion here.
Here’s the thing, I don’t care whose law it was or which party has failed to compromise. Whatever action or inaction led to the present policy of putting children in cages, let’s just agree that they were wrong and come up with a better solution.
Regardless of who passed the law being used now to justify it, holding children hostage for political ends is despicable. 
And regardless of who failed to address illegal immigration, nothing justifies separating families and traumatizing children who, in many cases, were hoping to find humanitarian aid after fleeing countries where they were threatened with violence and death. Attempting to remove children from those threats, as any good parent would, is the only “crime” many of these parents are guilty of.
These people are not our enemies. Millions like them contribute to our economy, working hard and providing for their families. In many cases, they are doing jobs citizens do not want to do, yet they are glad for the opportunity and promise America used to  represent -- of rewarding those who work hard and contribute to our country.
Aside from the sadness I feel that these families have had their hopes and dreams stamped on is the revulsion of knowing this action is not only traumatizing children, it’s potentially making future enemies out of young people who might have had the opportunity, one day, to become good citizens. 
Regardless of whose “fault” it is for the policies that led the U.S. to lock children up in cages, it is in the power of the current administration to find a more humane solution.
We used to be a country that could look at our faults and admit when we were wrong. The present policy takes our country back at least 70 years in human rights progress.
In the America I love, this policy will not stand.