I strongly disagree with the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy at our borders
As a Christian, I can’t keep passing by opportunities to stand up for those around me. As a Mother and a Foster Mom, it’s impossible for me to see a policy so clearly incur pain on innocent children.
And, lastly, as a conservative, I cannot condone the Republican party’s support of the zero-tolerance policy being a message of deterrence for illegal immigration.
I’m not naïve to the complexities of governmental systems. Our elaborate government branches provide checks and balances to and from different agencies. Getting ‘things done’ in Congress isn’t a cake walk. We, as a people, have serious disagreements as to how we should act as a country that draws illegal immigration at the rate that it does. That’s fine. That’s how democracy works—a beautiful alignment of different opinions striving toward compromise.
I get it. Policies and laws are always more complicated than they seem.
Except when they aren’t.
Criminally prosecuting every illegal immigrant who crosses our border is causing sharp, irreparable trauma in the innocent lives of children coming to the United States with their parents.
If criminal prosecution is the new way to curb illegal immigration, create a shared, family detention center that doesn’t inflict the resulting unaccompanied minor label to children who didn’t cross on their own. Children need not be punished for the act of an adult, no matter the new level of crime we’re now deciding these parents committed.
Using a policy that causes young children to be taken from their parents to ‘send a message’ is ludicrous and outrageous.
The Republican party is built on the belief of tenants of less government interference and abhor what they refer to during campaign season as the ‘handout theme song’ of Democrats. At the end of the day, beyond the brash inappropriateness of this new policy, I think there’s some irony.
There are upwards of 600,000 children in the foster care system across the country. Health and Human Services, no matter how good-intentioned, can’t manage to locate 1,000+ unaccompanied minors. Our refugee shelters are already reaching maximum capacity from legitimate unaccompanied minors and will now be filled to the brim with newly named unaccompanied minors because of the zero-tolerance policy. How suited is a government agency to manage this increase?
There is no perfect solution for this challenge we face as a country, but there’s a better answer that we could provide now: shared, family detention centers. If you have to retrofit a Walmart for the kids, add some beds and security and let the parents in.
We are a creative country with countless business sectors, companies, nonprofits, public-private partnerships, and agencies that find out-of-the-box ways to react to devastating issues in our society.
Prosecution—fine. Enforce the law-- great. But you don’t have to split families to do that. Our government shouldn’t be inflicting (ever) unnecessary trauma. Let’s be creative and respond with humanity, while creating a solution that meets our needs.
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