As I was preparing for my presentations at the ABCUSA Biennial last Saturday, some news broke which made my blood boil. While separating migrant children from their parents isn’t new, the sheer mass of children who remain segregated from their parents has completely overwhelmed the system. This is by design. The zero-tolerance policy of the Trump Administration is meant to be a deterrent, and terrible conditions for children who are separate from their families is part of that deterrent.
It disgusts me, and the reports which have described the horrendous conditions in these centers do not help assuage my nausea. When President Trump and Vice-President Pence came out and blamed Congressional Democrats, I wanted to scream. Trump’s policies caused this crisis, he doesn’t get to abdicate responsibility because it’s convenient leverage 1. To be perfectly clear, I’m not impressed with Democrats either, our country has essentially kidnapped children, and we’re not giving them even the minor dignity of personal hygiene. These are children who are restricted in how they can bathe, and do not have something as elementary as a toothbrush. They are not political footballs, they are the image of God. Stop pontificating and get them what they need.
Making matters worse, these detention centers cannot accept donations to give these prisoners basic hygiene supplies because it’s illegal. So not only have we taken these children away from their parents and kept them in squalid conditions 2, it’s illegal for these agencies to accept anything which would communicate a wider compassion from US citizens. This makes my disgust even worse.
So I’m trying to ponder how to respond. Given that we can’t donate items which could alleviate some of the more manageable aspects of this crisis, which has been created in our names whether we wanted it or not, what can we do to constructively shame our representatives 3 into doing something right by these children.
I think I’d love to see the White House, as well as every Senator’s and Representative’s office, literally buried in toothbrushes. A letter can accompany each one that reads something like,
The crisis at the border, and the ICE detention centers, was created in my name. I reject the policies which caused this problem, as well as the lack of action toward a solution. You are our representatives and you are using Children to make a political point. “Unacceptable” is not a strong enough word to describe this situation. You are all, collectively, failing to govern in a just manner.
Would anyone be interested in joining me?
- He will, and people will give him a pass, but it’s evil. ↩
- In that CNN post, a Homeland Security spokesperson gave assurances that basic hygiene items have always been made available. The problem is this is in dispute by doctors who were allowed to visit several sites. Given the track record of truth-telling about this crisis, I’m not inclined to believe our Government even a little bit. ↩
- We are supposed to have “representatives” rather than “leaders.” We absolutely are not supposed to have “rulers.” ↩