Letter to the Editor: Separating immigrant children from parents is inhumane

Published: 6/21/2018 3:35:54 PM
Modified: 6/21/2018 3:36:05 PM

America has been a country founded on ideals, and one of them has been to welcome people from other nations to make the most of their new lives here and contribute to our country. The recent policy of separating children from their parents entering the country tests our commitment to our values.

Some would say that the parents are to blame for the children’s predicament, since they brought them to the United States knowing that they would be arrested and their children placed in custody. I believe almost every parent wants the best for his or her child, so why would one place themselves and their children at such risk?

One must look at the political and social instability of many Central American countries to begin to understand that parents are making decisions in order to try to give their children better lives; or in some countries ravaged by corruption, drug wars and ongoing violence, a life at all. How many of us have forgotten, or perhaps do not know, the circumstances in which our ancestors came to this country? The intent of our ancestors was probably not much different than that of the parents choosing to migrate now.

The children are the victims here. Separating young children from their parents is traumatic and can result in long-term psychological problems for them. The parent-child bond is the foundation upon which one builds a template for human relationships and learns to trust and feel secure enough to thrive in the world. It is inhumane to consciously disrupt a healthy parent-child relationship, and should these children remain in the United States, we will pay both socially and economically for a group of children that we as a country have intentionally traumatized.

Please don’t think that I am advocating that our country be “open” to everyone; we need border security, but we need a humane approach to it. Using children as a “negotiating point” to bring about policy change is unconscionable. We need to rise above our fears and remember the ideals our country was founded on.

America has historically advocated for human rights; it has led the world in striving for fair treatment for all. Let us continue this tradition.

Lynne Kellner

Royalston


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