This has gone on long enough. The Trump Administration has been separating parents from their children because they have chosen to criminally prosecute refugees who are applying for asylum. This policy has created outrage from all living former first ladies, including Mrs. Bush, Mrs. Carter, and Mrs. Clinton. Even Melania Trump has spoken and advocates for “a country that governs with heart.” It violates U.S. and International law. Numerous Congressmen, Republicans and Democrats alike, protest a policy which can cause young children serious psychological damage. This is in sharp contrast to Secretary of Homeland Security Nielsen, who claims the children are “well taken care of.” Listening to tapes of children crying, “Mommy, Mommy,” contradicts Nielsen’s glib comments.
According to Steve Miller, senior advisor to the President, this policy is designed to put pressure on members of Congress reluctant to grant the Administration a legislative victory on immigration. It’s also hoped it will deter refugees from seeking asylum, although this has not worked in the past. The Administration just does not consider the harm being done to the children in the name of political leverage.
This is all so unnecessary. Both the Bush and the Obama Administrations provided facilities for families seeking asylum. Applying for asylum is not a criminal act, and in the past families were not prosecuted when they turned themselves into the Border Patrol. Because they were not viewed as criminals, families were allowed to stay together. Under the Trump Administration, families seeking asylum are criminally prosecuted, giving the Administration a legal excuse to separate families. As a result, over 2,300 children have been separated from their parents during April and May, many times more than in either the Obama or Bush administrations.
Amid the cries of outrage at Trump’s shameful policy, our very own Congressman Andy Harris has said – nothing. By telephone, his office said they were not qualified to answer a question on a complex issue such as immigration and referred me to Harris’ website. The website is silent on the subject of children being taken from their mothers. It is clear that Harris, along with many Republicans in Congress, simply does not have the guts to stand up to an immoral President. Please contact Harris and let him know what you think. I hope we can replace Harris with someone with more backbone in November.