They say that love has the ability to break down walls, leap over fences and cross borders without any hesitation. So why is it that at the borders of the United States of America, one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world, we witness the devastating separations of more than 2,000 children from their families?
Trump's "zero tolerance" policy was implemented as part of his plan to halt illegal immigration. In April, it was ordered by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for illegal border crossings. The widespread outcry was because this new policy mandated that children be taken away from their parents, which is distinct to the Trump administration. As a result, thousands of children have been separated from their parents and placed into shelters along the southern borders, with some even being taken to New York.
The most recent policy replaces separating families with the policy of family detentions. However, a 2015 court order called the Flores settlement prevents the government from keeping migrant children in detention for more than 20 days. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been ordered by Trump to find a way to adapt the new policy to allow children to be kept in detention with their families without a time limit. In all, the new policy implemented has done nothing to solve the problem but rather snowball it into a bigger one.
As I write this, I wonder to myself why and most importantly, how the circumstances of this great country has come down to this so that I would be needing to use my voice for those who don't have one right now.
Photographs taken at the border of wailing children, families clumped together, border patrol and lost belongings eerily reflect past times in history that should have never occurred. The US has lost its grip on the very last piece of dignity we have been struggling to hold onto ever since the 2016 election. With children in cages, kept in so-called "tender age shelters", being slandered as "child actors" by Ann Coulter and the mocking of children with Down syndrome by political campaigner Corey Lewandowski, our dignity has faded into deep shame.
Being able to empathize is one that the Trump administration has proven to lack countless times. Keeping children together with their families is not a matter of policy or law, but a matter of morals, values and being a decent human being. It isn't right to agree that what the government is doing is heinous but at the same time, allowing it to continue.