Opinions

US ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy is a human rights violation

As a child, I was once separated from my mother in a grocery store. She turned down one aisle and I inadvertently turned down another.

To this day, I remember the intense fear and helplessness I felt being separated from my parent in an unfamiliar place for two painstaking minutes. Nearly everyone has been separated from a parent or loved one at least once in their lifetime.

In those short minutes that follow when a child’s parents are nowhere to be found and the child is stranded by themselves in a crowd of strangers, the child feels a lasting impression of sheer terror.

Now imagine all of that happening in a foreign country with no solution in sight.

In a special homage to Father’s Day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instituted a new policy to separate immigrant children from their parents at the border.

So far, nearly 2,000 children have been ripped away from their families’ arms. If this sounds shamefully repugnant to you, then congratulations — you have a moral compass.

This is not a partisan issue; it is a human rights issue.

Regardless of party affiliation, this policy is cruel and inhumane. One could argue that this is the worst policy any Trump official has implemented so far, which is a shocking feat in and of itself.

The U.S. government is promising immigrants that if they dare try to come to this country for a better life, they will suffer one of the cruelest fates a parent can endure — having their child forcibly taken from them with no promise that they will ever see them again.

Federal officials tell the children’s parents that they are “taking them away for baths,” only for them to never return.

Sessions defended his policy last week using a quote from the Bible, Romans 13:1, about bowing to governing authorities.

First of all, the fact that the attorney general is cherry-picking Bible verses to defend, uphold and enforce the United States’ secular laws is outrageous.

Second, if the Bible must be discussed in the creation of America’s supposedly areligious laws, it is interesting to note that Sessions neglected to read a few passages down to Romans 13:10, which states, “Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

This clearly does not fit Sessions’ political agenda and is therefore brushed off, just like any other dissenting opinions or inarguable facts that the Trump administration has been confronted with.

Even President Donald Trump seems to realize that this policy is wrong or at least looks bad for his administration, which is why he continues to try to pin the whole controversy on the Democrats.

The truth of the matter is that it is his policy, boastfully created by Stephen Miller and eagerly enacted by Sessions.

In Miller’s own words, “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period.”

This is a contradiction against Trump’s claim and an appalling insight into the minds of the individuals running this country.

The U.S. government is supposed to ensure the well-being and safety of the people.

In a world filled with human rights violators like North Korea — Trump’s newest ally — and Syria, the United States is the one separating families at its border.

History will not be kind to those who authorized this act of unadulterated cruelness, but it will also blame those who sat back and allowed this to happen.

In order to combat this sickening policy, it is up to the constituents to call their elected representatives and demand that they do something.

Remember the times when you were lost in the grocery store for two short minutes and now put yourself in the shoes of an immigrant child in a foreign country who may never see their parents or loved ones again.

America is the way it is now, but the people have the power to change it.

In order to protect the integrity of the United States and families at the border, it is important that constituents make their voices heard. It does not matter for whom one voted in the 2016 election or what they think about immigration.

However, if we do nothing and let our government tear innocent children away from their parents with the possibility of never being reunited, then as a nation, the United States deserves to be scrutinized.

June 25, 2018

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Evan Lewis


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