This week my heart has been troubled by the growing revelations that our federal government officials have been separating migrating children from their parents.
First, we learned of this practice and that this was now policy.
Then we learned that this policy had affected about 2,000 children who were being held in holding facilities.
And then we learned that the policy at these facilities is to not allow physical comfort for children.
And then a new number surfaced –11,000—which is the number of those under 18 who are incarcerated by our federal officials (and that this larger number includes years of incarcerating those children and youth who journey over the border unaccompanied and undocumented.)
In the last few days, we have seen images of the tents which house these young world citizens. And learned that some have been given medication without parental consent.
The public outcry has been huge and in response, President Donald Trump signed an executive order which many saw as rescinding his policy. Many of us rejoiced that the children would be freed and reunited with their parents. And it turned out it was not as simple as all of that for the continued incarceration of those under 18 is clearly part of this. Though the details have been changing, what has been consistent since this series of revelations began is that we are no longer a nation which operated as a world leader grounded in values. Of particular use has been the coverage of the New Yorker magazine which I commend to you:
The larger policy issues are that we have failed as a nation to reform a very broken immigration system and that we have passed laws which allow capital to flow across borders but not labor. We have a government which is not following a coherent policy in a world in which so many have no access to decent employment because of the destruction of these congregations. And We have sent out a number of emails about ways in which you can help voice your concern. I will be contributing to the American Civil Liberties Union as well as to the UU Justice Ministry of California.
Of all the actions we can take, the most important is continued vigilance because the moral erosion of our nation could not be clearer.