By George Smith
We are better than this.
COMAYAGUA, Honduras (AP) — The 3-year-old girl traveled for weeks cradled in her father’s arms, as he set out to seek asylum in the United States. Now she won’t even look at him.
After being forcibly separated at the border by government officials, sexually abused in U.S. foster care and deported, the once bright and beaming girl arrived back in Honduras withdrawn, anxious and angry, convinced her father abandoned her.
He fears their bond is forever broken.
This month, new government data shows the little girl is one of an unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody over the past year, enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more children detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of long-term physical and emotional damage.
“I think about this trauma staying with her too, because the trauma has remained with me and still hasn’t faded,” he said, days after their reunion. (Associated Press report)
Personal note: There is no justification, no excuse, no lapse in judgement sufficient to excuse this action against families seeking asylum in the U. S.
This has always been a nation of hope, of promise. What we are witnessing today is a mean-spirited, racist attack on people fleeing oppression, drugs, poverty snd violence. For-profit detention centers are fleecing the taxpayers and federal officials are applauding the staunching of the brown horde.
Pray. Pray our better angels rise up en masse and lay waste to the very idea of superiority that is inflicting our federal decision makers.
We ARE better than this. Or ARE we?
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