Hundreds of migrant children have been transferred out of a filthy Border Patrol station in Texas where they had been detained for weeks without access to soap, clean clothes or adequate food, the authorities confirmed on Monday, — The New York Times, Monday, June 24
Regardless of how one may feel about the issue of immigration, legal and illegal, we would hope that every American would agree that the policy of separating children from their parents, and then detaining those children in facilities that are not fit for animals, represents a stain on our national consciousness that is evident for all the world to see.
These children, who range in age from toddlers to young teens, have been treated as less than human by our government. Some have died while under the care of the Border Patrol; others have become sick and malnourished. All will bear the psychological scars for the rest of their lives of being held in makeshift jails in conditions that are nothing less than appalling.
America is supposed to be a beacon of light in a world of darkness, a place where everyone, regardless of race, creed, or national origin, is treated with dignity and respect.
However, from our nation’s inception, all too often we have failed to live up to the noble words in the Declaration of Independence that, “All men are created equal.”
Slavery was embedded in our Constitution; segregation was legally permissible for almost 100 years after the Civil War; Native Americans were massacred and forced onto reservations; women were second-class citizens and not allowed to vote until 1919; and Japanese-Americans were interned during WWII.
None of us can change the past, but hopefully we can learn from it and not repeat the mistakes of previous generations. However, the present policies that are being enforced at our southern border are as cruel and as inhumane as any that have existed in our nation’s history. The consequences of these policies are tragic, not just for those who are being subjected to them, but for all Americans, who stand as complicit, and therefore, shamed, by our own government’s inhumane subjugation of these innocent children.