Child abuse is child abuse. No matter the national origin of the child. No matter a parent’s journey to our shores. No matter what. What Trump is doing not only offends me as an American, but also as a father and as a human. Snatching parents away from their children is inhumane.
By ripping infants and toddlers away from their parents and keeping children in cages, the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen are abusing children, traumatizing entire families, and violating the human rights and human dignity of the most vulnerable. As pediatricians, mental health professionals, every living former First Lady, multiple state attorneys general, human rights advocates, numerous religious leaders, and old-fashioned common sense says: this abuse of children is unconscionable and must stop.
This Trump administration policy is against everything our nation should stand for. The idea that people fleeing persecution should find more persecution here in the United States, more cruelty and pain inflicted by our government, this goes against our fundamental values. Ours is a government dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal. This notion that President Lincoln indelibly inscribed 155 years ago, all are created equal, is one that the Trump administration fails to understand again, and again, and again. With the Muslim Ban, versions one, two, and three. With the equating of neo-Nazis and white supremacists with peaceful protesters in Charlottesville. With the denigrating of Haiti and African nations as s—hole countries. And now with this abuse of abuse of children. None of these abuses are worthy of our nation, none are worthy of the presidency, and none are worthy of who we should aim to be as a people.
What Coretta Scott King so presciently observed about Jeff Sessions in 1986 has proven true, not only of Sessions, but of officials throughout the Trump administration. They lack “the temperament, fairness and judgment,” and I would add they lack the basic human decency, to serve. Let us unite in opposition to this administration’s affront to our time-honored values. Because we are a nation of immigrants. Because ours is a nation that has accepted “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” for generations. And because whatever the circumstances, child abuse is an abominable crime we must all reject.