US must do right by the children
Open letter to Ms. Kirstijen Nielsen, Homeland Security:
I am truly dismayed about the lives and mental health of the children you hold in custody. I have listened to and read arguments for not giving the poor, tired, weak, a chance to be free, to come to our shores for sanctuary, a second chance, a new beginning. I cannot be content with the unswerving and resounding no.
This has been echoed by those whose ancestors came to this country for the very same reasons (all except Native Americans). And yet we have not listened to their pleas for help. Instead we have committed the most egregious part of this new order or lack thereof, which is support for the most vulnerable in the world, the children.
We have failed to support the value of a child’s life. To be separated from a parent, to not know the language, to be caged, to have new and different food, to cry and have no one to comfort you or explain if and when your parents will come back or why it is not your fault.
They still love you and could not leave you in the violence, threats, fear, hunger, lack of work and opportunity to bring you to a decent life with the possibility of a positive future.
Why as citizens of these great United States have we allowed this to happen? It does not reflect the home of the brave or the land of the free. This is not what I served in the military for.
We did not even care enough to keep records of which child belonged to which parent. My question is how do we return the children to the rightful parent, or do we intend to?
Do the children get dumped into child slavery, become a child predator’s dream or be turned over to cruel and uncaring families who are only interested in the money they can bring?
Who will see to their adjustment, their mental and physical health, their language skills and their education?
When does this end and what are you doing about it? This is not about Democrats or Republican ideology. This is about children! By not talking about this, it will not go away.
Find their parents and return them as soon as possible.
Beverley D. Tobias, Kapaa