Trump’s Latest Blow Against Unaccompanied Children is Unbelievably Cruel

Alan Elsner  Image
Alan Elsner
on October 1, 2018

Earlier this summer, the entire nation and much of the world was shocked and appalled by the Trump administration’s policy of tearing infants and children crossing the US-Mexico border away from their parents and incarcerating them in squalid detention centers.

The administration, reeling under a wave of condemnation and compelled by court orders, backtracked partially on that policy.

Now we learn that the administration has learned nothing from that debacle. The New York Times has reported that the administration has pulled nearly 2,000 unaccompanied children out of shelters around the country in the dead of night and bused them to a “tent city” in the desert town of Tornillo, Tex., where they have no access to formal education or legal services.

Imagine the trauma these migrant children are being exposed to when they are suddenly roused in the middle of the night, loaded onto buses and then deposited in the middle of the desert where they can expect to stay for months.

Previously, most had been living in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room, going to school and receiving regular visits from legal representatives assigned to their immigration cases.

Now, they are living 20 to a tent; there is no school and no regular lawyers’ visits.

What is disturbing is that in contrast to the furor of early summer, this latest outrage is happening mostly under the radar and has not provoked the same public outcry. This must change.

The Trump administration has needlessly created this crisis. It has no rational explanation that can excuse or justify the suffering that the victims are experiencing. The administration has shown again and again that it is prepared to go to any lengths and use any means, however cruel, to carry out its anti-immigrant, anti-refugee policies.

This President and all his enablers must be stopped. We cannot stand silent when thousands of children are abused by our government in our name. This callous treatment of innocent and defenseless children has already blackened the international reputation of the United States. We owe it to the victims — and to ourselves — to end this abuse. Our collective conscience as Jews, commanded to love the stranger, and as Americans who believe that all people are created equal with inalienable rights, demands it.

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