THEIR VIEW: Malice for migrants

Published on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:10
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions is indifferent about whether undocumented immigrants crossing into the United States are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families or whether they are fleeing domestic abuse, drug cartels, extortion rackets or political violence.

It’s all the same to Sessions, who said Monday that all those who come into the country illegally would be prosecuted - and separated from their children in the bargain. Thus has the top law enforcement official in the United States enshrined callousness as administration policy.

Will babies be separated from nursing mothers? Will toddlers be housed in institutions far from parents? How many children will be traumatized by being carted away from their parents for weeks or months - or longer? The attorney general doesn’t say or, apparently, care.

Sessions’ policy of separating parents and children is intentionally and unapologetically punitive.

Proclaiming a new policy of “zero tolerance,” he rebranded the United States as a crueler place than the countries from which people are fleeing. And never mind that, in many cases, parents are seeking refuge in this country in order to escape violence and persecution - and to protect their children.

The impetus for the new stance, of course, is President Donald Trump, who has made clear that his crusade against all immigrants, with or without documents, knows no limits.

The administration’s stated justification is a surge in migrants in recent months. The number of apprehensions of those coming into the country without papers, especially from Central America, has spiked from a year ago. However, the overall flow of migrants over the southwest border is near a four-decade low.

Yet Trump and Sessions propose a breathtaking innovation: wrenching every small child away, as a matter of policy, from his or her family. They have now matched their demagoguery on immigration with malice.

The Washington Post

Posted in The Bristol Press, Editorials on Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:10. Updated: Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:12.