Michael-Marie Miles: Baker Column Misleading on Trump Immigration Policy

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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Brian Baker (June 19) seems to think the majority of kids (including infants and toddlers) who have been put in cages by the most inhumane administration in our nation’s history are children of people who have been caught “sneaking across the border” and, thus, deserve to be separated from their parents. This is not true. 

A June 19 NPR article states, “Previous administrations did not, as a general principle, separate all families crossing the U.S. border illegally. This policy is unique to the Trump administration.”

On May 7, according to an NPR article, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a speech, “(I)f you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law. If you don’t want your child separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally. It’s not our fault that somebody does that.” 

As the NPR reports, no law even remotely requires the separation of children, and the ACLU has filed a lawsuit arguing that the Constitution prohibits this policy.

Many families attempting to enter the U.S. are seeking asylum from gangs and criminal activities in their home countries, and as such are not breaking the law. They are entering the U.S. at a legal point of entry and turning themselves in as asylum seekers. Per the NPR, the U.S. is “obligated to accept asylum-seekers under U.S. and international law if they can show a ‘credible fear’ of persecution or torture.” Also, “White House officials have repeatedly acknowledged that under that new policy, they separate all families who cross the border. Sessions has described it as deterrence.”

Every living first lady (including Melania Trump) has spoken out against this policy. Laura Bush wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post on June 17, condemning President Trump for his policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border. Calling it immoral and heartbreaking, Bush urged the government to stop the policy immediately. I recommend it for everyone to read, along with the NPR articles. They answer a lot of questions that were either not addressed accurately by Mr. Baker or not addressed at all.

Regarding Mr. Baker’s opening sentence, I am definitely on the left and most definitely outraged; however, this is not just the latest outrage of the day. As Laura Bush so elegantly put it: “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Mine, too.

As a followup, apparently President Trump discovered that he can actually get rid of the policy that he attributed to the Democrats. So, he signed an executive order stopping the policy of separating children from parents, but NOT stopping the zero tolerance policy. In addition, there is apparently no plan to try and return the children who have already been separated from their parents. The United States has effectively made them orphans with NO plan of how to take care of them.  We do not have federal orphanages…yet. 

And why is no one allowed to see these children or to even know where they are being held? This entire fiasco is outrageous!

Michael-Marie Miles

Canyon Country

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