You can’t blame the children – or the parents

The photo on the front of the Austin American-Statesman Tuesday morning shows a photo of U.S. Border Patrol agents speaking to Central Amercan asylum seakers.

The mother has her right hand behind her head, as police and agents ask detainees to do. In her left arm, she holds a little girl, maybe two years old.

The little girl has her own hands behind her head.

What a start to life. What questions must be going through that child’s mind. At her young age, she just knows that something wrong is happening.

And shortly after the photo was taken, as U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declared, the little girl and the young boys in the photo will be separated from the mother.

The policy of separating children from parents in deplorable. The Trump administration’s pundits talk about the law and the supporting court case from the 1990s – when Bill Clinton was President – that says unaccompanied minors can be held up to 20 days before being deported back to their country of origin.

My problem with all that is going on now, with the hundreds of children being separated from their parents, is that these are not unaccompanied minors. The children are with their parents.

And the parents are trying to escape violence and abuse in their home countries.

Would I do the same thing for my children? I have thought about that for years, and the answer is yes. Were the roles reversed and Mexico or Venezuela were the dominant economies, and the United States was in turmoil, with roving bands of drug lords traumitizing families just trying to eek out a living, would I grab my children and try to get out?

In a heartbeat. Without even thinking.

And if you ask most parents to think hard about what they would do, they would probably say the same thing.

Let’s face it. You don’t drag your children across dangerous deserts, crossing the Rio Grande River, because you just want to see America.

You do it because you are desperate, because you fear for your and your children’s lives.

If President Donald Trump will not use his powers to stop the nonsense of separating parents and children, then Congress needs to act quickly to stop these actions, and to get enough judges and immigration courts set up so that asylum seekers can have their cases reviewed.

Call your congressman and senator today and let them know that children should remain with parents through the process.

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