The Impact of President Trump's Immigration Policy, June 18, 2018

Most of us have seen the pictures, the news stories, and have read the articles about the President’s “zero-tolerance” stance at the border and how he’s doing this to secure America.  But what is not being said is that, using force does not strengthen America but weakens it.

The President’s campaign slogan was, “Make America Great Again.”  However, America’s greatness did not come from its military strength but its people.  This is a country founded on immigration, and its ability to be inclusive towards all people.  When we stray away from that principle, our country finds itself in turmoil. 

In the President’s speech Monday he stated, “Immigration is the … Democrats' fault,” and “The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility.”[1] However, when an administration issues a zero-tolerance policy that separates immigrant families into separate cages – without any compassion for human decency - until that administration decides to let them go, then we just became the very definition of a migrant camp and a refugee holding facility.  Republicans currently control both houses of Congress and the Presidency, yet the current administration wants everyone to believe that this is fault of Democrats, when they are the ones who issued the zero-tolerance policy.

Since its announcement there are over 2100 children being detained at facilities in Texas and that number is growing.[2]  When families are separated it has a physical and psychological impact not only on the families but also the communities.  “Forced family separation has been condemned as harmful, inhumane, and counter to accepted human rights…”[3] 

In America we see the impact it has on a child growing up in poverty with a single parent household.  Now think about if that same child had his/her parent taken away from him and he/she was forced to live in a cage, with other kids like him/her.  No warnings that this was going to happen, no way to prepare for the effect this experience would have on his/her life. 

When the family unit is abruptly dismantled the children no longer feel safe and secure.  They begin to develop a fight or flight mentality.  Whereas, the children who are in a family unit – regardless of economic background – develop a sense of morality and a form of stability.

The actions of this administration have made a rift in the families of the immigrants and it has made a rift in what it means to be an American.  America needs to be that light upon a hill again.  America needs to be the leader of hope, opportunity, and inspiration to the world once again.  We can no longer afford to move backwards, while the world continues to move forwards.  Finally, as Americans we can no longer be silent while this administration destroys what we stand for.     

by Mozella Bell, Louisana Federation of Democratic Women

[1] Tim Hains, “President Trump: ‘The United States Will Not Be A Migrant Camp,’ ‘Not On My Watch’,”  Real Clear Politics 18 June 2018 https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/06/18/president_trump_the_united_states_will_not_be_a_migrant_camp.html 

[2] Michael E. Miller, Emma Brown, Aaron Davis, “Inside Casa Padre, the converted Walmart where the US is holding nearly 1,500 immigrant children,”  The Washington Post, 14 June 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/inside-casa-padre-the-converted-walmart-where-the-us-is-holding-nearly-1500-immigrant-children/2018/06/14/0cd65ce4-6eba-11e8-bd50-b80389a4e569_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.afe9f8862e3c

[3]   Kevin Loria, “Separating Kids from parents at the border mirrors a ‘textbook strategy’ of domestic abuse, experts say – and causes irreversible lifelong damage,” Business Insider, 16 June 2018, http://www.businessinsider.com/psychological-effects-of-separating-immigrant-kids-and-parents-2018-6