Across USA Editorial Boards tell Trump: Stop Separating Families


Photo of a girl who watched her mother taken away by agents. Photo appeared in Time magazine

By Ramona du Houx

Communities and activists across the country are calling on Donald Trump to immediately end the administration’s inhumane policy of separating up families at the border and detaining children.

People in Maine are outraged. Congressional phone lines have been ringing off the hook. Congresswoman Pingree co-authored legislation to stop the inhuman treatment.

The American people know that children belong with their parents -- 66 percent of Americans disapprove of Trump’s cruel policy of separating children from their families. Editorial boards across the country agree:

Los Angeles Times: Editorial: Trump is using children as political bargaining chips. It doesn’t get more crassly cynical

“The separations policy is inhumane to the children and their parents. It is a grotesque use of governmental power to abuse and traumatize families as a lesson to others. And it is crassly cynical to use the well-being of children as a political bargaining chip. What’s next, holding a gun to their heads and saying, ‘Don’t make me shoot’?”

San Diego Tribune: Editorial: Separating families: Trump, not Democrats, responsible for cruel policy

“The Trump administration’s decision last month to begin separating children from their parents when they cross the border without authorization is such a grotesque exercise in cruelty that even some Donald Trump loyalists, including current members of his administration, find it appalling.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Editorial: Ending Trump’s cruel family separation policy

“The responsibility for this cruel and inhumane policy lies squarely with the Trump administration. President Trump could end it with a single phone call. So far, he has not. The question for Congress is whether or not it wants to enter the midterm-election season on this platform of racial division and gratuitous cruelty.”

The Fresno Bee: Editorial: Border-detention policy breaking up families is an outrage, and needs to end now

“And to those who retain hard-line approaches in Congress, and at the White House, all they have to do is take a look at the many pictures of little children crying in American detention centers. Those children just want their moms and dads. But for now, they are alone, and for now, that is their American experience.”

AZ Central: Editorial: This isn't complicated. Separating immigrant parents and children is wrong

“The easiest thing to understand about the Trump administration’s new hard line on immigration is that it’s wrong. It’s so easy to comprehend, you can sum it up in one short, declarative sentence: You do not use children as bargaining chips.”

Arizona Daily Star: Editorial: Trump family separation plan reeks of his failure

“The cost of our American leaders’ incompetence is being paid in the cries of toddlers taken from their parents and warehoused in federal custody because their families made the desperate calculation that the real risk of violence, murder or destitution at home was higher than the dangerous journey north from Central America or Mexico. Is this the United States we want? We say loudly and firmly: No.”

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: Editorial: Hey, Texas Republicans - Support family values for migrant children

“When Republicans control the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House they get to take the blame or the credit for the immigration policies being enforced. They own this issue. The Republicans in Texas who control all branches of government here also own it if they don’t openly object and advocate for better solutions. We were hoping to hear our state’s Republican leaders reject the practice and promote other means of securing our borders. Are they unable to come up with better solutions? Are they afraid of disagreeing with the President and facing the wrath of his vengeful tweets?”

Dallas Morning News: Editorial: The Trump administration's border separation policy is counter to who we are as a people

“What is happening on our southern border today, however, is something different than drawing a hard line at the border's edge. The government of the United States, under the Trump administration, has instituted a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy that is forcing a fundamental question to the forefront of our national debate: Who are we as a people, and who do we want to be?”

Tampa Bay Times: Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

“What kind of a president inflicts such pain and fear on defenseless children by ripping them away from their immigrant parents just to seek political advantage? What kind of Americans are we if we allow this atrocity to continue on our behalf?”

Miami Herald: Editorial: Stop separating children and parents at the border

“Trump is calculating that this, yes, unconscionable policy will give him leverage in congressional negotiations on immigration reform. On Friday, Trump indicated that he would stand by the policy until Democrats agreed to fund his border wall and impose stricter rules for border enforcement and legal entry. He blames Democrats for a policy that he and his administration must be forced to wholly own.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: Abominable. Horrific. Monstrous. Trump's family-separation policy must stop.

“Harsh is too generous a word to describe President Donald Trump’s family separation policy. Try abominable. Horrific. Monstrous. The practice more closely resembles actions by Nazi storm troopers or Islamic State fanatics than a modern developed nation that not long ago was a worldwide beacon for human rights. Trump has dragged America to a shameful new low. The administration also blatantly lies about what it is doing and why.”

The Daily Nonpareil: Editorial: Human rights abomination

“This nation and our elected representatives have sunk to a new low in allowing the president to use children as political bargaining chips. Trump’s action and those who support it are an affront to everything this nation is supposed to stand for.”

Des Moines Register: Editorial: It's un-American to rip apart immigrant families. Why aren't Grassley, Ernst speaking out?

“As Americans, we will someday look back on this period as a stain on our nation’s history. If we’re lucky, that is. It’s possible we will someday identify this dramatic breach of common decency as the beginning of the end of our free society. If we allow cruel treatment of those who are vulnerable simply because they are outsiders, we will eventually think nothing of treating our citizens the same way.”

Chicago Tribune: Editorial: Don’t separate immigrant kids from parents

“There’s a governing principle at stake that says all people, especially children, should be treated with fairness and compassion. Both the Dreamers and the separated children were brought to the U.S. by adults. The children should not be unduly punished for the decisions of their parents. An overwhelming percentage of Americans want to give law-abiding Dreamers a chance to stay in the U.S. We’re certain most Americans also are appalled by the government dividing families.”

The Topeka Capital-Journal: Editorial: Forced family separation must stop

“There are times when certain facts break through the noise and shock the conscience. There are times when the usual back-and-forth of political argument is transcended by sheer injustice. There are times when our shared humanity requires us to take a stand. The forced separation of children from their parents at the southern border by the Trump administration is one of those times. It is shameful, destructive to families and morally indefensible. The president must stop the policy. Legislators across Kansas owe it to us, their constituents, to demand that he do so.”

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Editorial: Inhumane Society

“Sessions came to Fort Wayne to celebrate his no-exceptions border operation as a triumph of law and order. But as human rights advocates share their observations and as photos and fragmentary accounts filter out of the facilities where children are being housed, the callousness and cruelty of that policy are becoming apparent.”

Terre Haute Tribune-Star: Editorial: This despicable policy must end

“Americans understand that immigration is a difficult issue and border security is a legitimate problem. But to assert that there is no solution other than to forcibly separate children from their parents after an illegal border crossing and warehouse them in cages while bureaucrats sort things out is ludicrous.”

The Alton Telegraph: Editorial: There’s nothing ‘great’ - or moral - about separating families

“There is no amount of partisan blame, claims about enforcing the law, or citations of scripture that can paint this as anything but inhumane and cruel. This is not who we are as a nation. It is not making us great. This is not what we should aspire to be.”

 

Syracuse.com: Editorial: Dear Mr. Vice President: Stop separating families at the border

“It is false to blame family separation on the law or on Democrats. The Trump administration made a policy decision to have "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration and to practice family separation as a deterrent. The Bush and Obama administrations operated under the same law, but did not separate families, even though they had the power to do so.”

 

Bangor Daily News: Editorial: Taking children from their parents is what terrorists do

“Trump administration officials say family separations will deter immigration to the United States. Treating asylum seekers like criminals and taking away their children is inhumane, un-American (re-read the words engraved at the foot of the Statue of Liberty) and, as the United Nations has said, violates international human rights laws. America must be better than this.”

 

Capitol Broadcasting Company: Editorial: Time for N.C.'s congressional delegation to stand for kids and against inhumanity on our border

“What is going on at the Mexican border today is ugly, un-American and WRONG. That is why Gov. Roy Cooper has joined with other governors – Republicans and Democrats, in calling members of the state National Guard now deployed to the border back home. It is why Attorney General Josh Stein joined with 20 other state attorneys general to sign a letter calling on Sessions to end the current policy as ‘inhumane’ and an abuse of children’s rights. There are other North Carolina voices that need to be heard from, loud and clear about where they stand on the Trump administration’s policies and actions that take children from their parents – about 2,000 in less than two months.

“Speak up Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis. Where do you stand? Do you back the president or will you work with Democrats to end this policy?”

The Commercial Appeal: Editorial: US must stop holding children hostage

“Trump, who runs all of the federal agencies that separate and detain migrant families, blamed someone else, of course. "I hate the children being taken away,’ Trump said Friday. ‘The Democrats have to change their law — that's their law.’ There is no law that requires children to be taken from their parents if they cross the border unlawfully.”

The Roanoke Times: Editorial: We checked. Animals are treated better than the children locked up in Texas.

“In all, the federal government now holds at least 2,700 migrant children who have been separated from their parents and it expects that number to increase. Officials are looking at expanding the tent city in Tornillo from 400 beds to 4,000. All this, of course, is a result of the Trump administration’s hard-line policies on immigration. It’s not true that separating children from their parents is a Trump administration policy. It is, however, a direct consequence of a Trump policy — a fine point of distinction for the administration, but a distinction without a difference for critics.”

The Virginian-Pilot: Editorial: Stop separating parents from their children

“However, this reprehensible policy of separating families — of removing children from their parents when they enter the United States — was enacted by Trump and his administration. It is his responsibility to end it at once.”

Daily Hampshire Gazette: Editorial: Stop ripping children from parents

“The real issue is Trump’s abandonment of the humanitarian values cherished by a vast majority of Americans. We call on lawmakers from both parties to take whatever steps are needed to halt the president’s inhumane policy — now.”

Catholic Register: Editorial: Stop the madness

“To inflict suffering on children for any reason is reprehensible. To do so for political purposes is contemptible. Intended to deter illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, this policy is inflicting a cruel punishment and emotional pain on innocent, no doubt frightened, children who are torn from parents, often for several weeks at a time. These families have already endured trauma, their lives upturned in long journeys north, often from Central America, in desperate bids to start a new life. To pry away children at the border and secure them in temporary pens is beneath a great nation.”

USA Today: Editorial: At the border, Trump's zero tolerance makes zero sense

“This kind of diversion from the norm will not come without a price — to America’s reputation in the world; to our own sense that ours is a just, civil, moral and exceptional society. How can a country that treats families so inhumanely be exceptional in a positive way?”