With stinging words that continue to resonate with every passing day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaimed: “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.”
To date, nearly 2,000 children have been forcibly separated from their parents, all apparently legally, and under the pretext of immigration enforcement. Essentially these children and their parents are being used as pawns in President Trump’s campaign to build the wall, a totally reprehensible strategy. Can any of us even vaguely understand how these parents must be feeling, having had their children taken from them, not knowing if they will ever see them again. Far worse, can we imagine the trauma of these little children taken from their parents in a strange and unfamiliar place by people who speak a language they do no understand? These are experiences that will give them nightmares for the rest of their lives, regardless of any eventual resolution.
Legal or not, this is cruelty. Heartlessness lies at the core of this policy. Yet, neither the president nor the secretary of Homeland Security show any inclination to desist or even to apologize. The outcry against this cruelty is widespread. Democrats, Republicans, some of the president’s own family, journalists, clergy and countless citizens are raging against what is happening. Yet, it continues. This is not what America is about. Frankly, this is a national disgrace, a deep and self-inflicted wound perilously close to the heart of America. Even when Japanese Americans were relocated to detention camps during World War II, children were never separated from their parents.
And yet, there is a solution at hand. We did not elect a dictator. Our elected representatives must do the job for which we elected them, including holding the president accountable. There is a fierce urgency. Every day that these children continue to be confined and separated from their parents is a high crime if ever there was one.
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Trump needs to be told unequivocally that unless he reverses course now, Congress will remove him, not months from now, but immediately. This should be a demand that crosses party lines. This is not a political matter; it is a humanitarian imperative, a crisis. There is no time to spare. Every day that passes without a reversal is unforgivable, regardless of how one may feel about the overall issues of immigration.
This is no time for quiet acquiescence. Even those who support the president in other matters should be able to see that this policy is unconscionable. The families must be reunited now, not tomorrow, not next week or next month, but now. There are nearly 2,000 urgent reasons for removing this president now, if necessary. Those who sit back quietly share in the responsibility. We, the people, all are responsible.