Not the American way | AspenTimes.com

Not the American way

The stunning revelation that undocumented immigrant children are being taken from their families on our southern border is a horror, pure and simple. Comparisons to the treatment of European Jews by Germany in the 1930s and 1940s are inescapable.

Where is our moral compass?

An impoverished, illiterate mother and small child flee from Honduran gangs, traveling by rail, by bus, by foot through Central America and Mexico, risking everything to come to America, where the Statue of Liberty proclaims, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free." At the border, the woman claims refugee status. If she and her child aren't refugees, who is? But she's arrested and separated from her child. She's not told where her child is going. Rather, she's given one of those 800 numbers where you go round and round, never reaching anyone who knows anything about your case.

Who can judge this woman? Who can say that in the same circumstances they would choose a different path? What kind of policy dictates that a mother and child be traumatized by border bureaucrats? This is state-sponsored terrorism of helpless people. This is wrong.

Children are fragile. They cling to loved ones. Their family is the only world they know. Ask any psychologist. Ask any parent. Tear children from their families, and the scars will be deep and permanent.

And where do these kids go? Who knows? The Office of Refugee Settlement reported at the end of 2017 that of over 7,000 undocumented minors placed in foster care, 1,475 were unaccounted for.

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This is an issue that transcends politics. This is a test of who we are as a nation and a people. If there's a God in heaven, we will be judged.

Please contact our senators, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, and our representative, Scott Tipton, to let them know that breaking up families is not the American way.

Ed Colby

New Castle

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