Harming Children at the Border

There is something ugly, perverse and cruel about separating children from their parents at the border when they try to either cross illegally or seek asylum. Just because there is a law against it does not make them criminals. There is a difference between crossing a border to seek help, escape violence or seek a better life and willfully harming another. Besides some laws as Martin Luther King, Jr. well knew, are unjust. And he as St Augustine before him believed that we have the right to disobey an unjust law. That whether overtly stated or not is behind the idea of sanctuary and sanctuary cities. The anguish of parents separated from their children can easily be imagined, including by one account a mother separated from her 8 year old blind daughter. There can be no question as to the trauma to children separated from their parents in a foreign culture with another language! And to compound the trauma, there are reports that the children held in detention are being abused. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit. Still as of this writing the abuse continues. This situation of separating children and their parents in order to enforce a policy which is not one that is morally defensible reminds me of Jews being carted off to camps, of Japanese being sent to detention, of Native Americans being placed in reservations, of slave owning families. In each case these were policies that turned out to be evil while the majority stood. A policy that knowingly harms children crosses a line we ought not to allow. There can be no moral or legal justification for harming innocent children. Whatever actions we know how to take as citizens of a still free country, we must take.