Casandra Arreola and Uma Ribeiro
Immigration is a topic that people have been debating for centuries. But with the Trump administration in office and making ridiculous policies that even go as far as to hurt children, it is being discussed and debated now more than ever before, and has become an issue of morals rather than one of politics.
Under the zero tolerance policy Trump released back at the start of his term, in which all people entering the United States illegally are prosecuted, innocent children were separated from their families, some younger than two years old.
Though the topic of new people entering the country is largely debated, there should be no debate when it comes to the separation of families and the detaining of innocent children in horrible conditions. It has been proven that family separation causes severe trauma, especially in children, and the fact that they are detained in these horrendous centers rather than being comforted in any way only makes that trauma worse.
The Trump administration, including White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, continues to justify the abuse of these innocent children. The US government legally has to provide any detainees with safe and sanitary living conditions as well as proper medical care, and they did not do so in any way.
Mariee Juarez, the 19 month old daughter of an immigrant who was detained in a Texas detention center, died due to improper medical care for a respiratory infection while in the center, and there have been many other cases similar to that as well.
According to the Washington Post article entitled “Unrest at U.S.-Mexico border creates new tension over migrant caravan,” the actions Trump is taking are actually causing more immigrants to come into the country rather than his goal of keeping them out, and is only harming people.
The catastrophic issue of immigrant family separation and the detaining of immigrant children is still at large, and now even more problems are being produced due to the reaction of the Trump administration towards the migrant caravans. On November 26, several sources, including the New York Times and the Women’s March Organization, who were even able to capture pictures of the horrendous and deeply infuriating act, reported that the administration ordered the US Border Patrol to unleash tear gas (which can cause eye bleeding, respiratory pain, skin irritation, bleeding, and in extreme cases blindness) on the caravan of refugees at the San diego-Tijuana border, even doing so to young children and their parents.
The pictures that have been released from the attack show parents desperately trying to pull their children away from the fast-approaching white fog. Trump has actually defended these terrible actions, stating that the gas was not harmful, when the effects of the gas have been known to be harmful, and in extreme cases, lethal.
Trump has continued his bombardment of childish tweets, in his latest excusing the unleashing of the gas and calling the migrants “stone cold criminals” when in reality the migrants trying to enter the United States are fleeing horrible conditions in their country and are trying to seek asylum (the right to international protection in another country).
Here are the real facts: Seeking asylum is not, in any way, illegal, but denying immigrants the right to seek asylum is. The migrants are not the criminals, but rather the very president of the United States and his administration are. The very people who constantly defend their heinous actions by referring to the constitution are being unconstitutional themselves.
The administration is not only harming innocent people, but is causing political crisis in Mexico as well. According to The Baltimore Sun article, “Trump’s tweets and the truth about the migrants at the border,” the next president of the country, Lopez Obrador, who spent his entire career trying to aid the poor, was hit with Trump’s statement that he will not allow Mexicans into the United States to seek asylum. This statement is causing a great humanitarian emergency and now Obrador is deciding whether to fight it or just comply, as either decision could have major negative consequences.
Trump continues to bash immigrants, yet he and his administration have no real facts to back up their statements, and they continue to dodge any legitimate questions they receive.
When it really comes down to it, it is a question of morals, not political views. Most immigrants come to the United States to flee war, poverty, and to make better lives for their children, not to inflict violence or cause trouble, and instead are met with ICE officers, having their children taken away from them for an unknown amount of time, and tear gas. Legal or illegal, immigrants are still human beings and the way Trump is tackling the issue of immigration is only creating more conflict within the United States.