“We are in the midst of a human rights crisis
that should shake us to our core”





Has America lost its soul?





By Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice


Washington, DC – We are in the midst of a human rights crisis that should shake us to our core. We are pursuing cruelty as a matter of policy. This administration, in our name and with our tax dollars, is careening from wanton cruelty to the depths of depravity. It’s unconscionable.


From the heart-wrenching photograph of the lifeless bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter Valeria, to the outrage over the deplorable conditions in which children are held, to our government’s choice to use family separations to purposefully sow fear among desperate people, the question has to be asked: has America lost its soul?


As Washington Post syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson writes, “President Trump’s immigration policy has crossed the line from gratuitous cruelty to flat-out sadism...Do not look away. This is the reality of Trump’s America. Deal with it.”


While there is a better way to manage this refugee and humanitarian crisis, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress misread what is happening and why and seem more interested in exploiting the issue for political purposes than in solving it through good governance. Just witness the stark contrasts and developments from yesterday:


• Trump and Republicans balk at urgent funding for children caught up in this unfolding human rights crisis. The House emergency supplemental funding bill that passed recently addresses the deplorable conditions in detention facilities and urgent need to expand humane shelters for kids. But because it doesn’t include enough hardline enforcement measures to satisfy Trump and Stephen Miller, the President issued a veto threat. In addition, 98% of House Republicans voted against the spending bill, while 98% of Democrats supported it.


• 100 children returned to detention facility in Clint, TX -- the scene of horrific conditions. After the deplorable conditions in the Clint detention facility generated national outrage, children housed there were moved out. But yesterday brought the news that 100 kids had been returned back to the Clint facility. Imagine yourself as one of these children -- to be returned to the scene of such neglect and horrors after earlier having hopes raised that they would be moving past this dark chapter of their young lives.


• “Everyone at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is Weak” -- Trump’s immigration whisperer, Stephen Miller, and other administration hardliners are pushing for more cruelty and doomed-to-fail deterrence-only policies. The ongoing palace intrigue stories, resignations, and infighting plaguing the Trump administration boil down to this assessment: Trump and Stephen Miller are failing and desperate, and more interested in inflicting more cruelty to score points with his hard core supporters. At a time when the nation and the world is outraged at the treatment of families and kids at the border, this is what the Washington Post reported: “One person who has spoken with Trump about immigration said the president has heard from senior immigration adviser Stephen Miller and others around him that ‘everyone at DHS is weak.’”