Zero Tolerance Policy hurts children

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A mother migrating from Honduras holds her 1-year-old child as surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol agents after illegally crossing the border Monday, June 25, 2018, near McAllen, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Mylena Ferman

How anyone can think it’s humane to separate families from each other is beyond me. How people can consider it as anything other than cruel baffles me. However, that’s exactly what is implied within the zero tolerance policy.

The Zero Tolerance Policy states that any immigrant who crosses the border without a visa will be prosecuted as a criminal.

Anyone who claims the policy doesn’t tear families apart didn’t hear Jeff Sessions, who, during a news conference on May 7, stated that adults with children “may be separated from (the adult) as required by law.”

The law in question says to separate children from parents who are being prosecuted of a crime, even if the “crime” is the act of crossing the border in order to seek sanctuary.

The Department of Homeland Security says that the children in its care are provided with “medical care, mental health care, educational services, and other services.”

However, the conditions described by children formerly in their custody show a very grim reality.

Eddy, 17, and Lillian, 9, spoke of their experiences within the facilities in an interview with The Guardian. While speaking about the conditions they’ve experienced, Eddy described how cold it was even with the aluminum blanket provided and how the water source they had to drink from was purposefully polluted with chlorine.

“You can see them adding the chlorine so you can’t drink it,” he said. “Out of desperation kids try it, but you get more thirsty, and your throat burns.”

The devastation this policy causes is so severe that the American Academy of Pediatrics penned five different letters to the secretary of the DHS to call for the removal of the policy.

Dr. Colleen Kraft, President of AAP, explains that not only is the physical atmosphere
traumatizing but that the damages separation causes on the child’s brain structure can be irreparable.

“This type of highly stressful experiences, like family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short- and long-term health… [it] can carry lifelong consequences for children,” she said in a letter to DHS.

With all this information at hand, how is it that there are still supporters of this policy? Do people truly hate Hispanics and Latinos so much that they are willing to rips their basic human rights from them?

The answer is drawn from Trump’s many tweets about the repercussions for these people, these humans, trying to protect their family, “whether they have children or not.’

And that answer is no.

However, there are many things you can do to help these families seeking protection. Research protests and join them.

Stuff government mail with letters of outrage. Call and voice your thoughts to a representative. Volunteer at places like the American Civil Liberties Union. Do anything to help!

Remember, you not only have a voice but the ability to be heard.

Help speak out for those whose voices are being suffocated by corrupt policies.

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