Johanna Winant, Morgantown
In the past few days, reputable journalists have written about: 1,500 boys imprisoned in a former big box store, an 8-month old baby that’s been separated from his parents for months and allowed to video chat with them once a week, a 4 month old forcibly taken from her mother while breastfeeding, and a tent city being built for some of the thousands of children who have been or will be separated from their parents by this administration at the Mexico border.
I am sure there are more stories but my heart is already broken Here are my questions: Why are we punishing innocent children and babies?
For that matter, why are we punishing — even torturing — their parents, the vast majority of whom have not broken the law, as they arrived at our borders to apply for asylum, which is a legal and internationally-sanctioned process?
Why was Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., illegally refused entrance to examine a facility where children were being kept? Why, a few days later, were a few journalists only allowed to see one facility?
What is happening at the prisons for younger children, for girls, and the ones journalists are not allowed to see? Are those child prisons operated by licensed professionals?
Why does the Trump administration claim that they are following the law when no such law requiring family separation exists? Why should we even believe that there’s a law that’s being followed when John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff, and Jeff Sessions, his attorney general, have bragged about establishing the family separation policy?
And why haven’t our senators opposed this practice? Neither Sens. Joe Manchin nor Shelly Moore-Capito has gone on the record condemning family separation. They should sign onto the “Keep Families Together Act” immediately.