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A Plea to the Media: Don’t Move On From the Immigration Crisis

Joselaine, a migrant mother from Brazil and one of the plaintiffs in an ACLU lawsuit over the U.S. government's separation of families. (Matt York / AP)

No, Mr. and Ms. Media, I am not ready to just move on. Yes, I realize that the next calamitous act by Donald Trump and his band of thugs will further desecrate the name of America and portend more ruinous consequences for many, but goddamn it, you cannot simply set aside the soul-murdering ramifications of having 3,000 helpless, innocent children set aswirl in chaos—an unregulated, uncoordinated, Babel-like system led by unprepared and clearly heartless political hacks more interested in covering their asses than in reunifying terrified children with heartbroken parents who have the audacity to be poor and nonwhite.

Yes, the possibility of Trump slobbering over Vladimir Putin while giving away more of the store is worthy of attention, but is it more important than the ongoing torture of innocents? The damage being done every day to this legion of lost children who have harmed no one tears at the heart of every sentient being in this country, even as it labels us all as uncaring, conniving monsters to the rest of the world. And is the rest of the world wrong to hold that opinion? What else are we if we turn away from lost, suffering infants and heartsick children and focus instead on the ever-unfolding follies of the pathologically needy man our system has vaulted into prominence?

If traducing the sanctity of the family isn’t a crime, it should be. And the willing accomplices to this racist monstrosity should be made to suffer every indignity they’ve been so dutifully willing to inflict on their victims. To snatch a babe from the arms of its mother is a new low for authorities in a nation that not long ago condemned soldiers who justified their crimes by claiming to be just “following orders.” But a special place in hell should be reserved for the bureaucrats who devised and supervised a one-way system that stripped child from parent with no thought of return. These are the villains who, their Machiavellian intentions now exposed, suggest they can meet the court-ordered “reunification” of these families by the simple expedient of placing any kid they can’t account for with a willing “foster parent.”

Really? Given the forethought and care they’ve demonstrated so far, why not just skip the middleman and ship the kid into slavery?

No, Mr. and Ms. Media, I’m not asking you to stop jollying us along by tracking and categorizing Trump’s ongoing buffoonery. I realize you have bills to pay and ratings to chase. What I am saying is that 3,000 children are in danger. Some may have already been lost. Arguably all have been severely traumatized in ways that will affect the rest of their lives—as long or short as they may be. Granted, these children are not being put into ovens or gassed to death, but in terms of fear, of horror, of pain, of literal torment, their plight constitutes a psychological holocaust of our making. And because the apparatus of our government is hopelessly entwined with and complicit in the perpetration of this tragedy, it can neither be expected nor trusted to properly solve it.

Mr. and Ms. Media, you are the Fourth Estate. The time, energy and investigative prowess your industry is known for should be put to the test, every day, of airing and remedying the plight of these children and exposing the crimes and the criminals responsible for it.

Mike Farrell
Contributor
Mike Farrell is co-chair emeritus of Human Rights Watch in California, and serves as president of Death Penalty Focus and as a member of the advisory board of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death…
Mike Farrell

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