As a nation, we have confronted head-on a tragedy that transcends politics: our federal government’s decision to separate more than 2,000 children, including babies, from their parents at our southern border. Weeks after implementing this inhumane policy, the President signed an executive order today stating that newly-arrived families would not be separated “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.” This new order, however, still leaves room for the separation of families at the discretion of government officials. Moreover, it also gives the federal government the power to detain families indefinitely.
Meanwhile, the fate of those already torn apart remains unknown.
We all know the research that shows the lifelong mental and physical health consequences of childhood trauma. But, in truth, we do not need science to tell us that families belong together. This is especially true for children who have already endured abrupt dislocation and a long, hazardous journey to our border, where their only constant was the parent who guided, cared for, and comforted them.
Executive Dow Constantine along with other elected officials throughout Washington State have condemned this ongoing humanitarian crisis. Best Starts for Kids commits to standing with our communities and raising our voices to protect all families. We must remain vigilant to ensure that all families are reunited and that all immigrants who come to us fleeing violence and terror are treated with basic human dignity.
These are our children. These are our families. This is our country.