The Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, on Sunday. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

EDITORIAL: All children created equal

There are still some who justify President Donald Trump’s treatment of migrant children

There are many contentious issues this week that are specific to this community and normally dominate this spot, yet the thought of children further south being taken from their parents and housed in cages renders nearly all local issues insignificant in comparison, at least for the moment.

Frankly, if thoughts of young children being forcibly removed from their parents’ custody isn’t enough for supporters of the current U.S. administration to urge their government to reconsider new policies, we have to wonder what it would take.

These are presumably the same people who argue in favour of the right to life, of traditional families, of children’s need to have parents involved and accountable. Yet some have developed such an us-and-them mentality that they clearly don’t consider all children to be created equal.

Certainly, adult border jumpers – mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – need to be punished, they must be thinking, so their accompanying children deserve whatever discomfort, unrest and panic they’re experiencing in government-run facilities right now. This is the rationale that has justified the creation of camps in which to concentrate migrant children – while their accused parents, without papers, await justice in jail.

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Then again, there is a chance – albeit a small one – that President Donald Trump’s supporters will be a bit more savvy, if not sympathetic.

They might accept his claims that is his opponents’ fault and not a heartless form of negotiation. However, they may wish to ponder the political enemies that their government is creating. For each child ripped from family and now fearful behind chain-link, some will, no doubt, learn to forgive. Others, however, will experience years of hatred.

That one generation’s anger can multiply for future generations has long been demonstrated, both around the world and within the legal U.S. geopolitical boundaries decided not that long ago.

Will that be enough for Trump’s supporters to rethink policies enacted in their name? That they’ve turned even a handful of the nearly 2,000 children seized these past two months into future terrorists?

Perhaps. But if that’s the sort of self-serving thought process it takes for blinded followers to finally second-guess their leader, perhaps their own inner-child had been excised long ago.

 

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