NANCI SWENSON: We can do better for immigrants at southern border

TO THE EDITOR:

Where do I begin concerning asylum seekers and immigration at our southern border? I begin by saying that these are human beings – most of whom are fleeing violence and possible death in their countries of origin only to arrive at the “the land of the free” to be subjected to prison camp conditions. Many of these seekers are children.

Recently two news sources reported how the Department of Justice thinks that they don’t necessarily need soap and toothbrushes. In the Houston Chronicle (Feb. 14, 2019), “First stop for migrant kids: For-profit detention center” it said that teenagers there stay for an average of 67 days. “The facility … is not governed by state child welfare regulations designed to protect youngsters from harm.” Furthermore, “The kids are beginning to show different sets of problems because they are staying longer,” one official said. “It is a significant problem. Detained children often suffer from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.” So, lack of soap is the least of their worries in the long run.

The most infuriating article was published by HuffPost (June 21, 2019) about severely ill migrant toddlers being hospitalized only after lawyers visited a border patrol facility. This is just unacceptable in our country. We can and should be doing better by these people. Less wealthy countries than the United States are helping refugees on an ongoing basis as they flee war and poverty. We can do better than we are. For those of you who want to know what you can do from here, go online to www.yoppvoice.com, and look under “Social Justice Education.” Also, call your legislator.

Nanci Swenson

Manistee

 

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