We at Free Speech For People are disgusted by Donald Trump’s policy of breaking up families and imprisoning migrant children. Under Trump’s policy, children are seized from their families—who are often told that their children are just “bathing”—and warehoused in mass orphanages indefinitely while their parents are left unaware of their whereabouts.
While there are many aspects of immigration policy on which reasonable people can disagree, this is not one of them. As the Supreme Court has recognized, “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by [the] Court.” Whether a family has lawfully presented itself to border agents at a designated port of entry and duly applied for asylum according to the government’s own procedures, or crossed the border at an unauthorized location, no constitutionally legitimate interest can justify Trump’s policy.
The preamble to the U.S. Constitution provides that “We the People of the United States” establish the Constitution “in Order to form a more perfect Union.” We cannot achieve a more perfect Union if the government is tearing young children away from their parents for no reason other than to deliberately increase the suffering of migrant families.
This goes far beyond the government’s recent trend of increasingly incarcerating immigrants in response to campaign funding from the private prison industry. Trump’s authoritarian urges and racially-inflected cruelty are unprecedented in modern American history.
Soon after the election in November 2016, we issued a statement calling upon then President-elect Trump and all public officials “to completely and totally repudiate all elements of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected group status, and all forms of authoritarian governance that threaten the constitutional rights of all Americans.” We renewed that call in August 2017 after Trump failed to condemn the neo-Nazi terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.
We renew that call yet again. We do not harbor any illusions that Donald Trump will ever change. But it is not too late for Congress to awaken from its slumber, and remove him from office before he soils it beyond repair.