EDITORIAL: Images of suffering children reflect new American reality

They’re sounds and images that could melt the coldest of hearts. But the heart-wrenching scenes playing out along the southern U.S. border are not enough to cut through the xenophobic zeal that now passes itself off as American immigration policy.

Recordings surfaced this week of sobbing toddlers crying out for their mama and papa from where they were being detained in make-shift cages set up in former department stores and other centres along the Mexican border. The recordings, along with photographs of crying youngsters, prompted many opponents of the new policy to protest “This is not who we are,” despite the growing evidence to the contrary.

The Trump administration has fully embraced the family separation policy, although its reasons for doing so continue to evolve in search of a more palatable option.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was among the first to speak out in favour of the policy that has stripped an estimated 2,000 children away from their parents. Sessions cited Romans 13 in the Bible, calling on Americans “ to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

But the attempt to lay the blame for what many experts are calling state-sponsored child abuse at the feet of God didn’t sit well with the public, prompting condemnation from religious leaders across all denominations.

It then fell upon Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to sing the praises of the new Trump administration policy. “We will not apologize for the job we do … that the American people expect us to do,” she said.

When that failed to drum up support, President Trump himself fell back on his old standby of blaming his political opponents for the unpopular aspects of his own policies. The president signed an executive order Wednesday, calling for an end to the separation of children from their parents. That policy shift won’t end the imprisonment of children, however, just keep them detained alongside their parents.

But the images of these children won’t easily escape the consciousness of a world shocked by the U.S. actions. And the damage inflicted on those children will be a permanent stain on a government willing to use innocent youngsters as pawns in a political game.

Just Posted

Transplant caregiver starts website for financial, mental health support

Beth Campbell-Duke started Transplant Rouges after her husband’s double lung transplant

Victoria ranked as one of B.C.’s worst cities to work in

High living costs and low average incomes drop Victoria from the top 10

Saanich swimmer has ribs removed, posts them on social media

Jill Yoneda makes light of rare surgery for ‘slipping rib syndrome’

Cyclist without helmet thrown onto windshield in Victoria

Despite damage to bike, cyclist uninjured following accident

Victoria no longer interested in hosting a downtown casino

Mayor puts forward letter that retracts interest in hosting a casino

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read