The Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant children from their families and detaining them is cruel, inhumane and flies in the face of Jewish values (“Local leaders at interfaith rally protest family separations,” June 29). The president’s new executive order on this matter doesn’t solve the crisis he created; it continues to criminalize immigrants, including people exercising their legal right to seek asylum, detains immigrant families in jails unsafe for children and provides no plan to reunite thousands of separated children.
As a Jewish American, I know all too well what it looks like for a government to criminalize the most vulnerable, to lie and obfuscate to justify grossly immoral practices under the banner of “the law,” to interpret scripture as a cover for human cruelty and to normalize what can never be made normal. We have seen this before.
Too many of us repeat the words “never again” and think too narrowly about the murder of Jews in Europe. That narrow interpretation ignores the painful and thorough acts of dehumanization and terror that people are living through today at our southern border.
The president’s agenda can only be realized if good people remain silent. Jews must organize to demand that he end his “zero tolerance” policy and urge members of Congress to call for the same. If we don’t speak out, the president and his ilk will only be empowered to take his anti-immigrant policies to even more dangerous, violent extremes.