Letter to the Editor: We must have Zero Tolerance of Separating Children from Parents


Ok, folks, it’s time to get serious. Imagine, if you will, that you are a young couple putting your child to bed and you tell them how much you love them. Now imagine that those are the last words you will say to that child.

Forty-one years ago my son went in for corrective surgery to his poor little-broken heart at the Children’s Hospital in Washington DC. His last words to me were, “Daddy when I come home can we go camping?” and, of course, I answered we sure would. Sadly, my 4-year-old son never survived that operation, and we never got to go camping. It was the last time I heard his little voice. God decided to take him into his arms early in his young life.

Now imagine that you turn on the news on your TV or computer or you open up your newspaper and read about a rogue administration has just separated 2,300 children from their parents and secretly scattered these children throughout the country. You are outraged that a nation would do such a thing only to find out that that country is the United States of America.

Impossible you say. Well, it gets worse. You also learn that some of the children (most likely the babies and toddlers) may never be returned to their mothers. These mothers will never be able to tell their child that they “love” them, because that a Nation of Immigrants ailed to keep necessary records on the families and their children, so they have no idea how to reunite them. Who would devise such an unbelievable action?

It turns out that it was conceived of by the leader of the “free world” using his powers as President and by executive order. His chief prosecutor, his Attorney General, gladly supported this order by declaring a “zero tolerance” policy. So these families and their children have now been devastated, and it’s likely that they may never recover from this traumatic experience because the families “possibly” committed a misdemeanor of illegally crossing into this “land of the free.” I say “possibly” because these people were never given due process before they were torn apart.

As time goes by it becomes increasingly difficult to remember the things I did with my son. I forgot the sound of his voice years ago. I realized after much pain that I would not hear him laugh or for that matter cry so that I could comfort him. I can take some comfort in realizing that having him in my life briefly was wonderful, but that only helps me to cope with his loss.

Tonight when you put your children to bed tell them you love them. Think for a moment what it might be like if those are the last words you say to them. If you are a senior citizen (like me) and your children are grown, pull out some of the old photos of them as babies, toddlers or young children and think what it might be like if they were no longer part of your life.

To the members of Congress, regardless of your politics, those who promulgated and carried out this immoral and despicable act must be held accountable. We must do this if our democracy is to survive.

Richard P. Crane, Sr


Letters to Editor

  1. Robert J GArson says:

    Mr. Crane, you have touched us deeply with this post. and after so many years, we still offer our condolences. May you find some comfort in knowing that others are as outraged as you are at the horrors inflicted upon us by this administration.

  2. Susan De Simone says:

    Thank you so much for your plea for these children and their parents. I am appalled at the excuse that the since parents broke the law it’s OK to treat them as less than human. First of all, not all of them broke the law–many entered publicly to ask for asylum. Secondly, if someone, say, speeds and gets a ticket, the State doesn’t take away their children. The president and attorney general have demonized immigrants with brown skin by calling them thugs, criminals, murderers, and rapists who are “invading” our country, in order to rationalize their inhuman treatment. We will pray for these families that they will be reunited and treated as fellow human beings. We will pray also for the president and attorney general that God’s grace will fall upon them and fill their hearts with compassion and understanding.

    • Edward Plaisance says:

      Until this become a big news item I was not aware that it is only a misdemeanor. What other misdemeanor in this country is demonized this way? I just spent some time Googling “misdemeanor” and various punishments associated. Nowhere was our government’s present practice mentioned.

      From my personal experience with a paranoid, narcissistic family member, rather than wasting time praying for Trump and Sessions, if you believe prayer makes a difference, I can suggest praying that God enlighten the people of this country to reverse and reject this ongoing disaster in the next elections.

  3. James R Reeves says:

    Yes, it is awful to have a child taken away, but you are preaching to a choir who would never THINK about crossing a desert-like condition and risking our childrens’ lives and limbs to cross over the border illegally–especially when they could have used a port of entry rather than trying to sneak in. The government is wrong to separate the children from their parents; the parents are stupid to take such risks with these children.

    I witnessed a CNN interview with a border agent and when I realized these people are taking such huge risks when a port of entry would have been the safer option, then my anger shifted toward the irresponsible parents doing such horrible things to their children and wondering if they are looking for pity as a way to get into the country. They are not victims; they are trying to game the system.

    We need real immigration reform. When it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to legally become a citizen, something is horribly wrong. This cost figure was given to me by an immigration lawyer when I inquired about sponsoring a Spanish person to become a citizen. This is a far cry from Ellis Island. However, sneaking-in illegally is not the answer.

    • Anne Highfield-Clark says:

      I can’t even imagine how helpless and desperate it must feel to realize that it is safer to make the dangerous journey to the border in order to escape the threat things like murder, rape, and kidnapping in some of the home countries of these immigrants. And when they are turned away at ports of entry (which is what is actually happening) their only option is to enter illegally in hopes of seeking asylum. Can you even imagine being in such a position? This level of desperation is unknown to those of us who live, safely, in the US and enjoy the privilege of time and freedom to write comments on op-ed pieces.

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