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Opinion

Readers React: Trump’s forced family separation policy has trashed America’s reputation globally

McAllen processing center for people crossing the US border., USA - 18 Jun 2018
Migrant families wait to be processed at the United States Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen, Texas.
(U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

To the editor: This country welcomed me when I came as a Soviet refugee at the age of 7. The United States was a beacon of hope for us.

I no longer recognize that country. I became a doctor and I can tell you that the torture — and what these children are experiencing is torture — we are committing will profoundly damage these people for the rest of their lives.

I am appalled not at our president, who long ago demonstrated his total lack of humanity. I am appalled at how the Republican Party has abandoned its responsibility to the Constitution and the founding principles of our great nation. The party of family values has become the party of white supremacy, the party that puts innocent refugee children into camps.

For the first time in my life, I am truly ashamed of my country.

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Alexander Rivkin, Los Angeles

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To the editor: To harm children as a political bargaining chip is a moral abomination. By confirming that President Trump plans to continue separating migrant children from their parents to secure concessions from the Democrats, White House officials are confessing an absence of conscience reminiscent of the cruelest dictatorships.

If the Trump administration officials and Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees responsible for implementing these policies do not resign in protest, it is a moral failure. If we as a people do not rise up and demand, on the streets if necessary, an immediate halt to this policy, we have lost our way.

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Every day we allow this to continue, children are being traumatized and irreparably harmed.

Ruth Bettelheim, New York

The writer is a licensed marriage and family therapist who has taught developmental psychology at several colleges.

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To the editor: I watched my granddaughter cry recently. She wanted her mother to sit next to her at breakfast — such a simple request but no doubt important to her. My daughter moved over to sit next to her. The crying stopped; her life was happy once again.

Children are fragile. They are books without words, and each day a new chapter is etched into their story.

The widely circulated photo of the young child crying as her mother was being taken away writes a different story that is not happy and secure but dark and filled with terror— and nothing good comes from this writing.

Kevin Anthony, Studio City

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To the editor: Trump in 2016: Mexico will pay for the wall. Trump in 2017: I will shut down the government to force Congress to pay for the wall. Trump in 2018: I will take thousands of children from their families until I get my wall.

What will 2019 bring? Is there any bottom to the moral abyss into which this administration and its enablers have plunged us?

James Goldwasser, Los Angeles

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