As we go about our lives in busy but blessed Sag Harbor, our country has been engaged in an ongoing obscenity on our southern border as a soulless administration in Washington uses innocent children as leverage against their parents.
“Don’t cross the border illegally with your family”is President Trump’s message to immigrants “or we will take your kids away from you and send them to foster care.”
It’s easy for people who live in a lovely place like Sag Harbor to tuck down their heads, keep their minds focused on their own lives and try to forget what’s happening in far off Texas and Arizona.
But it’s hitting close to home. This is our country that is tearing children away from their parents. There are thousands of immigrants living among us, at least some of whom must be suffering the horrors perpetrated by the United States against their friends and relatives.
We have to care and speak out like the congregants of Temple Adas Israel, who are planning a walk with the theme “Keeping Families Together”from the windmill at 11 a.m. on July 4. It is being held in conjunction with OLA (Organización Latino Americana of Eastern Long Island), the South Fork Unitarian-Universalist congregation, Racial Justice East Endand the Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons.
Now the physicians of eastern Long Island, through the Suffolk County Medical Society, have taken a stand. In a letter released Tuesday, the president and incoming president of the society —which represents 2,000 physicians who practice on the East End —said to “force separation of children from their parents or other adult caregivers is unconscionable”and that it “must stop immediately.”
“Such practices are highly likely to result in harm to the children and their parents or caregivers,”wrote Dr. Bruce H. Berlin, society president, and Dr. Ramin Rak, incoming president. “The American Psychiatric Association has warned that such children are at high risk of developing depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”as well as medical and mental health problems.
News broke on Wednesday that President Trump, upending all his previous arguments defending his inhuman policy, would soon issue an executive order ending it. That’s what speaking out can do to, even against the depredations of a ruthless demagogue.