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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Separating families at the border, obstructing rights is unjust

Resignation of high-ranking government officials does not make them martyrs

President Donald Trump called for the resignation of former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Sunday after she refused to close entry ports at the border and withhold aid from those seeking asylum. In her resignation letter, Nielsen stated: “I can say with confidence our homeland is safer today than when I joined the Administration. We have taken unprecedented action to protect Americans. We have implemented historic efforts to defend our borders, combat illegal immigration, obstruct the inflow of drugs, and uphold our laws and values.”

These efforts weren’t, in any way, historic. Despite repeatedly lying about the administration’s policy about separating families at the border, according to Business Insider, Nielsen later said that her department would “not apologize for doing our job,” also stating, “This administration has a simple message: If you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you.” Nielsen did nothing but help Trump and his administration terrorize those seeking asylum and separate families at the border.

Nielsen’s forced resignation by Trump was so that the administration could have a “tougher” approach on immigration and likely replace her with someone who will enact even harsher immigration policies, despite the harsh immigration policies Nielsen already implemented. Nielsen is a perpetrator, and her resignation from the Department of Homeland Security does not exonerate her from the atrocities she committed against immigrants, including invoking the Migration Protection Protocols under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which forced undocumented immigrants or those without proper documentation to return to Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings.

Not only is separating families and forcing them to remain in Mexico morally reprehensible and sickening — it’s also illegal. A California judge ruled on Monday that asylum seekers could not be forced to wait in Mexico while waiting for their trials in U.S. immigration courts. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg stated that the DHS’s policy “lacks sufficient protections against aliens being returned to places where they face undue risk to their lives or freedom,” according to Bloomberg.

Other high-ranking government officials have also partaken in maltreatment against immigrants seeking refuge. Scott Lloyd, the former head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, “abused his position of power to try to coerce pregnant minors to carry unwanted pregnancies to term by trying to prevent those who wished to pursue their constitutional right to abortion by leaving the shelter,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union. After the ACLU filed a lawsuit to challenge the Trump administration’s anti-abortion agenda toward immigrants, Lloyd was transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.

Families trying to escape violence, poverty and seek better lives for their children should be met with open arms — not have their children torn from their arms. The Editorial Board condemns the unjust actions and immigration policies of Nielsen and the Trump administration, and demands that justice be served. No one should have to endure the inhumane living conditions that these immigrants have been imposed by the administration.

Written by: The Editorial Board


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