On June 20th the President, by executive order, rescinded the policy of separating immigrant and refugee children from their families at our southern border. This is a cause for limited celebration: this policy was an affront to the welfare of children and to the dignity of immigrants who have sacrificed so much to come to a place where they no longer need fear for their safety. Separating children from their parents violates profound ethical principles, cruelly severing the familial bond for no good purpose.
Yet we condemn the policy which will now ensue, which will see immigrant families jailed—together, yes, but in jail at the sole discretion of Department of Homeland Security. Prior to this decision, families could be bonded out of jail and then present their case in front of a judge when summoned. Now, this is impossible: we will return to jailing whole families, young children confined, in orange jumpsuits, until the full course of legal proceedings against them has run.
These are not the actions of a just nation. A just nation would extend compassion and refuge to those who have experienced abuse and oppression in their countries of origin, seeking to offer them a new home. A just nation welcomes the migrant with a full appreciation of their humanity. A just nation does not jail small children, even with their families, when new technology allows for their release pending any legal proceedings.
The American Ethical Union calls for a review of our current immigration policies which, as a whole, dehumanize those wishing to make their lives in America, while depriving our nation of their contribution to our common welfare. A rational and humane immigration system would benefit the Americans of today and the Americans of tomorrow, and is an ethical necessity.