On Sunday former First Lady Laura Bush published an opinion piece in The Washington Post in which she blasted the Trump administration’s policy for separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The normally soft-spoken wife of former President George W. Bush did not hold back in criticizing Trump’s zero tolerance policy, saying it is “cruel” and “immoral” and “breaks my heart.”
Here is how she began her opinion piece which fittingly appeared on Father’s Day:
“On Sunday, a day we as a nation set aside to honor fathers and the bonds of family, I was among the millions of Americans who watched images of children who have been torn from their parents. In the six weeks between April 19 and May 31, the Department of Homeland Security has sent nearly 2,000 children to mass detention centers or foster care. More than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old. The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders.”
“I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
As many others agree, Mrs. Bush said that the border detention facilities in Texas were “eerily reminiscent’ of the Japanese internment camps the U.S. built after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor during World War II.
“Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso,” she wrote.
Mrs. Bush then commented on that fact that Americans have always seen themselves as being a “moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. “
Echoing many other critics of Trump’s policy, she then added, “If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.”
Concerning what to do about immigration policy, she said that she believed there are good people in Washington who can “fix this.” But, she said “the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.”
Many Americans will be happy that a prominent Republican public figure like Mrs. Bush is standing up to the cruel practices of Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump. Hopefully this will be enough to awaken their consciences so they can see that what they are doing is not the right thing and is truly un-American.
Her husband, although still very unpopular, also had the courage to speak up against Donald Trump’s racism in February of last year. In People magazine he was quoted as saying, “I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like the people feeling alienated.”
And now it is clear that his wife agrees with him, as do the vast majority of the American people.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.