We all know that it’s hard to related to the stories of thousands of people, say the more than 10,000 minors now in U.S. custody for having crossed the border illegally.
Perhaps we can related better to the story of one Guatemalan seven year old girl, who died of dehydration, exhaustion, and septic shock while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol.
My grandson Archie is seven. He’s a little boy. He relies on the adults around him to provide him with food, water, clothing, a warm place to sleep, and love.
What if love meant taking a seven year old on a dangerous trek over endless miles of harsh terrain, just to protect the child against getting killed or sexually assaulted by gangs, or to keep the child from dying of malnutrition or disease.
I can’t imagine.
The White House is quick to assert that the child’s death isn’t Trump’s fault. Nothing ever is, including the culture of harshness Trump and his enablers like Stephen Miller foment toward desperate migrants. I was struck by the brusque defensiveness with which Kirstjen Nielson, Homeland Security Secretary, dismissed the child’s death, blaming it on her father. Hogan Gidley, standing in for Sarah Sanders, was equally aloof, smug, and uncaring. Neither managed a shred of compassion for the dead child, or for her desperate and grieving young father. What a miserable group of people Trump gathers around him.
Is this who we are as Americans, cruelly mistreating the poor huddled masses who now wash up on our shores? I can’t imagine.