I hope this report is wrong, but given statements that have come from people close to the process, I fear it is right. The Trump Administration is reportedly considering separating children from parents in illegal immigration situations. The move is meant to deter people from coming across the border illegally. It is cruel, inhumane, and I think deeply, deeply offensive to the tenets of my faith.
And sadly I know that the comments to this piece and in the Republican party as a whole will find all sorts of happy warriors defending it. But you should not.
There are, in society, degrees of punishment. We do not offer up capital punishment or even life imprison except for the worst crimes. It is why I am opposed to zero tolerance policies in public schools. The good kids with no history of bad behavior should not be disciplined in the same way as the repeat offenders. Grace should be shown. The same holds true here.
There are ways to discourage and disincentivize illegal immigration without separating children from parents. It is traumatic to the child and, frankly, given the prevalence of sexual abuse these days we cannot guarantee the child will escape various forms of torment while in custody.
Likewise, while I too oppose illegal immigration, I do not advocate armed gun towers gunning people down trying to cross the border. There are such things as proportional responses and I don't think this is a proportional response.
But most importantly, I do not think people who claim this as a Christian nation should support the separation of families. The gospel is not just for us, but for everyone. And while I think we need to detain and deport families that cross illegally, I think separating the children from the parents sounds more 1930's Germany than American. It lacks compassion or grace, both of which can and should be shown even while meting out justice.
This is very much the wrong policy to reflect American values and I cannot support it and must root against its implementation.