Letter to the Editor

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FAMILIES: Human Rights Task Force speaks out

The Boundary County Human Rights Task Force adds its voice to the many voices calling for the immediate reunification of children and their parents separated as a result of the United States governmentís ďzero toleranceĒ immigration policy. We add our voice to the voices of four Homeland Security advisors who have resigned in protest and the federal judge who has ordered the families be reunited.

The United States government has created a nightmare. Homeland Security agents have torn thousands of children from their parents and hidden them in facilities scattered across the country. The separation of young children from their parents is abusive and cruel. There are reports of abuse and children being held without adequate access to clean drinking water, food, blankets, and toiletries. There are reports of children forcibly and illegally treated with psychotropic drugs. Separation and isolation inflict potentially life-long damage on these children, some of whom, the government admits, may never be reunited with their parents.

The federal government has purposefully lost track of people who have come to our country seeking asylum, and it is our responsibility as U.S. citizens to demand these families be reunited.

Deeming children and their deported parents ineligible for reunification is not acceptable. As U.S. citizens, we cannot ignore this morally repugnant policy and horrendous treatment of fellow human beings.

We call on all of our elected officials to work diligently to ensure these families are reunited immediately. We hope others will add their voices.

Barbara Russell

Bonners Ferry

Boundary County Human Rights Task Force

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