Keep Families Together

Cruel family separation as a course of Presidential preference versus a morally humane effort to keep children under the safety and protection of their parents is unacceptable and un-American.

Idle banter on the pros and cons of this course of action is not enough to change the forever scarring imparted on these children as a result of “separation anxiety.”

The American Psychiatric Association defines separation anxiety as a disorder that refers to excessive fear or anxiety about separation from home or an attachment figure. The impact on 1,995 children and counting who have been separated from their families within the past six weeks will emotionally scar these children for life.

As a mother of two children, I know the panic of losing sight of my children in the store for one moment too long. Only to be relieved when my children would pop out and yell, “Here I am,” just before I started a frantic search.

I mourn the reality that President Trump implemented a zero tolerance policy in April to allow an agent to separate children and relocate them to detention centers or elsewhere without their parents.

A parental decision to flee the unsafe realities of their native land and brave the treacherous journey to the United States or nearby border should not end with the moral brutality of family separation.

Now is the time to reach out to congressional representatives and urge them to support Senator Feinstein’s “Keep Families Together Act.” This bill would prohibit an agency at the border from removing a child from a parent or legal parent.

Let’s all join together to call for an end to this practice. Together we can resist this cruel policy and call for the President to stop the family separation and child detainment being enforced at our borders.

Shavonda Sumter

Assemblywoman Representing 35th Legislative District