Yesterday, a government lawyer argued in court that soap, toothbrush, beds and an appropriate sleeping environment was not necessary to fit the standard of a safe and sanitary place for immigrant children to be held.
Today’s paper carries the story of an El Paso Texas detention center where children are being asked to take care of smaller children. In this overcrowded facility small children have been separated from their parents. Teen girls are caring for a two-year-old without having access to diapers. Children are so exhausted from the bright lights kept on constantly and trying to sleep on cement floors that, they fall asleep during interviews with lawyers. Child psychologists warn of long term damage to the children.
How did we get to this place as a country? When did we stop caring about the children? When did we collectively decide that abusing children was justified? Or hurting children in efforts to discourage their parents from fleeing violence, drought and hunger was acceptable? It shouldn’t matter if you’re Republican, Independent or Democrat to recognize abuse of children for what it is.
If we cannot take decent care of children, what kind of a country are we? Who are we as a nation? The prophets of old would be raging against us for the mistreatment of the most vulnerable. “Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them.” Isaiah 1:23
The scriptures give us clear direction. “Do no wrong or violence to the alien(immigrant), the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place.” Jeremiah 22:3b
“You shall not deprive a resident alien(immigrant) or an orphan of justice.” Deuteronomy 24:17a
“Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.” Psalm 82:3
“God defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Jesus doesn’t care what our political parties are, or the political points we can make with our stances. Jesus cares about the children. All the children in the world. The questions is, do we?