While politicians point blame fingers, migrant children continue to be separated and held from parents. Recent facility visits found children filthy, lice and flu outbreaks, no soap, inadequate meals and water. They sleep on cold concrete floors under bright lights while our DOJ shamefully argues that these are “safe and sanitary conditions”. 

A professional career working with children exposed me to abundant research and experience on the negative and lasting consequences of separation and neglect. Bonding, beginning in the womb, continues and expands to significant others after birth. This is crucial for brain development. Children deal with stress through their parents, a biological fact. Thus we are traumatizing these children in the most destructive and lasting way possible. We inflict the initial stress; separation, and then block the critical resource to deal with that stress. The stage is set for lifelong vulnerabilities including learning problems, inability to regulate emotions, aggression, drug use, emotional attachment problems, and increased risk of physical and psychological illnesses. Depriving basic needs with the only support coming from older traumatized children compounds the damage.

There is no time for blaming. This is morally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally wrong. Each day that we turn away and refuse to do anything, the harm is intensified to them and to us. They lose their potential and some their lives. We lose our humanity. These children will be grown adults one day. Many will have major problems and guess who they likely will be blaming? Rightfully us.

Becky Slater, Kerrville

 

(8) comments

Mary Lou Shelton

brilliant letter Ms. Slater, and an excellent example of the destructive effects of short term thinking. your last paragraph is particularly telling. we have been sowing the seeds of our destruction all over the world for many years. gene

Armadillo

It might be our fault that we are so powerful, successful and generous that totalitarian forces want to destroy us, but it is your fault they are succeeding.

Conservative

"Many will have major problems and guess who they likely will be blaming? Rightfully us." How do the corrupt, greed based governments and drug cartels from their countries of origin fit in to this equation? Why do you omit this most important element? These children have been abused and violated by their own countrymen and their own governments, not me or the US. There will always be an endless supply of distressed illegal children from Latin America as long as greed, corruption and crime dominate and these rule the countries. Your position reeks of political correctness trumping the obvious, truthful circumstances.

Mary Lou Shelton

conservative, your post reeks of ignorance of human behavior. gene

Armadillo

That's funny, Gene, I criticize your for the same thing. These migrants were brought here, willingly to be sure, after false promises were made. Our sovereignty is under assault.

Mary Lou Shelton

arm, I looked this up in the past and posted it, but I encourage you to do so. you state that we are so generous: look up what nations give the most in foreign aid based on gnp. hint, the us is not even in the top 10. and then look up what kind of aid we give: hint, over 30% is military aid, not humanitarian. your continual posting of things you seem to have made up is astonishing. what is even more astonishing, is that you actually believe your private facts to be universal truths. gene

trose

It is strange that the same people concerned about the welfare of children are not concerned about abortion.

Mary Lou Shelton

that's because one has noting to do with the other. they are both polarizing political issues. one could say that conservatives love the fetus, but not so much the baby. look at their social policies. gene

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