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Kudos to Senator Merkley for standing up in defense of immigrant and refugee children! These kids were snatched from the arms of their parents by the border gestapo. They are caged like animals in deplorable conditions with nothing but “space blankets” for beds.

Some of the children are seeking asylum from situations in their native countries too violent and dangerous to remain in, without seriously risking their lives. Much of that violence was generated by a drug war initiated and sanctioned by the U.S. Others are children of Mexican immigrants whose jobs and economies were destroyed by NAFTA. It seems to me that since U.S. policies are largely, if not exclusively, to blame for the conditions uprooting these people’s lives, the least we can do is give refugees the asylum they seek, while offering immigrants a path to citizenship without all the legal obstacles and financial barriers they now must face.

This scapegoating of innocent children is unconscionable, it is abusive and it has got to stop. It is unbelievably cruel. What’s more, it is uncalled for. The reality is that statistics for Mexicans immigrating here have been declining steadily. There were 6.4 million unauthorized Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. in 2009; By 2015 and 2016 there were 5.6 million. Yet the way Trump, his cohorts and supporters keep harping on this issue, you would think the opposite were true. It is a manufactured crisis driven by those looking for scapegoats, not solutions, and now we have thousands of kids getting traumatized and tortured over nothing.

Children don’t get to pick and choose where to be born, nor do they have any control over their circumstances. These kids are being punished over something they didn’t create, something way beyond their control. All that trauma, between what they are fleeing and what they have now fallen prey to, is bound to leave psychological scars of the sort that linger through the duration of a lifetime.

Dorothy Reeves

Coos Bay

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