Zero Tolerance Policy: The Realities Underneath

M. B. M.

[By: Ellee Rogers]

In April, Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented the inhumane, heartbreaking “zero tolerance” policy for people crossing the border into the United States. Within the next five weeks after this taking place, 2,300 children  have been torn away from their loved ones, proving the dismal truth that the America we are now molding isn’t “America first,” as Trump preaches, but is really “America only.”

So where are these children taken from here? Imagine what is described as a tent city, a crowding of white, clone-like thin tents, holding over one-third of its designated capacity. After close inspection, over 150 health violations have already been found within these “tent cities.” As Americans, it is important to keep in mind that the dehumanization of these individuals is the main point. Trump’s full intention in this policy is to further push the ideology that white upper-class Americans, and only white upper-class Americans, have any importance in the United States. These innocent children are being publicized and politicized as they are being separated from their families and put into camps vaguely resembling Japanese internment camps. If the word of these horrors can get back to our neighboring countries and deter them from seeking redemption here, it is as effective as Trump had hoped.

Trump is not a first-time offender in the art of being a racist, xenophobic, and bigot. On the campaign trail, Trump professed how beneficial building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border would be.  In his first year in office, Trump attempted to create a “Muslim Ban,” which prevented Muslims from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia entering into the United States. Trump has referred to Mexicans as “criminals and rapists” and has publicly mocked a handicapped reporter on air.  He has shown little to no respect for basic human life— Trump says he wants to make America “great again” however, his actions show that he really wants to make America white again.

The current administration’s rhetoric is the anthesis of the American Dream. As Americans, we pride ourselves in being “the land of the free,” and a melting pot, however, our government’s actions have shown the complete opposite. Our government is stripping our youth of their basic and fundamental human rights. In the political climate we are all currently living in today, more than anything it is imperative to uphold the belief that we are better than this. I love my country. But, I am disappointed in my country. I want to see my country do better because we can do better. We are planted in the root stemmed from the belief that hope is integral to the success of this country. I will always believe that even under the senseless, systematically cruel administration cupped in Trump’s hands, that we are made for overcoming these impediments and moving forward. We have to change this unfair immigration policy, which can be severely detrimental to thousands of lives, possibly resulting in an array of mental and emotional hardships.

This is all easy to say, but what can we do? Be an advocate for these lives. It seems small—it always seems small—but it is crucial that it is done. Because if we don’t, who else will in our place? Speak out, call your senator, use your platform, and raise awareness on social media. Even if that means you’re informing someone else of what is going on in our world today; I mean, according to Twitter Finger Trump’s 50 million followers and it can sometimes be effective, right?

After the backlash that the Trump administration has already experienced, the separation has been stopped with the Trump administration now working on what can only be described as “family jails” for our undocumented immigrants. An estimated 463 parents have been deported without their children and have been given no means of finding them, leaving hundreds of families broken.

Ellee Rogers is a freshman majoring in English at the University of Kansas. Rogers is a St. Louis native and HBW staff member.