BY PASTOR JAMES COFFIN AND THE REV. BRYAN FULWIDER
The Interfaith Council of Central Florida acknowledges that President Donald J. Trump has rescinded — at least in part — his administration’s brutal, heartless, unjust, inhumane, immoral policy of forcibly separating children from their parents when would-be immigrant and refugee families seek safety and security in the United States.
Although it appears additional children will not be subjected to the barbarity of separation, the change in the administration’s policy by no means heals the deep wounds already inflicted on thousands of innocent children.
Nor does the president’s executive order call for the reuniting of hundreds of shattered families.
Many with direct knowledge of what has transpired question whether governmental record-keeping has been adequate to ensure all the children can ever be reunited with their parents.
So this moral crisis has by no means been resolved. Nor have Americans been given an adequate explanation concerning how such a travesty could be perpetrated in the first place.
The United States has a venerated Constitution. We have a Bill of Rights. We have laws, policies and processes designed to deliver justice. We have three coequal branches of government that are supposed to provide checks and balances.
We advertise ourselves as a nation of compassion. We invite the world to bring us “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
In such an environment, why would such an abhorrent administrative policy even be considered, let alone implemented?
And why did it take so long for so many of our nation’s leaders to raise their voices in protest? Why did so many legislators remain so silent while lifelong scars were being inflicted on so many young lives? Why?
The Interfaith Council of Central Florida, made up of an array of faith leaders and faith traditions and worldviews, calls upon our president, his administration, our legislators and our courts to take decisive actions to:
1. prevent such atrocities from being inflicted on anyone in the future;
2. refuse to rest until every family shattered by this inhumane and discredited policy has been reunited; and
3. to work unflaggingly to ensure that bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform is passed and that brutal, ill-conceived, destructive policies of the type just witnessed never again see the light of day.
We call upon the public to so relentlessly exert pressure on decision-makers at all levels of government that such cruel absurdities will never again be allowed to masquerade as a solution for what is, indeed, a real problem that needs to be comprehensively, thoughtfully, fairly and compassionately addressed.