Dear Editor:

Like most Americans, I am heartbroken by the stories of children and families suffering in detention camps along the southern border. It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of suffering. It is easy to turn a blind eye to a crisis that doesn’t directly affect you.

However, I encourage you to take action. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley serves on the Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration. Last week he described congress’ response to the crisis “pathetic.” Hawley wants to increase funding for ICE, but that is a short sighted solution.

A humanitarian crisis requires a humane solution — not walls, armed border patrols, and prisons. In fact, this militarized response has made the situation at the border even worse. Migrants are being unfairly turned away from safe and legal ports of entry. They are being threatened and abused by border agents who are supposed to uphold American values.

Just this week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency started investigating their own people after reports of border agents posting violently racist and sexist content on the internet. Clearly these are not the people who should be entrusted with the care of women and children. 

I hope you will call or email Senator Hawley and MO’s other congressional representatives. Compel them to end migrant detention. Call on them to abolish ICE, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and replace armed border police with humanitarian aid workers. This is our responsibility as compassionate people.

Heather Hughes

La Monte

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