America has become a country I don’t recognize.

When the zero-tolerance policy was instituted, 2,400 children were ripped from their parents, and where were they taken? They were turned over to U.S. Health and Human Services Department; a department that was totally blind sided by this policy and not prepared to handle this amount of children.  So where were these children placed?  They were sent to for-profit shelters like Southwest Key, where there is now evidence of sexual abuse; MVM, who held children in an abandoned office complex; or in an already overburdened foster care system across many states. When a parent is released and lucky enough to locate their children, he/she is responsible to pay the transportation cost.  Typical of this, was the mother who was released from a Phoenix facility, whose 3 children were placed in foster care in New YorkAny pediatrician will tell you separating children from their families causes irreparable harm, and when you add abuse to that they may never recover.  What is wrong with a country that allows this?  A country that lost its moral compass and is being led by a Republican party that has lost its soul!

Carolyn O’Connor

Mesa

 

Arizona Republic, August 12, 2018

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