The image of a 2-year-old Honduran girl looking up and crying while being separated from her immigrant parents gripped the nation this week. Time magazine decided to use that image — coupled with President Donald Trump looking down at her — for its cover this week.
The caption for the image? “Welcome to America.”
John Moore, the photographer who took the picture, explained how difficult it was to capture the moment.
“This one was tough for me,” he explained to Time. As soon as it was over, they were put into a van. I had to stop and take deep breaths.”
The juxtaposition of Trump looking down at the girl encapsulates this week in a simple, yet stirring, way. It was Trump’s own policy, after all, that established the protocol for separating children from their immigrant parents, who had crossed the border seeking asylum for their families.
Amid growing pressure to do something about the policy — which Trump tried to lie about on several occasions, wrongly asserting that it was a Democratic law that forced his administration to separate kids from their parents — the president signed an executive order on Wednesday ending the practice.
But that executive order does nothing to reunite the children already separated from their parents, many of whom may never see each other again. The executive order also makes clear that children of immigrants will remain essentially jailed with their parents after crossing the border, violating existing law on imprisoning children indefinitely.
The tweet announcing Time’s cover (shown above) asks the question: “What kind of country are we?” That is indeed a good question to be asking.
Are we to be a country that treats all people, regardless of where they’re from, with dignity, respecting their human rights to due process and fair treatment? Or are we, under the questionable leadership of Trump, evolving into a nation with autocratic tendencies, willing to bend the laws to favor a select few and cause hardships and burdens for others?
This past week has taught us that this president would prefer the latter. Let’s not allow our nation to walk that path. Americans must stand up against injustices wherever they occur, especially when they’re perpetrated by the government and this president.