Sobs of a young child desperately attempting to catch his breath are echoed across the empty walls. He cries for his mama, his papa attempting to reason with this stranger that he has his ties number. That all he wants to do is return to his family. He is ignored and told to calm down as news reporters stand on the other end of the fences taking pictures of him and the others, quicking scribbling descriptions on their appearance as if they are a newly discovered species in the local zoo.
Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy has separated thousands of families of undocumented immigrants, the parents are prosecuted as criminals and the children are left as unaccompanied minors. The government is then required to shelter and provide these children’s basic necessities, however recent exposure to the conditions these children living in has left many American accusing the government of harming these children more than the good they are providing. These citizens are outraged over the treatment these families are facing and are advocating against Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy with the #EndFamilySeparation leading the way. These citizens have marched on Washington and have called their local congressmen and congresswoman to voice their stand against this policy. Theses citizen outrage and response against the Trump’s Zero Tolerance Policy is justified because they have the right to advocate for laws that are just and equally applied.
Determining if a law is just or unjust is deemed by multiple factors, however, it is important to understand that like Ancient Greek philosopher Plato states one must, “regulate his actions…. by the judgment of his instructor, who has expert knowledge, rather than by the opinion of the rest of the public”(Plato 685). Expert opinion is most valuable because of the quality advice it provide, unlike mass opinion these experts have dealt with similar issues and understand how different actions can cause different outcomes. Civil rights advocates Martin Luther King Jr. is classified as an expert in advocating for change with peace. And he has deemed that an unjust law, “Gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority”. This policy not only makes undocumented immigrants feel inferior, but this sense of inferiority extends to other Americans of the same Hispanic descent. The Zero Tolerance policy illustrates to other children of immigrants that their liberation from this fate is that they were fortunate enough to be born on US Soil. This modern-day segregation could lead to, “Bitterness and hatred and it comes perilously close to advocating violence…Nourished by the Negro’s frustration”. This movement is attempting to limit the resentment that its citizens feel toward their government. The purpose of this movement is to illustrate to citizens that change to end and evaluate policies like these could occur through means of peace rather than simply turning to violence. #EndFamilySeperation advocate’s reactions are justified because like King they wish to discourage the next generation of Hispanic Americans to conclude that the “white man is an incorrigible “devil” as well to not lost faith in America. Citizens are advocating against this policy because they know that these immigrants cannot speak for themselves. These citizens are practicing not just their freedom of expression but as well eliminating laws and policies that suppress individuals.
Trump’s election campaign was full of promises to deport undocumented immigrants at any cost. Thus it is no surprise that this administration would hold toddlers in, “overloaded and secretive shelters…home to neglect, assault, and other horrific abuse…dosing children with cocktails of psychotropic drugs disguised as vitamins”. No human being should be subjected to this torture and neglect especially not in a country that prides itself for the liberty and protection it grants their citizens. And allowing policies like these that degrade and dehumanize individuals block the flow of social progress. This blockage of social progress is accredited to these rash and degrading laws. Advocates are fighting against history repeating itself, instead of pushing forward and creating a nation in which all individuals are equal regardless of sex, race, or sexual preference. However, policies and act like this reverse much of the progress that had occurred and soon it seems as if history is repeating itself with a new victim. Advocates are just in not only fighting for what they feel is morally right, but as well against acts and policies that may reverse social progress that has been made and has allowed this nation to be a bit more inclusive.
The cries of these children have circulated around the internet and while many advocate for the end of the Zero Tolerance Policy many criticize that these advocates, saying that their claims are navel and unreasonable. Critics claim that these advocates cannot ask for the end for the Zero Tolerance policy because it promote for more undocumented immigrants to arrive to the U.S. which would create an economic crisis. And while this argument does hold weight it must be noted that these #EndFamilySeperation advocates are pushing against policies that treat others inhumanly. However, it must be noted that laws that are unfair and purposely creates a “Segregation status” are unjust and call for direct action from the people, as well that “Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application.”King argues that laws like the zero-tolerance policy may seem fair and even an effective manner to help limit the number of undocumented immigrants residing in the country on paper. However, the Zero tolerance policy targets not only limits the amount of undocumented immigrants, but as well cages and degrades children. Like King stated this was a law that appeared just on paper but not on the application. Advocates are justified to go against this double standard law, one intentionally created to limit who is able to enter and live a happy life in this country. Laws that purposely create a sense of inferiority must be reconstructed, it is unjust to uphold certain groups above others.
Laws and policy were intended to limit chaos and anarchy, its purpose is to unite people in a society in which everyone can benefit from as well be protected in. And it is the citizens’ responsibility to criticize and alter its government to have it reflect their image of what just laws are. Without citizens input on their opinions, that government would become a dictatorship. It is not the job of government to decide what is just and unjust rather it’s the role of the citizens to tell it what laws should be created.
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