Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. addresses board’s resolution related to immigration

The Freeholder Board passed a resolution this week regarding the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The statement below is by Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. in regard to a resolution the Freeholder Board will pass tonight about the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Like most Americans, the freeholder board was appalled and ashamed when we first saw the images of migrant children who had been ripped from their parents’ arms at our nation’s southern border. Recent reports suggest that in just two months, more than 2,400 children have been taken dozens, and sometimes thousands, of miles away from their parents.

In most cases, these parents do not know where their children are, they do not know the next time they will get to speak to them and they do not know if they will ever get to see them again at all.

Let us be clear about one thing: this is not an immigration policy. This is one of our nation’s most profound moral failings, and it must end before even more young lives are irreparably harmed by these viscous separations.

President Trump proved yesterday that his administration speaks with absolutely no authority or credibility on this issue. For weeks, he has called for action from Congress to clean up the fire that was started by his administration. All the while, he has denied that he alone could fix this with nothing more than his signature, as had been repeatedly reported by The Washington Post, New York Times, PolitiFacts and others.

When his calls for legislation fell on deaf ears, the president signed an executive order to stop the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border — the very kind of executive order that he denied being able to sign for weeks while countless children were torn from their mothers’ arms. The president’s own policies caused this crisis, and when faced with the necessity to own up to the consequences of his action, he lied about his ability to fix it until his arm was twisted.

This entire charade has been just one more in a long line of morally bankrupt decisions made by this president and his administration. We cannot allow humanitarian crises to become partisan debates. We must stand united, Republicans and Democrats alike, to call out evil and bigotry when it manifests in our nation. When the president of the United States refers to human beings as “infesting” the country, when he equates desperate asylum seekers with gang members and criminals, we must be willing to demand better from the leader of the free world.

This abhorrent practice perpetrated on these innocent children will have long lasting negative effects as outlined in a letter the American Psychology Association sent to Trump earlier in the week. This policy, based on decades of research on family separation can manifest itself in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder amongst a variety of other afflictions.

In addition, the public deserves to know how this administration will be reuniting the thousands of separated children, including, three that are being held by the Center for Family Services in Camden, with their families. We already know the damage has been done by this sickening draconian policy now we need to know how it will be fixed for those effected. How are we getting these kids reunited with their parents?

This despicable practice of family separation must end immediately if we hope to retain any right to identify the United States as a nation that cares about the rights of human beings, regardless of their race, color, religion or immigration status. That this was allowed to go on for this long should anger and sadden us all, but should also recommit us to our duty to do what is just and right.