Recently, the last Nuremberg prosecutor, 99-year-old Ben Ferencz, said the U.S’s detention of children is a “crime against humanity.”

We know a newborn can mimic a facial expression of an adult. We know that given the right environment, children are bilingual when they enter kindergarten.

What are babies, toddlers and children of all ages learning in the detention centers? When allowed to enter these facilities, journalists, doctors and legislators have investigated the conditions and documented the reality.

Because some facilities were built as warehouses to refrigerate produce, rooms are cold with lights on continually. Unbathed children with unwashed clothes are grossly overcrowded. Some infants are drinking from baby bottles that haven’t been washed for weeks. Lacking soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, children are sleeping on cement floors with silver-plastic coverings. There is evidence of infection, malnutrition and psychological trauma.

Sleeping in cages, the young are learning they’re equivalent to animals. For evaluation purposes, a few 10-year-olds were asked to do a self-drawing. Some drew themselves behind bars with no feet, hands or facial expressions. The drawings showed profound rootlessness and hopelessness. It was heartbreaking!

Depriving children of secure caregivers and healthy stimulation produces emotional and intellectual shriveling comparable to seedlings deprived of water.

At 74 years, with an adopted daughter suffering lifelong effects of separation trauma, I am outraged! Our species is extinguishing any possibility of a healthy future for an ever-enlarging portion of our young.

Please call your representatives and tell them, “Stop this barbarism now!”

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