To The Daily Sun,
At our Mexican border are asylum-seeking families whose children are being taken from them and placed somewhere by our U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. I've heard Pres. Trump call it an intended "warning" to the parents. He wants to deter the asylum seekers, some number of whom are fleeing such dangers to their lives that the journey north to our border is their last resort. Yes, they come as families. Who would choose not to save one's family rather than just save oneself?
I've just returned from visiting relatives in Lithuania. New country for me, though amazingly; it's like New England, with the lilacs just opening when we were there, the maples and oaks and birches getting their leaves. Most villages have a sign somewhere along a road into forest with the word for "genocide" displayed. Lithuania suffered high numbers of people both Jewish and gentile lost to murder and in large-pit burials by either the Nazis or, later, the Soviets (who more often sent them to Siberia to work before they died). Awful history.
Yet, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), in the definition listing acts that are genocide, is the last act: "forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." An outcome listed is: "causing ... mental harm." We are committing genocide when we take the children from their families. We did this with Native Americans in the 1800s and into the 1900s. Post 1948, we by now should know this is a punishable crime.
Our president bumbles and lurches in his judgments and actions, but this is being done IN OUR NAME WITH OUR INSTITUTION, Department of Health and Human Services that certainly by name and original intent is not about committing genocide.
Lynn Rudmin Chong