Share story

We, 38 rabbis of the Washington Coalition of Rabbis, call on our leaders to end the separation of migrant children from their parents. This is an unconscionable act. To claim this cruel and unusual punishment is meant as a “deterrent” to families fleeing persecution and economic injustice is horrific.

Children marked with numbers, yellow wristbands and isolated in internment centers brings historical memory. From the internment camps where Asian families were held and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, we are not far from thrusting this country into darkness.

Jewish tradition calls on us to welcome the stranger, to treat immigrants fairly, and to empathize with the widow, the stranger and the orphan because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. The inhumane treatment of migrant children and parents is an indication that the U.S. government has fallen short of this standard. We all can do better, lest this shameful chapter in our nation’s history come to define our future.

The separation of migrant children from their parents must stop. The Trump administration is responsible and must provide the public a clear timeline when these families will be reunited and how this practice will not happen again.

Rabbi David A. Lipper, Bellevue, chair, Washington Coalition of Rabbis