Through the TV show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, host and creator Fred Rogers taught children across the United States about kindness, empathy, compassion, respect, and humility. So it makes sense that the late host would have something to say if he were alive today. His widow, Joanne Rogers, appeared on Megyn Kelly Today to discuss the new documentary about the kind-hearted host, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? At one point, Kelly asked how Rogers would respond to our current political climate. “I think it would be about the children,” Joanne answered. “It would be about the immigrants who are having children taken, the children themselves. And it breaks my heart. And I know it breaks everybody’s heart.”
As children and parents flee gang violence and economic instability in Central America, many are making the dangerous journey into the United States. When they arrive at the border, children are being ripped from parents – a new policy under the Trump Administration – regardless of age. The Justice Department houses both groups before they turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). From there, they’re placed into immigration proceedings. This means that children have to navigate a confusing system on their own. And some of them aren’t old enough to explain the need for asylum, and they have no one to fight for them. The government can choose to deport the children back to their native countries alone, which can make it difficult for them to reunite with their parents.
Joanne is right when she says what’s happening is heartbreaking. The government dehumanizes undocumented immigrants – whether they seek asylum or not. But as the Trump Administration attempts to curb immigration and deport those who arrived without proper documentation, they are stepping up the cruel techniques they use. While Mr. Rogers may not be here anymore to impart his wisdom, we can live by the lessons he taught us as children. One way is by speaking out against these injustices. On June 14, demonstrations across the country will protest the separation of families. Learn more here.