Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Historical Perspective on Separating Children from Parents


Nara Milanich, an Associate Professor of History at Barnard College, provides a compelling historical perspective on national policies that separate children from parents in this Washington Post piece.  She writes specifically regarding the Administration's announced plans to consider separating parents and children who are apprehended while crossing the border.

Drawing on international and domestic examples, Milanich asserts that "[t]he mass separation of these families would be catastrophic."  Continuing, she writes: "But it would not be unprecedented: Modern states have long practiced forcible removal of children from their parents’ care. And in doing so they have invoked motives that echo uncannily those of the Trump administration: the children’s own well-being. The idea that the government is acting in the child’s best interests is a morally and emotionally powerful one. Yet historically, this rationale has often produced heinous results."


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