I feel like a pop-up bouncing toy. It gets knocked down and then immediately pops up ready for another knockdown. The great difference between the toy and me is that it is growing more and more difficult for me to pop up again. But the knockdowns continue.

The latest hit is the immigrant situation. More refugees seeking asylum are coming daily, crowding our borders. They are victims and need our help, but under President Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” they are incarcerated and separated from their children. These parents could be locked up (like criminals) for months until they are able to prove they are victims seeking refuge. This plan established by the administration was meant to exclude Mexicans, Central & South Americans and Muslims from our country.

During the past six weeks of implementing this inhumane plan to discourage refugees from immigrating, even more are traveling here, hoping to find a safe home.

Today it was announced that 1,995 children of immigrants have been placed in various institutions for care. The conditions are overcrowded but the caregivers do their best to calm the fears and bewilderment of the children. There are language barriers and they must limit the children’s activities for safety and control. Parents are allowed only two calls a week and the children (some as young as 4 years old) feel abandoned.

Because the numbers are growing, the administration is contemplating building a tent city in the Texas desert. Temperatures there could be over 100 degrees! Each of these plans seems absolutely horrible. Imagine the effect this trauma must have on these children and their parents. What disappointment and perhaps even hate and resentment these parents must feel toward America. This is not our American democracy and certainly not what these parents dreamed and hoped for their future here.

Are the words on our Statue of Liberty worthless?

We are all aware that our president admires dictatorships like Russia and North Korea, although they are guilty of ruthless anti-civil rights acts, even guilty of brutality and murder. He seems to desire that power.

This immigration policy is one that could have been designed by a dictator, not our president here in America. Therefore this pop-back-up person must pop up again, but this time I’m concentrating my writing to Senator McConnell and the other Republican leaders.

My reason for pleading with our Republican leaders is that they must agree that President Trump does not represent the Republican Party. True Republicans would never agree to drop our NATO Alliance. They would never allow our present enormous deficit (as a result of the tax plan). They would not agree with the President’s trade plans, especially any changes or special tariffs on Canada, which now buys more U.S. products than we purchase from them. I’m no economist but that arrangement seems beneficial to the U.S.

Republicans would never insult our allies, many of whom fought and died on battlegrounds with our own soldiers. Certainly they would trust our Allies, instead of emphasizing trust in Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Republicans would remember the signed agreements our country set in 1992 and in 2005 with North Korea. Plans and promises were never honored. Based on that memory, Republicans would not now be withdrawing our military exercises in South Korea without a positive gesture by North Korea.

Republicans would not use immigrant children as their bargaining chips for a desired border wall.

Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, please join me in reminding our Republican brothers that Trumpism is not Republican Americanism. We must plead with them to stop Trump‘s national betrayal of our democracy.

Harriet Hausman is a longtime resident of River Forest.

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