The League of Women Voters of New Mexico is opposed to the practice of separating children and parents who are guilty only of trying to escape violence in their countries.

An executive order has been signed, but we do not believe this crisis is over. Thousands of children have been sent to other locations, and the government has yet to say how it will find them and undo the damage already done. Sometimes the only link is a phone number memorized by a small child. Aside from being condemned internationally, our collective conscience is repulsed by these actions. We call for action to end this policy for good and to reunite families.

It is past time to examine the policies that have led to this crisis, and to fix them. Those who are committed to true reform of our broken immigration system must speak up for decent policies, loud and clear.

Judith Williams, Ph.D.

president

League of Women Voters of New Mexico

Santa Fe

Toxic stress

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intending to end the separation of children from their families at the Mexican border under the present “zero tolerance” policy. Many legal and practical obstacles will prevent prompt implementation. Further, the order does nothing to ease the plight of the 2,300 children already separated from their families by the U.S. Border Patrol and sent to Department of Homeland Security facilities or to foster care.

The trauma of the terror and helplessness being experienced by these separated children is termed “toxic stress.” The long-term outcomes of such stress are mental illness, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease and shortened lifespan. It is outrageous and immoral that children have become victims of the American criminal justice system. Nursing, medical and public health organizations, as well as many religious leaders nationwide, oppose these practices. Please contact your elected representatives and demand border policies that protect these defenseless children.

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein, FACE

(diabetes and endocrinology)

president

Physicians for Social Responsibility, New Mexico Chapter

Different story

I agree completely with the letters to the editor on June 20 regarding the separation of children from their parents at the border. It is awful that children were ripped away from their mothers. I hope the four letter writers are as passionate about children being ripped from their mother’s wombs prior to birth. But somehow I doubt it.

William E. Cassara

Santa Fe

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