“The Most Horrible Thing I’ve Ever Done.” A Border Patrol Agent Talks About Separating Children from Parents

“The Most Horrible Thing I’ve Ever Done.” A Border Patrol Agent Talks About Separating Children from Parents January 21, 2020
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

 

And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. Jesus Christ.

Bless their hearts. 

The border patrol agents who have been tasked with separating children from their families are doing things that neither time nor political Yakkity-yak will erase from their hearts and minds. They are inflicting deep wounds on their own souls by obeying the evil directives which have been handed to them. 

Good jobs with adequate pay and benefits are scarce. The stock market may be going up, but ordinary people are still working 60 and 70 hour work weeks to get by.  Quasi military type jobs like being a border guard carry added demands for conformity. 

“I was just following orders,” lost its excuse value forever at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. The phrase was further degraded when Adolph Eichmann resorted to it in his own self-defense at his trial. 

The truth is, we are all responsible for what we do to other people. None of us gets out of this life without doing things we regret. I say that as someone who has plenty of regrets of my own. 

Perhaps that’s why I feel such sorrow for the plight of America’s border guards as they must decide, each on his or her own, whether to follow orders and do the wrong, cruel, thing, or give up their livelihood. 

I come from a working family. My father was a mechanic. My husband and I struggled to live on one income during the 16 years I was a stay-at-home, full-time mom. I know how hard it is to make a living, how close you have to cut things to pay the bills and provide for a family. I understand the way poverty grinds people down and wears them out. 

I get how precious a job can be. 

I also know how terrible it is to realize that you have been someone’s monster. I know the horror of realizing that you are responsible for the suffering and even death of innocent people. 

Nothing can compare to the agony of remorse, shame and grief that comes with a full understanding that you have done horrible things  to other people and you can never undo it. I believe that this suffering is part of what we must endure in Purgatory. I have known enough of it in this life to realize that it is not something to be taken lightly. 

That’s why I say bless their hearts. It’s why I pray for them. It’s also why I am writing this today. 

If you are a border guard who is being commanded to participate in separating children from their parents, I have some tough advice for you. 

Do not do it. 

Just don’t.

Spare yourself the grief of remorse in this life, and the agony of enduring what you have done and how it hurt others in the next life. Do not let an amoral, self-serving politician use you to further his agenda for himself by compelling you to do terrible things to other people. 

As Nancy Reagan once famously said about taking drugs, “Just say no.”

If you are a Christian, it would be a glorious witness to Our Lord if you would say something along the lines of “In the name of Jesus Christ, I will not do this.” 

Stand for Jesus by standing in His Name against the evil you are being asked to do. 

Jesus said that if anyone hurts one of these little ones, it would be better for them if a millstone was tied to their necks and they were cast into the sea. If you believe in Jesus, what you are doing separating those babies from their parents? What are you doing? 

It is wrong to do this to little children and you know it’s wrong. Let me repeat that: You know it’s wrong. 

So the next time you get an order to do it, say no. Say it in Jesus’ name. Instead of building a mountain of remorse and regret that you will have to carry all the rest of your life, you will be adding stars to your eternal crown. 

As for the rest of us, the list of people we need to pray for is long and getting longer as the Trump worship virus infects more and more people. Our task is also to stand for the truth, even in the face of the hellfire and damnation our idolator brothers and sisters heap upon us. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, we will not worship false political idols, even if every religious leader in America tells us to. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, just say no. 

From PBS:

 

“The Most Horrible Thing I’ve Ever Done”: A Border Patrol Officer Who Separated Families Speaks Out

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JANUARY 7, 2020
by

Patrice Taddonio Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist, FRONTLINE

In the summer of 2017, nearly a year before the Trump administration’s family separations at the Southwest border sparked an international outcry, the Border Patrol was quietly piloting its own, local version of “zero tolerance” in El Paso, Texas.

In the FRONTLINE documentary Targeting El Paso, an officer tasked with separating migrant children from their parents under that pilot program speaks out — offering a rare public criticism of the initiative from within Border Patrol’s own ranks.

“That was the most horrible thing I’ve ever done,” Wesley Farris, a high-ranking officer with El Paso’s Border Patrol Union, tells FRONTLINE’s Martin Smith in the above excerpt. “You can’t help but see your own kids.”

Carrying out those separations, Farris says, was a tough order.

“I mean, none of us were happy about it,” Farris says. “But everybody around me was just doing exactly what… We were all told to do this.”

Experts say the tactic causes lasting trauma. In the above excerpt, Farris tells FRONTLINE about the effects he witnessed on a child during the last family separation he conducted.

“It was a young boy. I think he was about two. The world was upside down to that kid,” Farris says. “So when the contractor tried to take him away, he reached for me and he climbed up on me again, and he was holding on to me. So that that one got me a little bit.”

After that, Farris says he drew the line: “I said at that one, ‘I’m not doing this anymore. I won’t do it. I went back to the supervisor and I told him, ‘Don’t assign me to do that anymore.’”

Farris didn’t complain up the chain, but told FRONTLINE he wanted to.

As the documentary goes on to report, six months after the El Paso pilot ended, the Trump administration decided to scale up the program nationally to stem the flow of migrants — saying it had worked as a deterrent in El Paso.

“It aligned with my experience, in the times where we applied a consequence to people who cross the border illegally, we got less of them crossing the border illegally,” Ronald Vitiello, former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), tells FRONTLINE. “And so when zero tolerance is discussed as a way forward, we knew that it was going to be a benefit to us.” (Read the rest here.)


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