As the nation recoils in horror at stories, images, and recordings of young children being torn away from their families and detained, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) has not spoken out against the Nazi-linked tactic used by the Trump administration.
Trump’s policy of separating children from their families — including one report of taking an infant who was breastfeeding away from her mother — has drawn national and international condemnation.
According to ThinkProgress:
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, called President Trump’s policy – one that has seen nearly 2,000 children taken from their parents between mid-April and the end of May — “unconscionable.”
“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable. I call on the United States to immediately end the practice of forcible separation of these children,” said Zeid.
In the midst of these stories, Rohrabacher has maintained a steadfast silence. While some Republicans have made tepid statements about the issue, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, “[an] Orange County Republican facing a tough race this fall, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, has said almost nothing about the family separation question. But he’s made it clear in the past that he stands with Trump on immigration issues.”
Rohrabacher has a long history of anti-immigrant positions and racist rhetoric around immigration issues. He once called supporters of the bipartisan DREAM Act, a bill to give permanent legal protections to children brought to America, a group of “racist libs,” because the bill would harm “non-minority” citizens.
As SoCal Daily previously reported, “In 2013, he [Rohrabacher] reportedly made a Dreamer cry when she visited Capitol Hill to share her story with the congressman. In the meeting, Rohrabacher allegedly said he “hates illegals” and made veiled threats about deporting the young woman, who was a constituent attending college in Rohrabacher’s district.”
In sharp contrast to Rohrabacher’s inaction in the face of unconscionable activities, one California couple decided to raise money to help reunite families.
Charlotte and Dave Willner, who live in the Silicon Valley, saw the horrifying images of children being torn apart from their parents, and decided to try to raise $1,500 to help reunite at least one family.
Within days, the couple raised more than $16 million for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas nonprofit that offers free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees.
“When we look at the faces of these children, we can’t help but see our own children’s faces,” Charlotte Willner told the Mercury News.
“There are terrible things happening in the world,” RAICES said in a Facebook post. “And there are many people who are deciding not to look away but to do something.”
Others, like Rohrabacher, seem content to look away and stay silent.