As we look back at 2018, it is clear that it could go down as possibly one of the most turbulent, meme-worthy political years of all time, thanks to Donald Trump. Where do we even begin with addressing the administration’s biggest flaws? Would it be his most recent tweets after the California fires blaming the forest management, his choice to praise the attack of a journalist at a press conference, or his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this year?
While all of these and other Trump actions have been met with public disapproval, none compare to the backlash received by the family separation policy undertaken by the administration for 6 long, traumatising weeks. The Trump administration launched a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on the southwest border in April following which more than 2,300 children were separated from their parents and kept in ‘cages’. Research showed how this separation had catastrophic implications on the children’s health indicating increased heart rates, flooding of stress hormones and long-term damage, both psychologically and to the physical structure of the brain. Following many weeks of public outrage and protests, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on June 20 to stop the separations.
This period of time poses a grim reflection of the kind of hate and intolerance that has been perpetuated over the span of the past year. While the child separation is now considered ‘old news’, as this year comes to a close, it is important to look back and consider the repercussions such dehumanised policy making could entail for the future. One can only be optimistic and hope that there is nowhere lower to fall from locking children up in cages, and hopefully the Trump administration will consider to ‘make America care again’.