Kent Johnson, the CEO of kids’ magazine Highlights for Children, wrote a statement that was shared by the company’s social media accounts on Tuesday decrying the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrant children entering the United States.
“At Highlights, our core belief is that children are the world’s most important people,” read a tweet introducing Johnson’s statement, which was made “[i]n light of the reports of the living conditions of detained children & threats of further deportation & family separation.”
While family separation of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border was officially ended last year after immense public pressure, several reports over the past few months suggest President Donald Trump is considering reinstating the controversial policy. Trump denied the legitimacy of those reports in April, per reporting from CNBC.
At Highlights, our core belief is that children are the world's most important people. In light of the reports of the living conditions of detained children & threats of further deportation & family separation, here is a statement from our CEO Kent Johnson. #KeepFamiliesTogether pic.twitter.com/CNF5LTv4az
— Highlights (@Highlights) June 25, 2019
Nevertheless, Johnson felt a need to respond to recent developments, as well as address the possibility that the policy might restart.
Johnson called it an issue of “moral courage” in his message to speak out against the president, an important concept that “means standing up for what we believe is right, honest, and ethical — even when it is hard.” He added his speaking out this week was meant to help kids understand what the term meant, too.
“Children are the world’s most important people,” Johnson explained. He added that “this is a belief about ALL children.”
“We denounce the practice of separating immigrant children from their families and urge our government to cease this activity, which is unconscionable and causes irreparable damage to young lives,” Johnson wrote.
Johnson was careful to explain his own politics didn’t play a role in his deciding to speak out.
“This is not a political statement about immigration policy,” he said. “This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple…an appeal to elevate the inalienable right of all children to feel safe and to have the opportunity to become their best selves.”
Over the past several days, many have spoken out and criticized the Trump administration for the living conditions of migrant children at several detention facilities.
At one such center, the New York Times reported, there was no access to sanitary supplies, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, or even soap. Most children had not been able to shower or bathe after being detained, and toddlers who needed them were not given diapers, often soiling themselves in the clothes they were wearing.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.