When U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions visits Scranton Friday, he will be greeted with zero tolerance by locals who believe a government that forcibly separates children and parents is cruel, unnecessary and un-American.
Several advocacy and religious groups rallied to assemble a protest against Sessions and the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, which detains anyone caught illegally crossing the border for federal prosecution. So far, at least 500 children have been torn from their families and warehoused in detention centers.
Action Together NEPA, Make the Road Pennsylvania and Queer NEPA organized a rally Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of North Washington Avenue and Vine Street in front of the Albright Memorial Library.
Sessions is slated to speak across the street at Lackawanna College. Action Together activist Ann Stopper said it’s important for Northeast Pennsylvanians who know the history of immigration make their voices heard.
“We need to show him that people in this region care about this issue,” she said. “This is a region of immigrants, and our ancestors — the Italians, the Poles, the Irish and others — were considered a threat then, too.”
Sessions says the threat of separation should serve as a powerful deterrent to those who cross the border illegally.
“If people don’t want to be separated from their children, they shouldn’t bring them at all,” he said.
There is a childlike logic to Sessions’ position, but like most black-and-white (and brown) policies, it doesn’t account for the vast collateral damage done to innocent people and our national soul.
Terrorizing children and detaining them in cages will not Make America Great Again. Zero tolerance policies are lazy, reactionary and rarely fair in practice.
So is Jeff Sessions.