Each day brings worsening news from Washington, often wrapped in multiple layers of falsehoods. There seems to be a macabre game of how many falsehoods can be reported each day but with little outcry or impact except to make us unsure and powerless.

Over the past few weeks, one of the most shameful and inhumane acts continues to be perpetrated on the children of immigrants: separating them from their parents and warehousing them in huge detention centers.

Sen. Susan Collins estimates that there are over 2,000 of these children separated from their parents. Why? To punish their parents for illegal crossings, to make a statement to future border crossers of dire consequences, for political leverage to get passed an even more restrictive immigration policy, and to force construction of a wall that nobody wants. We treat the most vulnerable, the children, to horrendous treatment for political gamesmanship.

Sen. Collins said that this action “is inconsistent with our American values.” She is right: Violent and traumatizing actions against innocent children as a political weapon are against our American values, not to mention our humanitarian values and our faith values.

Yet her only action is to send a letter asking for more information and to withhold support for a bill that would put an end to this practice because it is “too broad” and not in line with a Republican bill, thereby applying pressure for the Republican measure’s passage. Political gamesmanship! Rep. Bruce Poliquin likewise does not act but waits for passage of an even more restrictive immigration bill in the House.

We can disagree on many policies, but when children are held hostage, separated from their parents, to gain political leverage and there is no call for immediate action by our elected representatives, we must not remain silent ourselves. We must protest, write and tell them how ashamed we are of this policy and that we are watching and will take action in November.

David Robinson

Ocean Park