Ad-free children’s magazine Highlights this week strongly condemned the Trump administration for separating immigrant kids from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Highlights CEO Kent Johnson posted a statement on Twitter that called on the government to cease separating families, which he described as “unconscionable.” His tweet included the hashtag #KeepFamiliesTogether and was “liked” 39,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.
“This is not a political statement about immigration policy,” Johnson wrote. “This is a statement about human decency, plain and simple. This is a plea for recognition that these are not simply the children of strangers for whom others are accountable.”
Johnson said his company’s core belief that “children are the world’s most important people” applied to “all children.”
His statement followed renewed outrage about conditions at the border after a photo of a migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter drowned in the Rio Grande river went viral on social media.
While the image didn’t portray families being separated by U.S. immigration authorities, it served as another reminder that the border has become a killing field for children.
Two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead on Sunday after being overcome by the sweltering heat. A 6-year-old girl from India this month also died of hyperthermia near the border after crossing into Arizona with a group of people from her country. Three children and an adult from Honduras died in April when their raft sank in the Rio Grande.
Many other deaths likely have gone unreported as thousands of migrants cross into the barren hellscape of the deserts in the Southwest every year.
Highlights magazine’s condemnation of family separations is noble, but hardly controversial. It’s hard to find anyone who supports the policy.
However, the children’s magazine does add to the voices of people who want the president and Congress to reform U.S. immigration policy and secure the border in a more humane manner.