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Soap, Toothpaste and Migrant Children

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The Trump administration set off yet another firestorm when it was revealed that migrant children were being detained without access to such basic items as toothpaste and soap. Apparently this is not just a matter of a lack of funds but of a policy decision—after all, donations are not being accepted from the public. One could argue that such donations cannot be accepted out of concern for the safety of the children or perhaps it is a standing policy to not accept any donations—these are points worth considering before immediately condemning the US Border Patrol. However, not having such necessities seems rather more dangerous than any risk presented by donations and polices can be changed if the will is there. As such, one would suspect that creating such conditions is a matter of policy. Image Credit On the face of it, denying anyone these necessities is morally wrong. Even the Taliban and Somali pirates give their captives toothpaste and soap; for the United States to be unwilling to rise up to the ethical level of pirates and the Taliban is certainly problematic. The fact that the United States is treating children in this manner makes it even worse—there can be no argument that the children are so terrible that they can be justly denied these necessities. First, they are obviously innocent children. Second, even terrible people are entitled to necessities when being held prisoner. Despite the obvious wickedness of denying children these necessities, the Trump administration not only did so, but defended their actions. Sarah B. Faban, a Justice Department lawyer, was sent by the administration to defend their misdeeds. The gist of her argument was that the government is only required to provide “safe and sanitary conditions” and since this does not specify such things as soap and toothpaste, the government is not obligated to provide such things. In a now infamous video, the judges made it clear that they did not accept this argument. They contended. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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