In the latest scandal-du-jour of the Trump administration, the policy of separating children from their parents at the border with Mexico has brought widespread condemnation not only across the political spectrum but also across society. Religious, business, and civic leaders have also raised their voices and the Trump Administration backed down from this policy, although it is not clear what it is going to happen to the children who have already been separated from their families and dispersed across the country. But how has higher education responded to this crisis? In many interesting ways.
In unusual responses, leaders of both private and public institutions across the nation have spoken out forcefully against this policy. Take, for example, the case of Ana Mari Cauce, president of the University of Washington. She took the extraordinary step of publishing on the Internet home page of her institution an open letter titled “Separating children from their families is cruel: The evidence is clear,” in which she called the policy “cruel and inhumane.” She is in the privileged position of being a clinical pediatric psychologist and is therefore knowledgeable of the scientific studies that show that separating families causes lifelong health damage.