George Takei, who was thrown into an internment camp along with the rest of his family and thousands of other Japanese-Americans during World War II, writes about the difference between that ugly experience (which the US government has since apologized for) and the treatment of immigrant children along our southern border under Trump:
At least during the internment, when I was just 5 years old, I was not taken from my parents.
My family was sent to a racetrack for several weeks to live in a horse stall, but at least we had each other. At least during the internment, my parents were able to place themselves between the horror of what we were facing and my own childish understanding of our circumstances. They told us we were “going on a vacation to live with the horsies.” And when we got to Rohwer camp, they again put themselves between us and the horror, so that we would never fully appreciate the grim reality of the mosquito-infested swamp into which we had been thrown. At least during the internment, we remained a family, and I credit that alone for keeping the scars of our unjust imprisonment from deepening on my soul.
I cannot for a moment imagine what my childhood would have been like had I been thrown into a camp without my parents. That this is happening today fills me with both rage and grief: rage toward a failed political leadership who appear to have lost even their most basic humanity, and a profound grief for the families affected.