Immigration issue representative of troubling times

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In Wednesday’s edition of The Mining Journal, there was an editorial cartoon that featured a Latina toddler being escorted down a street by Homeland Security officials with the word “ILLEGAL” written on the wall.

This cartoon is a close match to Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting, “The Problem We All Live With.”

According to www.nrm.org, the painting was Rockwell’s first assignment for Look magazine. It was an illustration of a 6-year-old African-American school girl being escorted by four U.S. marshals to her first day at an all-white school in New Orleans as tomatoes smear their way down a wall that a racist slur is etched into.

By no means are we trying to say that the situations are identical, because they certainly aren’t. But much like back then, we are currently living in very troubling, volatile times.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Wednesday that would end the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally.

“We want to keep families together. It’s very important,” Trump told reporters during a White House meeting with members of Congress.

The AP article restated the obvious — that the news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents. Finger-pointing and blame have come from both sides of the aisle.

Regardless of who is at fault, we are happy that forward movement has begun to address this terrible situation. It was long overdue.

The www.nrm.org article stated that Rockwell’s painting brought very polarizing viewpoints in letters to the editor. We imagine that Wednesday’s cartoon may have the same effect; this is clearly a hot-button issue that people have very strong opinions on.

However, if there is one thing that is clear, it’s that change was needed, just as it was needed in Rockwell’s time. The only way for a family to be a family is if its members are together.