Suhas Chakma, a human rights activist in New Delhi, India, commenting on new laws that penalize Muslims for not having legal papers to live in India: “Will they die in prisons for the simple offense of crossing the border?”

I think the holidays are a good time to reflect on how we treat children on this vast continent that was named America after an immigrant. Obviously, the United States is imprisoning people for the same routine trespass without judicial hearing, without listening to why these people have traveled several hundred miles to live here. Some have died in our jails.

The names of three children who have died are 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Marquin from Guatemala; 10-year-old Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle from El Salvador, who was trying to reach Nebraska, where her mother lives; and Juan de Leon Gutierrez, 16, from Guatemala.

I deliberately spell the full names of only three because it reflects on us just as forcefully as their sad deaths impact the so-called morality of the American people.

And because their names leave a message, or perhaps a stain, on the United States for the way trodden masses are treated at our southern border. Always a tough decision, “fight or flight.” Fighting would have only gotten them targeted by gangs, raped and murdered, so they walked to America — and we essentially killed them on their arrival.

Egon de Uriarte

Lancaster