A children’s magazine joins the outcry over Trump’s immigration policy

Be good!
Be good!
Image: Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez
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Highlights, the decades-old children’s magazine, took a break Wednesday from tweeting about summer fun to speak out on a far darker topic: immigrant detention.

In a statement, chief executive Kent Johnson urged Americans to stand up against US president Donald Trump’s policy of separating children from their families. “This is not a political statement about immigration policy. It’s a statement about human decency, plain and simple,” he wrote.

Highlights is joining the mounting pushback against immigration authorities’ treatment of children. The Trump administration spurred a wave of criticism after one of its lawyers argued in court last week that the government shouldn’t be responsible for provide toothbrushes and soap to detained children. This week, a photo of a migrant toddler who drowned with her father trying to cross the Rio Grande is fueling the outrage. On Wednesday, workers from online home goods retailer Wayfair planned to walk out to protest their employer’s sale of beds to a children’s detention center.

Highlights’ rebuke carries unusual moral weight. The publication has been promoting tolerance and kindness through games and stories since it first came out in 1946. Over the decades, it has nudged children to do the right thing through its Goofus and Gallant comic, which compares the one’s messy, insensitive behavior to the other’s thoughtfulness. 


The magazine’s statement on immigration resonated with readers, who liked it and retweeted it thousands of times. 

Last summer, similar outcry from civil society put pressure on Trump to roll back his zero tolerance policy, which resulted in the separation of thousands of children from their families. But his administration resumed the practice months later. 

Here’s Highlights’ full statement: