I have read so many incredibly disturbing stories, tweets, and Facebook posts about the situation of illegal immigrants’ children being separated from their parents at the U.S./Mexico border that I can’t stay quiet any longer. Maybe I’m encouraged by Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness, and I will try to state my opinion clearly and kindly without offending anyone. But that may be impossible.
What I don’t understand is all of these parents who are actually saying things like: “Well, the parents are at fault. They broke a law. So the children should be taken away.” I have to think that the parents who are saying this have never felt desperation to save their child from a future like they had. Do you think these parents would leave their home and risk everything if their situation was good? Many of these parents are not selfish and horrible. These parents want something better for their lives and their children, and they have been told time and time again that this future is possible in America. Is it? Who knows? But it’s what they have been led to believe their entire lives, and they feel it is in within their grasp.
If you can’t understand that, and you are a parent, can you understand what it would be like to have your child ripped away from you? Your baby? Your child with a disability?
But let’s actually look at this from the CHILDREN’S point of view because they are the ones who are innocent victims of a big political mess and governments that seem to not always take their people into consideration. We were all children once. Many of my readers and Facebook friends grew up in the Midwest and have similar backgrounds. Can you imagine being ripped away from your loving parents who sacrifice everything for you, and put in a strange place with other crying, upset strangers, where you have no idea what will happen to you day after day? As adults, most of us would do horrible in this situation, and these are kids–many of them under 5! Where is our empathy?
I have no idea what the answer is to the problem of illegal immigration. We live in a messed up world. Every single country, including the U.S., has injustice, poverty, and crime. But I know the answer is not to take people’s children away. The answer is not to separate children from their parents. And for everyone who is quoting Bible verses or talking about Christianity–just stop. The point of Christianity has been lost in this case.
It is a confusing, complex, terrible situation without an easy answer. It is painful. It is horrible. Maybe that’s what we should be saying. There is no simple answer to this problem. But we can all react with kindness, right? We can all state truth. We can all have empathy for these children who are living in fear, in conditions we wouldn’t want to live in.