Trauma and aid

john_moore_family_separation

I am full of anger and despair today, moved to tears by the inhumane policies that are tearing children from their parent sat the U.S. border.  Men and women are fleeing fatally dangerous gang violence in their home countries to seek asylum in our country, braving dangerous journeys that seem better that sure death or sexual slavery.  And yet, they are unknowingly walking into more cruelty, and it is breaking my heart.  These families do not have up-to-the-minute news coverage to know what is awaiting them.  They do not know that their children will be wrenched from them and left in “detention centers” where they will be refused even the most basic of human comfort.  They only know they will die if they stay in their home country.

Entering at the legal ports of entry is becoming difficult or impossible. U.S. border protection agents are physically preventing families from entering the country. They’re telling people at the borders that there is no room. “They are systematically violating U.S. and international law by blocking immigrants at international ports of entry on the southern border from entering the country so they can claim asylum,” writes Texas-based immigration writer Debbie Nathan.

Plus, it’s important to note that agents are also separating some families at the legal ports of entry. “They are turning people away at the bridges, they are holding people indefinitely in prisons, they are neglecting medical needs, and yes, they are even separating parents and children at the ports (especially dads and their kids),” says Allegra Love, director of Santa Fe Dreamers Project.

via Cup of Jo

People cannot seek asylum if they are prevented from entering through legal points of entry.  The argument that these families are “illegals” only serves to dehumanize them enough that this cruelty seems justifiable.  But these are human beings — with dreams and rights and families.  Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor, so unless you think petty theft or jaywalking also warrant confiscation of one’s children and what amounts to a death sentence, I’d urge you to think again. There is no law that requires families to be separated.  This is a Trump administration policy.

Here are some ways to help.  These families need aid, they need hope, and they need justice.

Donate or volunteer with RAICES

Support kids at the border with ActBlue

Support the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights as they champion unaccompanied immigrant children

Find a demonstration or protest near you with Families Belong Together

photo via John Moore

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