How to Help #FamiliesBelongTogether
I listened to an NPR story this week about a facility that takes cares of separated infants and toddlers. They were interviewing a pediatrician who said the place was clean and nice and well staffed. But all the tiny children were sitting quietly in the room. Eerily quiet. There was one was crying inconsolably. A staff member was offering toys and trying to console the toddler without holding her.
Yes, the staff are not to touch and comfort the children. No holding, no hugging, no snuggles.
The pediatrician said the quiet children along with the crying one, are suffering irreparably harm to their bodies. No love, no real attention, no recognition of people they know, they are living in utter fear.
The youngest child at the center was 8 months old. With no parents. No mom. No Dad. No siblings. No family.
That’s the age of our little A. She is 8 months old.
I could never imagine her being away from us. Ever. She may drive me crazy at times and refuse her naps, but she is a tiny child. Completely incapable of speaking up for herself.
My son is 3 years old. He can talk and go to the bathroom by himself, but he too, is just a tiny child, barely out of babyhood. He doesn’t understand if we, as his parents, disappear suddenly. He doesn’t know how to defend himself.
Who would help him and his sister if they were taken away from us. The mere thought of it sickens my heart and makes it heavy. There are no words or emotions I could fathom these parents who are separated feel. They too must be inconsolable and shattered.
We need to get a couple things straight. Coming into the United States, or any country, is NOT a crime when seeking asylum. In fact there are international laws and it’s one of the few the US has signed onto when it comes to human rights.
There is NO law that mandates separates children from parents. It’s a policy invention by the administration to strike fear and emphasis a zero tolerance policy against “animals” and those “infesting” our nation. Their words, not mine.
Entering the country illegally is a misdemeanor offense. There is a reason why we have misdemeanor and felony offenses – they are meant to represent the severity of the crime. Yes, people who enter the country illegally (and without seeking asylum) have committed a crime, it is NOT a grave crime. The theory of the justice system is to weigh a punishment equal to the crime committed, not to exact punishment to teach everyone else a lesson.
If you do not care and are content with the current administration policy, then I have no way to make you feel empathy or care for people. You probably are the person that spends time on a high horse screaming how immigrants have ruined your country and the coal job you had has disappeared. You probably are using an Android or iPhone built and developed by immigrants, but that doesn’t matter; they are still destroying this country.
You probably are “religious” and consider yourself a “Christian” enforcing the ways of the Holy Bible. In your view Christianity is about ridding the lazy, the illegal, and the weird from your society. Compassion is not for you. Blaming others makes you feel good about yourself. Putting other people makes you feel powerful and righteous.
If you want to help, there are lots of ways.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Moveon.org – For in person gatherings.
Stand For Kids – Join us this weekend by making your own solidarity lemonade stand where you raise money for an amazing group of 14 organizations working at the border, and offer your neighbors opportunities to take action including signing up to take part in the National Day of Action on 6/30 and writing postcards to kids currently detained apart from their families to be delivered by NDWA. (And if your neighbors take action, maybe give them a free cookie?)
Register your stand or find a stand near you. (We have materials you can download and use for your stand.)
Share #StandForKids and StandForKids.net with all of your friends and across social media.
Support Keep Families Together Act
Donate to the ACLU or RAICES Texas.
You can read more on Mom2.0.