To discuss a politically-based topic or not to discuss a politically-based topic? That is the question.
Arriving at an answer was a bit easy this time because this topic isn’t politically-charged, so to speak. This topic is a humanitarian issue, and as you and I breathe the same air and walk the same earth, this is equally applicable and relevant to my life as it is yours and the billions of people on this planet.
As a result of the newly implemented “Zero Tolerance” policy at the border, approximately 2,500 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border. An executive order reversing the policy of separating families was then signed by President Trump, now detaining families together.
Set aside anything you may think, feel, and believe regarding our current state of affairs. Please, separate your feelings, for one moment, regarding your political affiliation and allegiance. There are children, small, impressionable, helpless children, in cages in this very moment. In this very moment, a little girl, several, actually, who is the same age of my precious daughter, is currently in an unfamiliar room, away from anything or anyone remotely familiar, with no one to comfort or console her confused, devastated heart. There are babies and children experiencing irreversible mental and emotional damage because they have been caged and ripped apart from their parents. My heart feels as though it’s being taken from my chest with every word I write about these helpless children.
Babies and children.
These words should never be in the same sentence let alone the dominant descriptors in national news. Nevertheless, this is happening, and as human beings, we have a moral obligation to help, someway somehow, because while we are enjoying the everyday luxury of quality time with loved ones in a familiar setting, there are children who are crying out for their mothers and fathers with absolutely no idea when they may, if ever, see them again.
According to NPR, The Associated Press recently visited a detention site and said the following about the large, bleak facility: "Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets." The CBP vehemently denies reports of inhuman treatment, although these facilities have been criticized for abhorrent conditions in the past (NPR).
I’ve been hugging my babies a little tighter and a little longer, knowing they are safe and free under the roof of our home. God have mercy on these children and their parents. I can hardly catch my breath when my children escape my eyesight for a split second while we are out and about, but to imagine weeks, months, and potential years without my children shocks my heart and soul to their core.
So, we are rightfully devastated and enraged but how can we channel these feelings into proactive actions?
Many reputable organizations are working diligently to aid these children and families during this trying time. Here are a few resources with proactive initiatives and trusted follow through:
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND): This organization works to ensure that no child appears in immigration court alone without representation.
Together Rising Love Flash Mob: This fundraising effort provides bilingual legal and advocacy assistance for 60 children, ages 12 months to 10 years, currently separated from their parents in an Arizona detention center. Their first priority will be to establish and maintain contact between children and their parents, with the ultimate goal of reunification and safety and rehabilitation for the children.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): This organization defends asylum-seeking parents forcibly separated from their children.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES): This non-profit provides free and low-cost lower extremity services to under-served immigrant children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas.
These wonderful organizations are handling the necessary tasks to assist our precious children and their respective families as they experience pain, stress, and turmoil that we may never understand. Children are innocent, precious beings that we must protect at all costs. These are somebody’s daughters and sons; these are the future leaders of our world; and these tiny lives are unable to defend and help themselves.
My prayers will not cease until these children are reunited with their families, and my work will not come to an end until our great nation knows how each person can do their part to reunite these families and support the unsupported.