My Fourth of July has greater meaning this year as our country’s Families Belong Together movement is so prevalent. As a daughter if immigrants, I am holding onto a burden that is telling me to speak out. What if things were so different for me and my brother, he was 10 at the time. I can’t even imagine how my brother and I would cope if my mom and dad had to be ‘deported’
Luckily, we didn’t have to face that. Luckily my parents came here with special permission, leaving a horrible dictator in Cambodia. Luckily my parents were wise enough do great things with their lives that provided great things for my brothers ( I have a half-brother) and I.
My mama heart is broken for these kids who are affected by this rampant deportation activity set in place by Our Leaders. I think I read somewhere that Obamas administration separated about 2000 families during his time, not in a short time like our current administration is doing. I think that the shock is that it seems so much in so little time to me. No matter who does it, the kids are left in a horrible state to mentally assess and forced to accept what is going on around them, and question whether or not reuniting with their family is going to happen. How can your heart not hurt at that thought, the thought of not knowing?
The other thing that drives my logic out of sorts is the number of children who are affected not only in this zero-tolerance policy but the children who were already in a bad circle of influence. I get it, I get there are families who were forced into it for reasons who knows why (money, promises, food, work), or more justifiably are the families leaving an invaded communist regime. But the criminals, the adults who knowingly put their families at risk really madden my soul. As a child, your ability to make decisions for yourself are limited as you continue to grow and navigate a moral compass. If you’re trusted circle is putting you in harms way to begin with, your ability to make free choices is now taken away. How selfish as an adult to take away that from your children!
In the U.S., look at this foster system. How many families are separated because of poor choices by the adults and how often are these kids in and out of this ‘system’ without a clue as to being reunited with their biological parents? I don’t hear of the same magnitude of empathy for our foster families and foster kids in contrast with our border crossing counterparts. Would you want the kids back in their corrupted circles? even though their parents could be involved with drugs, human trafficking, weapon sales etc. I don’t know what the solution is, but this is a real question that probably struck a chord.
Please appreciate and respect the resources and freedoms given. This includes marching as one voice for the future of our country, this includes holding steadfast to your core beliefs no matter the bipartisan views.
I know this typed post is a little all over the place. My place isn’t to sway you one way or another. But this Independence Day, I am a bit more charged I guess. I am a daughter of immigrants who had smart parents who did the things the right way to continue to give, now to their grandchildren, a great life in the Land of the Free.
Photos by Emily Smith
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