The Trump administration policy of separating children from their parents who seek asylum in the United States is a human rights violation that contradicts our nation’s welcoming history toward immigrants from many nations.
Emma Lazarus’ poem reflects our spirit: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
In a joint complaint, several immigrant-rights organizations reported that during this separation it can be difficult for parents to learn where their children are and even more difficult to communicate with them.
A New York Times article documented “around 700 cases of family separation since October 2017, HHS admitted it had lost track of nearly 1,500 unaccompanied minors who were placed in foster care; several of those minors were discovered being trafficked.”
It is a tragedy that traumatized, desperate families fleeing violence and death threats in their countries are being separated from their children.
We the people of this country need to push our representatives to pass immigration reform legislation and fix this mess, as well as lobby our leaders to reach out to the countries from where people are fleeing drug violence with supportive policies that address the root issues.
Our words and actions can lead to more just and compassionate immigration policies so we can live up to Lady Liberty’s message.