By now you’ve heard the news: under a new policy designed and enforced by the Trump Administration, immigrant families trying to enter the United States – either illegally or through legal means – are being separated.
In the six weeks between mid-April and the end of May of this year, over 2,000 children were separated from their parents, and sent to mass detention centers or foster care. As former First Lady Laura Bush penned in an op-ed last night, more than 100 of these children are younger than 4 years old.
The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders. There is no law requiring the separation of children from their families simply because their parents were seeking a better life in the United States.
Laura Bush and others have stated that they are heartbroken over this cruel and inhumane policy.
I’m not just heartbroken. I’m pissed.
Pissed because this is not the first time the Trump Administration has treated immigrants like animals.
Pissed because Governor Rick Scott, who ran ads in Spanish this weekend during the World Cup games, helped to elect President Trump, and is now shifting blame of this policy to Congress. This isn’t the fault of Congress, this is 100% a decision by the Trump Administration, an administration that Rick Scott wholeheartedly supports.
Pissed because it’s hard to find a Republican leader in Florida who will directly say the policy is wrong — in contrast, some are actually defending it.
Pissed because even first-time asylum seekers who are searching for a safe refuge are being treated as criminals. The Trump Administration talks often on the horrors of MS-13, and yet has no empathy for families who try to survive and escape violence.
As a daughter of immigrants I cannot stand silently by as Dreamers, DACA recipients, and immigrants, are ripped apart from their families and stripped of their rights and protections.
Last Thursday I marched alongside local activists, community leaders, and Senator Linda Stewart to #KeepFamiliesTogether.
Marching is important, but we must continue to take action.
This article provides a list of nonprofits who are leading the charge against family separation at the border. U.S. Senators are also working to pass the Keep Families Together Act, among other legislative tactics. You can learn more about that here.
Children should never be used as political pawns or as leverage for a personal agenda. I won’t stand for it now, and I won’t stand for it when I’m representing you in Tallahassee.
Onward for peace and justice,