Like many in the Motherlucker family, I have been beside myself with grief and anger as I watch the public display of trauma play out in light of the current White House Administration’s zero-tolerance policy on immigration. For those who are uninformed or who are simply unaware, here is a brief recap of the horror that has been taking place in our country:
- Immigrant children are being taken from their parents as they cross the border into the United States seeking asylum. Some parents are being told that their children are being taken to play or bathe, only to never return.
- The children are being housed in detention centers (some enclosed by metal fencing) where they are surrounded by hundreds of other children and supervised by adults they do not know. Some of these children are non-verbal, others are said to have physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
- To date, 2,300 children have been removed from their parent’s care with no guarantee of being returned to them.
- The United States Attorney General recently announced that domestic violence and gang violence are no longer grounds for asylum.
To be clear, I understand that crossing the border illegally is considered a crime. However, what I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around is how we as a country can justify such inhumane and cruel treatment of others, of CHILDREN, who are seeking safety from their homeland.
Mothers of this community, I ask you to take a moment to close your eyes and picture your own children as infants, as toddlers, and at their current ages. Remember their innocence. The way that they come to you to ease every “owie” and how a hug from you or their dad is like a superpower that suddenly makes everything right in their world again. Recall their tiny voices and how dependent they are upon you for nearly everything from bathing, to being clothed, and being fed. Now, I ask you to imagine your child being taken from you to a foreign place and housed with hundreds of other children, without warning, suddenly unable to see or speak with you. Imagine their immeasurable fear and confusion as they are left to wonder what lies ahead from day to day. This is happening RIGHT NOW.
As I read news stories and listen to moderators speak out in support of this policy, their rhetoric is laden with legal and political arguments. My question? What does your heart say? In your heart of hearts, can one truly argue that they believe separating vulnerable children from their families is the correct way and the only way to resolve our country’s challenges with illegal immigration?
As a former social worker with extensive experience in the area of child welfare, what I know of childhood trauma is that it often lingers like a relentless beast wreaking havoc in the lives of the children it plagues through long-term negative side effects. The trauma often manifests as depression, rage, anxiety, eating disorders, domestic violence, substance abuse issues, and suicide. For some of these children, this experience will be their death sentence. The invisible harm being done will far outweigh that of what we currently see.
What does your heart say, readers? Shut out the noise, silence any admonishments of the children’s parents and any judgement you may hold toward them. Listen to your intuition and allow it to guide you. My faith in humanity and connection to the spirit of motherhood encourages me to believe that your heart is acknowledging that this is not the right way to go about countering this issue. If this is the case, I implore you to put your heart’s desires in motion. Call your Senators to make your position known. Donate to organizations seeking to support the families and children being detained. Encourage your loved ones to do both. Send a message to Congress that says “I do not support the separation of families and the detainment of innocent children. NOT ON MY WATCH.”
What we do next matters. Day in and day out, we teach our children to be compassionate and empathetic. These are values that should be unwavering and non-negotiable. It starts with us, mamas. Let’s show them how it’s done.