Over the past several weeks, we have been confronted almost daily with stories and images from the border that haunt us, and we must ask ourselves: WHERE IS OUR HUMANITY?
Where is our humanity when hundreds of suffering migrant families and children are being fenced in under a bridge in El Paso, hungry and shivering, forced to sleep on the cold dirt?1
Where is our humanity when instead of being placed with their relatives, thousands of children are being held in unlicensed for-profit detention facilities for months on end, where there is no love or warmth and even siblings are not permitted to touch each other?2
Where is our humanity when a 9 year old American girl crosses the border from Mexico to the US as she does every day, but because she cannot properly explain herself to border officers, she is detained alone, away from her family for almost 2 days?3
How can our country, which claims to be a beacon of light and hope to the world and a nation of immigrants, violate international law by deporting and closing its borders to asylum seekers literally trying to save their lives and the lives of their children, escaping threats of rape and murder in countries overrun by instability and gang violence?4
How can this administration then conclude that we must cut off aid to Central American countries instead of boosting their economies and stabilizing their governments, a conclusion that will only lead to higher levels of desperation and instability in those countries?5
Where is our humanity when parents who were deported after their children were ripped from their arms were somehow able to make it back into the US to find their children only to be placed in detention, still separated from their children?6
Where is the humanity of a government that saw fit to separate what is suspected to be thousands of children from their parents for nearly one year before announcing their separation policy, but never bothered to keep records of these children’s whereabouts which may make it impossible to ever reunite them with their parents?7
We can do better. We MUST do better. We must demand that resources be allocated to properly process migrants seeking safety in our borders. We must demand humane conditions for migrants while they await processing. We must demand the closure of unlicensed for-profit detention centers and that the children they are detaining be placed with relatives and sponsors in loving communities. We must follow our own laws and offer asylum to those escaping danger.
We must once again strive to be a nation of compassion and humanity and a country that welcomes and values its immigrants.
Dr. Eve Krief is a member of the Core team, Immigrant Justice Now
com/article/adolfoflores/ border-bridge-migrants- detained-camp-el-paso-texas
entry/julia-isabel-amparo- medina-immigration-border_n_ 5c96aa60e4b0a6329e177fbb
politics/immigration/dhs-ask- congress-sweeping-authority- deport-unaccompanied-migrant- children-n988651 & https://www.nbcnews.com/ politics/immigration/dhs-ask- congress-sweeping-authority- deport-unaccompanied-migrant- children-n988651
article/us-usa-immigration- aid/u-s-ending-aid-to-el- salvador-guatemala-honduras- over-migrants-idUSKCN1RB0OR
com/world/the_americas/trump- separated-family-policy- parents-in-detention/2019/03/ 28/0618a1be-509b-11e9-bdb7- 44f948cc0605_story.html
aponline/2019/03/27/us/ap-us- immigrants-separating- families.html