What if it was your family?: March 4, 2017

Dear Mr. VP,

There’s so much I could write about every day. It’s actually overwhelming. Like today, your boss actually tweeted that Obama wire tapped Trump Tower which is either completely delusional OR implicates him in a conspiracy to collude with Russia to win the election. 

It’s almost like he’s trying to distract from something. I wonder what.

Well, I’ll tell you what I wasn’t distracted from. The multiple news sources running a story about a proposal to separate mothers and children if they cross the U.S. border together illegally. Moms will go to detention, children into protective custody.

My jaw actually dropped when I read this. First, because…have you read The Handmaid’s Tale? Probably not. Summary: United States becomes a theocracy. Main character makes a run for the border. She’s caught. Kid is taken away and given to another family. Mom is put into detention and then forced to act as a concubine. The parallels aren’t exact but they were eerie enough for me to have to shake my head to clear it.

Moms who are crossing the border illegally with small children are not making the decision lightly. They are not criminals. They are hoping for a better life and better economic opportunity for themselves and their children. I’ve read dozens of essays by undocumented kids about their border crossing in the course of my work in college admissions and here’s the takeaway. It is dreadful. It is scary and dangerous. It is putting all your trust in a potentially untrustworthy coyote to get you to the U.S. where you will work jobs no American would take for less than minimum wage, but at least your children will have the opportunity for an education and a shot at college, and in some cases, you’ve gotten them away from the drug and gang violence of your former life. These parents — these moms — are doing something selfless for their children. They are saying “I will toil as a wage slave in this inhospitable and racist country so my kids can have more than I did.”

And now we’ll reward that selfless act by ripping their children away from them and placing them with another family. Terrified and alone. Toddlers screaming for their parents. Preschoolers with night terrors. Babies literally being ripped away from their breastfeeding moms. There’s been a lot of inhumane shit pulled in the last 1.5 months but this may be the inhumaniest. This is the potential for lifelong psychological trauma for KIDS WHO DID NOT ASK TO CROSS THE BORDER. Let’s repeat that: regardless of what you think of the moms bringing their families, these are innocent kids who are going to be in states of sheer panic and terror.

Is it realistic to ask you to be an empathetic human and put yourself in their shoes for a second? What if this was Karen, and Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey. Imagine them as small kids. Now imagine a government agent taking them away for an indefinite amount of time to live with another family. 

I don’t know about you, but when I contemplate that scenario with my own G in mind, my chest feels crushed. I can’t even breathe and my vision blurs. It would be as if my heart was being led away from my body. 

If you are to claim the pro-family and pro-life mantle, you must keep this from happening. 


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