I am normally a very open-minded person when it comes to Facebook. My friends have differing opinions and ideologies, and they post them on their Facebook walls. I don’t have to agree with what they say, and they don’t have to agree with me.
Yesterday, I unfriended a longtime Facebook friend. The comment made? “If a parent in America commits a felony, that’s child abuse and the kids must be taken away. These illegal immigrants are entering this country illegally, that’s a felony, so if their kids are taken away that’s what they deserve.”
As someone who has suffered through the misery of a fractured family, this pains me that people still equate those escaping horror in their home lands to find horror in our land.
And it’s not like our world hasn’t seen children ripped from their families for the most sinister of reasons.
You may have never heard of the “Stolen Generation,” so let me help you on this.
For nearly a century, the Australian government, in an effort to destroy the culture and life of the Australian aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, took children away from their mothers and fathers. They put these kids in foster homes, where the majority of them became hired help. They lost their identity, existing as neither black nor white.
This was achieved for an entire century.
I want you to think about this for a second. The government of a civilized nation engaged in state-sponsored ethnic cleansing. This wasn’t Rwanda or Croatia or some country in Africa whose name you either think is NY-Gur or NEE-cher … no, this was Australia.
This was wrong.
And it’s wrong to separate children from their parents, no matter what the exigent circumstances are right now. You have absolutely no way to reunite these families, there’s no plans available that work. What are you going to do, inject each kid with an RFID tag, like they were a pet dog? Well, considering you’re keeping kids in glorified kennels…
And while we’re at it… here’s my biggest worry and fear about what’s happening to the children right now at our border.
What’s to stop anyone coming in and saying, “Give me twenty girls for $500,” and next thing you know there are twenty new kids on the sex trafficking circuit?
Or if someone else decides that undocumented child labor is good for their profits, and kids are now sent to work on some tobacco farm?
Or if the parents are sent back to Honduras, sent back to El Salvador, sent back to Guatemala … but the kids are kept here?
This is apartheid and ethnic cleansing and “Final Solution” and Jim Crow and every other horrifying, government-sponsored abuse our history has ever known.
And don’t tell me that taking these kids away from their parents is some sort of justification for the parents entering our country in the first place.
You want to do something about this? Go to these war-ravaged countries and find out what we can do to help those in need. We are a nation of immigrants, a coat of many colors, a melting pot of different ingredients.
If you are not happy with what I wrote … that’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion.
But it’s my opinion that there must be a better way than using forced separation of families as some sort of grandstanding deterrent ploy.
And building a border wall isn’t the answer. Any more than a rabbit-proof fence was the answer for the Stolen Generation in Australia.