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We, the People



As much as I try to keep my column apolitical, it is sometimes a very hard thing to do. The current crisis about the separation and detention of minor children, including babies and toddlers, has become a political crisis. It should not be.

We can all agree that the law is the law, that we should obey the law, and in the case of emigration, take the necessary steps to ensure a legal and safe entry into the country of choice. We seem to be forgetting that many of these families do not –I repeat: do not – have that luxury. What they perceive is that their lives, and that of their children, is in danger. And to protect themselves, and their families they run. They start the long and perilous march towards countries that may be able to give them a chance at a better life.

Requesting asylum is not against the law. Crossing the border between stations is. When conditions at the ports of entry are so lamentable, when many are turned down without proper debriefing, yes, they make the wrong decision to give a chance at crossing between the official ports of entry. In the Trump Administration that makes them guilty of a misdemeanor, hence detention, hence being separated from their children. It is a deplorable tactic. A hateful tactic.

In the United States, we now have “Tender Age” detention centers. And sure, they are cared for (bathed, fed, housed) but these babies do not understand the concept of time yet and are tired, and afraid without their parents. They did nothing wrong. In essence, most of these parents did nothing wrong, be it entering a country without the necessary documentation, just for trying to give their children a better life.

The hateful rhetoric this administration keeps spewing out about South and Central American immigrants is sad and shameful. The comparison, by some, with the long lasting separations of our military families (for whom no-one protests according to a supporter of the present policy) is ludicrous.

Yes, we need to pay more attention to our military families. We need to honor them and thank them for their service. But let us not forget that they choose to join our armed forces. They choose to fight for what is right. They give their lives for freedom and I am pretty sure that most of them would not approve of this particular policy. DO not ever tell me that I do not think of the enormous sacrifice they make allowing us to live in freedom. It is true we can do better unto them. It is totally true we need to fix our immigration system. But blaming everything on people trying to escape war, torture, hunger … No, my friends, we are better than that. We as a Nation are better than that.

This administration has been trying very hard at dividing our people. If we let it continue, it will succeed. It is succeeding. It breaks my heart to see what we the people have become. Two parties at war with each other, refusing to talk to each other. There is no debate anymore. We have an obligation to come together, to fight together for what is right. Irrespective of party affiliation. Irrespective of race or national origin. We must not forget we are all humans. Let us be human. Never forget that, one day, you may be that person in need of help.

It does not have to be like this. We can do better. But it starts with us. Us, we the people.