Thursday, August 08, 2019

The way we treat children provides a glimpse of what we can expect in the future

If you're curious about the future, look at how we treat children today.

Trump and his errant cronies are raising hate amongst so many young people as they speak out against their family members with racist, bigoted, hateful statements, and act with similar sinister intent as well as harmful passivity in the face of traumatic, harmful events.

Every seed of hate they sow will come back to haunt and harm the American people. As I watched crying children speak in Mississippi yesterday, children who came home from school to find that their parents had been taken into custody in immigration raids, I was angry, frustrated, and hurt. All I could think about was the hate that was planted in those children's hearts and minds as they watched a wealthy, privileged government take their parents away and leave them alone to be later cared for in a gym by local good samaritans rather than in their loving homes. It was also ironic that as Trump went to El Paso to pay respects to people targeted and murdered because of their Hispanic culture, his officers were also rounding up Hispanic immigrants while leaving their children parentless.

Let's look deeply at this. First, the people taken away worked at a food plant. We can only imagine that the work was not glamorous as well as challenging and low paying. We also need to wonder if the owners of that plant treated these people who were gathered well--were they paid well, and were they treated in ways that helped them move towards citizenship, or did the business take advantage of their illegal status? And, we can question the way the government dealt with this. If these people truly had illegal status in the United States, and as noted in the news account, working and living in the United States for many years, why didn't the government use a humane process of working with this situation, a process that looked out for the children first.

Rather than round up people with illegal status who have committed no grave crimes, why can't the government work with humanity and good process to deal with the situation in the following way:
  1. Start by working with companies that employ these people with illegal status to look for win-win ways to move these people towards citizenship. If these people are working for American companies and providing a needed service in our country, why not help them become the good tax paying, involved citizens they can be.
  2. Why not work harder to offer these many people with illegal status who have been living and working in the United States for years, an honest, positive path to citizenship? Why not let them stay?
  3. If families, for any good reason, have to be deported, they never should be taken without their children. Instead it needs to be a family meeting with family members and children to decide on a humane plan to make sure children are not left alone without knowledge about what is happening and where their parents are. 
Clearly we have to deal with the immigration challenge in smart, humane ways, not the bullying, inhumane, hateful ways that the Trump administration is dealing with immigration. They are planting great seeds of despair, anger, frustration, sadness, and hate--those seeds will grow in the children, families, and individuals who have been treated with such disdain, and we will suffer the consequences unless we do something to make change now. We have an obligation to take care of the world's children, and to treat children and families inhumanely is about as low as you can go as a human being.