That is the number of children separated from their families by ICE and the Trump administration. In times like these I think about what we are called to be: a good neighbor. Being a good neighbor does not end with a specific street, a city limit, a state line or a country border-it should be without boundaries. We should be good neighbors to all.
The more I contemplate these actions the more emotions come to me-anger, sadness, outrage, disappointment and the list could go on. Families are being separated and thrown into cages. If “Americans” were detained this way, would it be tolerated? How is this acceptable? If and when it is ruled that a family can be reunited, the parents will be responsible for locating and gaining custody of their children. As a country founded by people seeking a better life the policy of separating families attempting to come here for those reasons is unconscionable and violates the Constitution on which our country was founded. Amendment 4 prohibits the unreasonable search and seizure of people or things and yet we are taking children. Amendment 8 prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and yet we are separating families and forcibly detaining them in very questionable ways and facilities. Amendment 14 prohibits depriving people of life, liberty or property and states that equal protection is afforded to all people, including non-citizens and yet we are treating these families inhumanely as if this does not apply to them. These actions are scarily similar to the internment of Japanese people during World War II (only 62% were US citizens); those actions were eventually found to be a product of racism. The current separation of families is racist, targeting Hispanic/Latinx families. Children are being kidnapped and the message that the current administration is sending is that Hispanic/Latinx immigrants are not welcome in America.
To my knowledge the executive order signed Wednesday has created no change. The order states that families will be detained together “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.” There is no provision on what action will be taken if there are not available resources and there is no definition of what constitutes appropriate and consistent with law. The social services systems are already underfunded and overburdened - how can there be resources available? The order says that the Department of Defense will have to provide housing and/or build facilities for families on military bases (internment camps?). The order also seeks to have the courts to modify a US District Court settlement in order to allow accompanied children to be held longer than 20 days (Flores V. Sessions). Will the current administration seek to have laws changed to reinforce their racist treatment of immigrant families? The order also says nothing of what is to happen to the over 2,300 children already separated. The order is nothing but double-talk and vague wording that accomplishes nothing.
It is time to resist these unmoral actions and seek justice. President Trump should be removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanors - abuse of power, intimidation, misuse of assets, unbecoming conduct and perjury of the Oath of Office. President Trump has committed these crimes in many ways since becoming POTUS and this should be the last straw. Vice President Pence, DHS Secretary Nielsen and others should be removed from office for acting as accomplices.
It is time to be bold and take action! One way to take action is to join with citizens from across Guilford County for the Families Belong Together March at 4pm this Saturday, June 30 in Greensboro at the Governmental Plaza (110 S. Greene St.).
If the racist actions of this administration are allowed to continue, who will be targeted next? What vision of America do we want to see in the future?