Migrant Children

The pictures. The pictures of children behind fences. The pictures of a room completely overcrowded with children. The pictures of mothers being separated from their babies.

But the picture I doubt I will ever forget: the picture of a young father along with his baby girl, dead, facedown in a river.

I held my daughter tight, thinking about the lengths I would go to provide her a safe life and environment. I think about my Mother who came to the US, with me in her arms, interrogated by immigration if she married my Father because of the US welfare system. I think of my Brother who struggled in school, got in trouble in his 20’s, was detained by ICE for 2 years, and later deported. But my family is still alive. And for the most part, my family is doing well.

But people don't need my thoughts or tears. They need action. Unfortunately, thousands of people have died trying to cross the US border over many decades. And detention centers have existed for several Presidential terms.

Our immigration policy is a disaster; it is classist and racist.

These policies are affecting the students in our schools and our neighbors. There are more than 200,000 undocumented immigrants in Colorado and "more than 140,000 U.S. citizens in Colorado live with at least one family member who is undocumented." These are 200,000 people who live in fear, not knowing when they might be taken and sent away from their families.

I believe it is important to remember that the US Congress sets the law and our executive branch executes it. Therefore, we must hold our national legislators accountable, ensuring they are pushing for immigration reform.

There are some things we can do as ordinary citizens to promote extraordinary change. I have attached an article I found best highlights these options. I am hoping we will stand together in this fight.

I love the following quote from the linked article above: “This is a long fight, and it’s going to require a lot of attention and a lot of input from people,” Pérez says. “It is not an easy fix and it is going to take all of us to understand and know what kind of values we really want to live in. The more light we can shed, the more beneficial it will be for future efforts.”