When I sat down to write my blog this week, I had originally decided to share with you the “flashes of insight” I had while on vacation. But with the crisis at the border still underway, writing about vacation feels frivolous.
I try to make it a practice to stay out of politics, especially in my professional life, but it seems that our current government has a way of really ruffling my feathers, to put it lightly.
“Since the Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” policy at the Mexican border in recent weeks, more than 2,300 children have reportedly been separated from their parents while attempting to enter the U.S.” (CNBC)
I’ve read and reread the news - The NY Times, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and NPR. Each and every time I come to the same conclusion. This is nuts. This is not real. This can’t be happening. Not in our country. And then, about 15-20 seconds later, I either feel intense anger, unrelenting fear, deep sadness and/or profound shame.
Anger that families are being torn apart, that our President is acting amorally and illegally and that it doesn’t seem like anyone or anything can stop him. Anger because it feels like no matter what I do, it’s not enough. Fear because, well, Trump feels more like a dictator than the president of a democratic country. I fear what more is to come. Deep sadness for the parents who have no idea where their children are or how they are doing, for the children who are lost and alone without their parents, and for the fact that there is no “concrete plan for reunification.” (I am now crying hysterically.) And shame. I feel shame because we voted for Trump, as a country. A man who has divided us more than united us, a man who has put fear in so many innocent people’s hearts, a man who has taken away tolerance and acceptance and replaced it with hate and anger and intolerance, and a man who prefers to hide behind Twitter and blame others recklessly rather than stand up, take responsibility and admit fault respectably. I feel sick.
So, where do we go from here? What can we do? How can we help? First, figure out where you stand on the issue. Then feel your feelings. Then get up and fight like hell!
Call your representative: https://5calls.org/issue/keep-families-together-act
Donate - here are a few of the leading non-profits involved in immigration issues:
ACLU - The American Civil Liberties Union is fighting attacks through the legal system. http://www.aclu.org
RAICES - The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a non-profit focused on "providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas," according to the organization's website. The Facebook fundraiser raised over $10 million in just four days.
TCRP – The Texas Civil Rights Project is "helping families at the US border get legal advice and translation services," and is interviewing families to document what is happening to ensure they are reunited as quickly as possible. You can donate on FB here.
The Florence Project - provides free legal services to detained immigrants in Arizona. In addition to donations, The Florence Project also accepts volunteers. So if you live in Arizona, you can help out directly as a translator, researcher or even act as a pro bono attorney if you're qualified. You can donate here.
Join the Protests - https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together_attend1/search/
United we stand!If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot. And a lot = CHANGE. Take good care of yourselves... and I hope to see you out there!