A Very Bad Business

As I reflect on the past year, I think about the people who have helped me through some difficult times.  An unlikely person that comes to mind is my mom.  My relationship with my mother has been a tumultuous one—she feels like she’s helping, I think she’s trying to control my life—that sort of thing.  But it’s my mother that put me through law school.  She’s always been there for me—sometimes with unwelcome grumblings about why I’m not married—but I always feel safe inside knowing that if I were to ever fall, she would be the first one to catch me.

Family is important.  My little brother was my first friend.  My dad was my first love.  Anything that keeps families apart has to be a bad thing.  In the past two years, this country has deported more than 200,000 (LINK) parents of U.S born children.  This number doesn’t include parents of non-U.S citizen children.  Some children get lost in the foster care system.  Sometimes it may take months or years for reunification to happen.

The reality that this country is in the business of tearing apart families is both appalling and devastating.  I call it a “business” because we have private prison companies that profit off of fat contracts from the federal government to detain families before they are shipped out.  I call it a “business” because this kind of policy is cold, calculated and devoid of any heart or concern for the lives of our children and the importance of keeping families together.  It’s a business that needs to be shut down.

If my family disappeared one day, I would be so lost.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be 5 or 10 years old and have to suffer the devastating separation from my mom or dad.  But tens of thousands of children have to face this reality every year and it has to end.  Our country cannot be in the business of tearing apart families. 

Call on President Obama to end immigrant detention now.

Photo courtesy: Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com