Originally Posted on Immigration Orange
(Picture taken during a vigil in Chelsea, Massachusetts)
I'm fortunate enough to have had a blessed childhood with two loving parents, and vivid memories of it all. Even with all of the happy memories I can still remember how terrifying it was for me to be separated from my mother. My first day of preschool was the first time that I had to spend any significant time away from my mother, and was weeks before I could stop crying when she left me. Even as I grow older, it's difficult to be away from the boundles love and support of my mother.
I say all this not to pull on heartstrings, but just to emphasize that I can't even imagine what it would be like to be forcefully separated from my own mother, much less by an Immigration and Custom's Enforcement agent, at a young age.
I was a horrible journalist that day. The pictures I took were bad, and my camera ended up running out of battery. I also didn't interview anyone, or take down any names. I just ended up soaking the entire scene in.
Towards the end of the vigil, three migrant mothers, who are staying in the U.S. illegally, choked out stories through tears about how they struggle to provide for their U.S. citizen children. One mother even had her baby ripped out of her arms by ICE when she was in a pharmacy. There are very few crimes that I can think of that are greater than ripping a baby from a mother's arms. The pain involved in ripping to shreds the age old bond between a mother in child is immeasurable but it happens with regularity during immigration raids.
In an raid that has now become famous, hundreds of children were separated from hundreds of mothers in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The comments in this Youtube video are, of course, filled with the hate that characterizes the migration debate online.
You see, from the plain of a moral relativist I guess I can understand on a theoretical level the hate towards migrants that make the "choice" to come to the United States, but the hate for their children? That I can't understand. Even if parents are responsible for having put their children in a bad position, it still doesn't make sense to take out the unmerciful hate on migrant children.
There's no question that the human rights of these children are being violated. Still, in case there is any question here is a passage from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child.
<div style="margin-left: 40px;">The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother.
It continues to startle me how "amnesty", or forgiveness and mercy, has become a bad word in the U.S. migration debate. Who is more deserving of mercy than children who were not responsible for their actions and have known nothing else than the United States?
This as foes are lining up to oppose the DREAM Act because its a "partial amnesty", According to the Miami Herald.
Anti-migrant advocates are free to tear down this post as another example of my emotional rather than logical appeals, but I couldn't help it with this post. I was going to try and tie this back to my post on Maxsuel Medieros, but these were the emotions I was overwhelmed with at this vigil. I left this vigil with an emotional dread that I'm trying to convey in this post. The sacred bond between a mother and her child is being violated repeatedly and without outrage in the U.S.
Even if my words have failed to touch you, as the vigil touched me, I'm going to provide a few routes to action at the end of this post. Latino Pundit has a list of names to call in support of the DREAM Act. You can also join the Facebook Group that has been extremely effective in gaining support for two migrant children, Alex and Juan Gomez. Alex and Juan Gomez have almost single-handedly put the DREAM Act back on the table. Also see this blog I enjoy by an author pushing for the DREAM Act.