Most of the students I work with are first or second-generation Americans. They range in age and in levels from second to sixth grade. From time to time, I also work with a college-aged adult who needs help studying for the IELTS.

They hail from more than ten different countries and speak more than five different languages among them.

I tutor in the evenings and on weekends, so I’m always cognizant of the energy I put in. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with other people’s children, and I don’t take this privilege lightly.

A few months ago, one of my 3rd graders got really excited about a video he had seen. He came into class chanting, “Build the wall! Build the wall!”

I asked him what he thought the wall was for and why he thought we needed it.

He said, “so we can keep out the dirty Mexicans!”

I asked him why he thought Mexicans were dirty.

He laughed.

I asked him how many Mexicans he knew.

He knew none.

1

You should talk to your children about how we treat immigrants.

You should talk to them if you, yourself, are an immigrant. You should talk to them if you, yourself, are not.

You should talk to them if your parents were immigrants or if your grandparents were immigrants.

You should talk to them about how we treat people we think “don’t belong.”

We’ve started separating children from their parents who cross the border illegally seeking asylum.

Parents are being arrested, and children are being carted away to government-approved detention centers and foster care. Since October 2017, thousands of children have been taken away from their parents.

We’ve seen and heard horror stories of children who cry themselves to sleep because they don’t know where there parents are—children as young as 18 months old. An immigrant father from Honduras recently killed himself in his detention cell after his child was ripped away from him.

Amid criticisms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions used the bible to defend this practice:

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.” He quipped.

Americans have been taking children from families since the Transatlantic slave trade.

2

And throughout the late 1800s, thousands of Native Americans were forced to abandon their families to attend state-sanctioned boarding schools. Army officer Richard Pratt contended: “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

You should talk to your children about how we treat immigrants because America’s founding fathers were —spoiler alert—immigrants! Before stealing the land from those indigenous to the region, they emigrated from Europe.

In our nation’s history, there have always been efforts to preference certain immigrant groups over others—as evidenced by the recent treatment of those from South and Central America.

You should talk to your children about how we treat immigrants.

To read more about America’s history of separating children from their parents:

Advertisements