What We Can Do To Fight Against the Separation of Immigrant Families

Fact-check me. And screen these organizations.

Our Founding Fathers were immigrants.

More precisely, they immigrated illegally.

They were the first wave of “illegal” immigrants to claim citizenship in the “new” world.

A world that was already inhabited, for the record.

They migrated from Europe, bringing with them their children and families. They separated families under the guise of Christian evangelism.

Through brute force, sheer cruelty, and unmitigated violence they colonized, castrated, and killed our indigenous land owners.

Today,we separate families under the guise of Christian legalism.  Continue reading “What We Can Do To Fight Against the Separation of Immigrant Families”

Should You Talk To Your Children About How We Treat Immigrants?

On Sessions, 45, ‘I am a man,’ and ‘Ain’t I a woman?’

Most of the students I work with are immigrants. They 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. z

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.

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.

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:

Texas Senate Bill 4: On Pride & Prejudice

SB4, Texas Senate Bill 4, passed on May 7, 2017 and will go into effect on September 1, 2017. Champions of SB4 claim that it will increase public safety by requiring the state to enforce laws already put in place by the federal government. Its opponents claim that it will create more racial profiling and more harm, not put citizens at ease.
In effect, SB4 bans the existence of “sanctuary cities,” those cities that provide support and protection for undocumented immigrants. Texas Senator Charles Perry who authored the bill claimed, “Banning sanctuary cities is about stopping officials who have sworn to enforce the law from helping people who commit terrible crimes evade immigration detainers. Senate Bill 4 protects all Texans through uniform application of the law without prejudice.”
Who:

  • Authored by Charles Perry, current Texas Senator. Perry is one of the 31 members of the Texas Senate, each representing a different district within the state. You can learn more about the Texas Senate here.
  • It affects law enforcement and state officials who are now charged with identifying undocumented immigrants (and who will face punitive consequences for failure to comply with the law).

What:

  • Under SB4 local and state law enforcement can now question the immigration status of its residents. To read the actual text of the law, visit here.
  • Considered a “show me your papers” law and a ban on sanctuary cities.
  • As an Immigration Enforcement Law it compels officers, while making an arrest, to detain anyone suspected of being undocumented.

When:

  • Passed on May 7, 2017. Effective September 1, 2017.

Where:

  • Texas, but similar to recent Arizona Policy Senate Bill 1070. Under Senate Bill 1070 police were forced to ask about the immigration status of those pulled over during routine traffic stops. The lawsuit against SB1070 reached the U.S. Supreme Court, but many of its components were upheld.

Why:

How:

  • Officials who fail to detain an individual who may be undocumented could face the following consequences: 1) charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year of jail time, b) a $4,000 fine (or both the charge & the fine), and c) a civil penalty of $25,500 per day and removal from his/her elected or appointed office.

Additional Notes
Opponents argue that it violates the 1st amendment, as now officials who’ve been outspoken in their support for immigrants could face criminal charges if they are PERCEIVED as failing to comply.
Others argue that it is an unfunded mandate, one that would improperly and irresponsibly divert critical resources that could be used to address MAJOR CRIMES such as murder and sexual assault.
Still others believe that it will heighten the sense of fear and distrust that many already feel towards the police due to recent, very public deaths of people of color.
Others fear that there will be a decrease in the number of reported crimes, but not in actual crimes committed.
There may be an increase of instances in which cities and counties sue the state due to overreach.
 

Superman Isn't Coming

He was born Kal-El and hailed from Krypton originally. His beloved father helped coordinate a narrow escape, one that would make him a refugee.
Although gifted with compassion and supernatural ability, he remained an outsider to western culture. He remained undocumented. Not long after his arrival, a kind-hearted couple from Kansas adopted him. He assimilated under the American name “Clark Kent,” and took on a regular, American life. As a normal American, he worked as a journalist with a 9 to 5; he aspired for comfort, love, and acceptance.
Superman isn’t coming. 
Under this Republican House and this Rebublican Senate, he would be at risk of deportation. Under such a regime, it wouldn’t be advantageous for him to draw attention to himself or to his family. It wouldn’t be worthwhile to arouse suspicion or ire. This injustice wouldn’t incite him to action; he wouldn’t know who to identify as the threat.
Superman is principled. He has a code of ethics and a moral standard. He isn’t swayed by political weight or political might. He isn’t moved by an overwhelming sense of justice for all. He is moved by isolated, dramatic instances of chaos: evil that must be eradicated. Immediately.
He believes in honor and truth, but honor above all else. Oh Captain, my Captain.
Superman isn’t coming.
He respects the law, and he respects those who govern it. He follows the rules that exist, no matter how unjust. If his own actions prove criminal, he accepts the consequences of his crimes. He takes responsibility. He needs his words to stand for something. He needs his plight to mean something.
Although he is a widely recognized and well-known hero, he aspires for normalcy. He wants a simple life with privacy, love, and southern comfort (not that kind).
Superman isn’t coming because he’s assimilated into mainstream, western identity and culture. He doesn’t rage against the machine. He doesn’t rally, march, protest, or picket.
He doesn’t stand in solidarity, organize, or mobilize. He doesn’t fight against gentrification, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, or women’s rights. Despite his power, knowledge, and virtue, he isn’t the hero we need.
Superman isn’t coming.
He’s an undocumented refugee who wants nothing more than a simple life and a separate peace.
He would sacrifice himself for the sake of others. He would sacrifice himself to spare the death of innocents, but he doesn’t fight to overcome sociopolitical danger. He doesn’t aspire to end classism or ageism. He won’t prevent war.
Superman isn’t coming, but perhaps this should cause no alarm.
He isn’t the hero we need. For all his ability and might, he doesn’t aspire to be our savior. It’s high time that we stop waiting.