Family Separation

This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news. If you’ve been living under a rock lately – stay there! Don’t emerge! It isn’t worth it, I promise! The rest of us have been overwhelmingly horrified at learning of reports that children are being forcibly removed from their parents’ care and detained separately from their parents if the family has been apprehended trying to cross the southern border into the USA without following the proper channels. Any northern folks coming into the country are, of course, free to come in, because El Presidente Naranja welcomes all the undocumented white immigrants.

No, I’m kidding. No one from Canada is sneaking into this shithole.

gray metal chain link fence close up photo
Photo by kendall hoopes on

But yes, American government agencies are enforcing a “Zero Tolerance” policy to prosecute undocumented immigrants for a federal crime and, in so doing, removing their underage children from their care. The children are sent to live in temporary housing facilities that are run by staff. They are likely frightened and traumatized by the entire experience, even if their conditions are adequate (and they aren’t always). They probably have no idea where their families are or when they will see them next. That’s a little rough for a kid whose whole life has just been packed up, whose family has just been arrested, and who is now in a fairly hostile, unfamiliar place.

Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible to justify these actions. Never mind that he is using the same lines of Scripture used by slavers to justify owning Black people as property. Of course, he is backed up by the eloquent Sarah H. Sanders, who said that following the law was a very Biblical thing to do. Thank goodness we don’t live in a country where we are expected to keep religion out of political matters, right?

“Oh,” some of you might say, “but isn’t the government just following the law? The Democrats put this law into place, didn’t they?’

And some of you would be wrong. The so-called law that obliges the government to separate families doesn’t actually exist. There is a law against illegal entry into the States, as well as an anti-trafficking statute signed by George W. Bush that brings up the issue of minors who are unaccompanied. That same statute states that these minors will be released after 72 hours and was primarily aimed at stopping human trafficking and child smuggling, not asylum seekers. There isn’t actually anything in the books that mandates the separation of minors from adults. That part is all you, current administration. All you. Of course, DT will blame everyone else if it paints him in a negative light, but the fact of the matter is, his administration enacted this Zero Tolerance policy earlier this year, and they are all well within their power to find a more effective, humane solution. What they’re doing now doesn’t really serve a purpose.

I grew up in a community that was majority of color, where most people I knew were either immigrants or children of immigrants. I fell into the latter category, being the first of two people in my generation to be born in the USA. My parents, each coming from a different corner of the world, had to go through a lengthy and costly process to become naturalized citizens. My mother became a citizen in 1987. I was five, and my sister was three. When I watch a video, hear audio, or read articles about today’s children being torn apart from their parents – sometimes even out of their arms – I think about what might have happened if my mother was unable to complete her path to citizenship. My sister was especially attached to my mother; she would throw tantrums when she had to sit in the backseat of the car because my mom, in the front seat, was too far away. I can’t imagine how traumatized we would have been – especially her – if my mom had to leave us. I would have grown up hating the authorities. What does a child know or care about immigration policies? All they know is that they love their families and would be much better off facing the anxiety and hardship of trying to seek asylum if they had the comfort of having their parents nearby. What is happening now is causing unnecessary psychological distress for both the children and their parents, some of whom have committed suicide as a direct result of being forcibly separated. It’s cruel, that’s all it is.

Mad about it? Donate to causes that support reunification of families that have been separated by ICE.

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