Over the past 2 weeks we have had a lot of people in our audience reach out and ask us what our response is to the crisis at the border, where people are attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico and being separated (mothers from children in particular) and not reunited. We have watched and processed for the past few weeks and can’t really wrap our heads and hearts around what has happened to these human beings. But, here’s what we have to say…
I could just stop this post right here with these words. What has been taking place at the Souther U.S. borders is wrong on all accounts. No human being with a heart in their chest, and breath in their lungs can watch this happening and justify it (more on that in a minute). More than 2000 children have been separated from their mothers, in an apparent “no tolerance,” when it comes to illegal immigration. No tolerance with mothers and children. Are you kidding me?
I used to say, “Things like that don’t happen here in the U.S.” I completely retract that belief. Because this is happening here. This and so much more that I never thought I would see happen in the land of the free.
Yes I know, children being separated from their mothers has [apparently] stopped (after the president signed an executive order bring any further separation to a halt). But the damage has already been done. And after watching a country operate in utter chaos and disarray for the past year and a half, I hardly believe the separation has completely halted. Thanks to a kind-hearted judge in California, there is now a mandate that all children who were separated need to be returned to their parents within 30 days. We did a happy dance when we heard this news!
We adamantly and completely disagree with the president’s immigration order, the way it’s been carried out, and Jeff Session’s public justification of this order. We cannot stand by and watch families be torn apart. To put it bluntly, the US Government has failed. They have failed to see the reality of what they are doing to human beings (to children) with the no-tolerance immigration policy. Here’s why…
Families Belong Together….Period.
We believe in family preservation. No matter what, families belong together….mothers with children….spouses with spouses…grandparents with grand children…you name it. These families being ripped apart at the border of the “free” world, belong together. If detainment needs to happen, they still must stay together. You can’t tell me that we don’t have enough resources as a country to make this happen. I would point to all of the city towers named after people that have been built over the past decade as my reasoning.
The question I will inevitably receive is, “If you believe in family preservation then how can you justify foster care and adoption?” Fact is, we do believe families belong together, and that includes first families. But sometimes circumstances keep that from happening. Sometimes the inability to provide needed resources for a child, prevent that child from remaining with their first families. I hate it and I wish it weren’t the case (even for my children), but it’s a reality. In that case, when a parent is no longer able to care for their child, that child deserves a home where they can be kept healthy and safe. Thus, foster care and/or adoption enter the picture and play a vital role in making this happen.
Truth is, sometimes people have their children taken away from them unfairly, and placed in foster care, or placed for adoption. It is kidnapping and it’s wrong, as we’re concerned. We hate that this happens in our world. We’ve known people who have had this happen to them and it breaks our heart. This is the very reason why we say to our governing officials who have allowed children to be taken from their mothers recently- families belong together. Period! There is no justifiable reason that parents crossing the border with their children cannot care for their children. In fact, by escaping certain death (as some of them are doing) they are doing everything in their power to care for their children.
They belong together.
This Is Causing Irreparable Trauma.
As a former foster parent, and dad to children who have lost their first families, I have had a front row seat to the irreparable trauma that happens to children who have been separated from their families. I will never forget driving away from a visitation center, where my daughter’s birth mother failed to show up for the 3rd week in a row, and watching her sob in the back seat of our car the entire drive home. I can still hear the screams of my then 3-year old, as we carried her kicking and screaming down the stairs of a visitation center after her birth mother failed to show up. Children who have lost this deeply are also wounded deeply, and it takes years to repair and heal. For no reason other than being from a different country, children are being ripped away from the only parent they know, and placed scared, barely clothed, and hungry in holding areas as if they’re dangerous animals who need to be contained.
The trauma is unimaginably deep. And it’s unnecessary. Even if a family is entering the U.S. illegally, do they need to be separated like this? No, they do not! No tolerance does not need to be cruel or inhumane. I have a no tolerance policy when it comes to my teenagers coming home after curfew. Busted. I also have a no-tolerance policy when my children look up inappropriate stuff online. Heck-to-the-HECK-no! But I would never lock them in a closet, or their room, for breaking these rules. Nor would I keep them separate from our family.
What the U.S. Government has done over the past few months to woman and children is traumatizing and psychologically damaging.
There’s No Justification.
Jeff Sessions cited the Bible as his, and the United States, justification for separating women and children at the border. He quoted the Apostle Paul, from Romans 13:1-2, where he says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” I follow this scripture. I believe in this scripture. It’s the very reason why I pull over when an officer of the law turns his lights on behind me. It’s why I don’t steal from convenient stores, or cheat on my taxes, among many laws I abide by. Yes, we should obey the laws the land. But this verse in no way justifies cruel, inhumane, and the immoral treatment of human beings….especially innocent mothers and their children. FYI…this is the same scripture that was used to justify slavery. It was the verse that Hitler used to justify what he did to Jewish people.
In the 1800s, governing officials in this country claimed that since slavery was legal, we should obey the laws of the land and permit slavery. What!?
There is truth in Romans 13:1-2. But that truth applies to traffic laws….and taxes….not segregation, separation, and inhumane or evil practices.
Entering the United States without proper documentation, or authorization is illegal, no doubt, but it’s not punishable by the inhumane practices we are seeing unfold. And the law is very specific…improper entry and/or illegal activity must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict. That means trial in a court of law! Separating innocent children from their mothers and placing them in abandoned shopping centers before any kind of trial takes place does not qualify for “beyond reasonable doubt.” What it does qualify for is lawlessness. And let’s keep one thing in mind- these women and children are escaping…not vacationing or trying to get to a Starbucks in the free world. They are escaping violence, drug cartel infestation, and crooked justice systems in hopes to seek asylum in the U.S. The very same thing my ancestors did a long time ago in order to provide the life of freedom I’ve grown up with. I can’t see that as a crime.
Let me also reiterate something that Stephen Colbert brought up recently, in response to Jeff Sessions Romans 13:1-2 justification. In Romans 13:9b-10, Paul says, “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Mr. Sessions, I’ve got news for you- we will be judged by God on what we did in response to Verses 9-10 before we will be judged on what we did in response to Verses 1-2!
Furthermore….laws need to change over time. It used to be illegal for black and white people to drink out of the same water fountain, or marry each other. Those laws needed to change. Why? Because that was wrong and racist. We need to constantly be evaluating our laws and determining what needs to be changed. This is not to say that there should be no laws, or lax laws. And I’m not saying that we should freely wave people into the US who are dangerous or actually doing something illegal, without a serious checkpoint and process. What I’m saying is simply, let’s think it through. Create a better process for determining legitimacy. Don’t throw a blanket “no-tolerance” policy over the entire thing and call it a day. That’s basically what has happened. Our entire world revolves around structure and process. It happens all the time and there are some pretty darn good processes out there that have been well thought out. There can be a process created for immigration that protects the innocent and vulnerable but also detects the dangerous and volatile.
More than two thousand children. I can’t even wrap my mind around it as the dad of 8. I can’t even begin to imagine what is going through the minds of the parents who’s babies are being strong-armed away from them, never to be seen again. What fear! What anxiety! What hell!
This has to stop. Change needs to happen. I pray no-tolerance changes and that families are reunited quickly and swiftly. Humanity can’t afford to wait and see what happens.
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