In 1967, my family fled a communist oppressive government and came to this country seeking political asylum, much the same as families are doing right now. Instead of being given the opportunity to build a better and safer life, as my family was, immigrant families are literally being torn apart for political theater. Seeking asylum is not in of itself a crime.
Children’s mental and physical health are being used as a bargaining chip. Parents’ screams and tears are being used as a deterrent to send a message. This administration wants to tell the world that our borders are closed in the harshest and most sadistic manner possible.
The United States has been portrayed as the shining city upon the hill, a beacon of hope to all who wish to make a better life. This administration is extinguishing that light and replacing it with tiki torches. Atrocities are being committed in our name, America.
The decision to leave your country, your home, the place you’ve known all your life because you are terrified of what it has become, of what is happening beyond your control is not an easy one. Can you imagine a future that is so bleak that your best option is to abandon everything and attempt to start over in a foreign land? Do you know what it’s like to live in fear for your or your family’s life? Do you know what it means to have no hope? The desperation that having no hope brings?
These families take the risk because they believe in “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” I thought we did, too.
This administration’s zero-tolerance policy is nothing short of a human rights violation. There is no law compelling them to carry out these acts. They are doing it because the fear of an equal mixed-race America is terrifying to them and their supporters. They are doing it to keep white men in power. They are doing it because they can, and no one is stopping them.
You and I need to stop them. We need to protect these children. Demand that your senator sign and support the Keep Families Together Act. Demand that your House representative sign and support the HELP Separated Children Act. Contact local organizations that help immigrants and ask what you can do to help.
If you’ve been disheartened, disenfranchised and dismayed by the slow creeping of tyranny taking over our democracy, stand up and fight for it before it’s too late.
— Adel Alamo