Letter: Take action to support immigrant families

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Do you remember what it was like to be 6 years old and lose your mother in the grocery store? The panic, the fear that you’ll never see her again, that something terrible might happen to you? Children of immigrants in our communities here in Western North Carolina are living with that fear of separation every day while decisions are made regarding Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson’s proposed rule titled Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status.

The rule will revoke eligibility for mixed-status families receiving federal housing assistance. A mixed-status family is one in which at least one household member (usually a parent) is without documentation, for a multitude of reasons. Oftentimes a visa has expired, and it is too dangerous for the person to return to their country of origin. In the meantime, they can work and pay taxes, but only eligible family members receive aid.

This proposed rule incites fear and alienates immigrant communities. The consequences are significant for children, most of them U.S. citizens, living in constant fear of losing their parents. Anti-immigrant policymaking traumatizes children and poses a risk for mental and physical health disparities. Policies that damage the lives of children do not speak to the American I want to be. I am writing for a call to action. Please call your state representatives and ask them to support and vote for H.R. 2763, the Keeping Families Together Act of 2019, which prohibits Secretary Ben Carson from passing his changes.

As a community, we must come together and support our most vulnerable members. Imagine that this was your 6-year-old, afraid of never seeing Mommy again. Not in a grocery store, but in their own home.

— Brianna Travell
Asheville

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7 thoughts on “Letter: Take action to support immigrant families

  1. Rick

    The United States is a country of laws that are to be observed and obeyed to help ensure the safety and well-being of its legal citizens. Individuals who are living here illegally, whether by themselves or as part of a family, with or without children, are to suffer (literally perhaps) the consequences of either their stupidity or their decision to disobey U.S. immigration law. There is already enough exercise of freewill by the large number of hot-heads, idiots, vehicle-driving maniacs, and other aberrant nut-jobs in our society without sensible citizens having to support illegals in various ways. I will contact my elected officials and ask that they vote against H.R. 2763, the Keeping Families Together Act of 2019. As a community, we must act together to stop the nearly constant efforts to support illegal immigrants living in the United States. If immigrants choose to disregard our laws, they don’t belong here – regardless of how dire were their prior circumstances in their country of origin. Yes, children may possibly suffer the consequences of the illegal actions of adults.

    • Mike R.

      The illegal immigration issue in the US is not a simple, black and white issue. American’s need to understand that their government (federal) at the highest level, sanctioned this illegal border crossing by essentially looking the other way (until Trump). Why did they do this you might wonder? Well for a number of reasons but the primary one being to boost some sagging demographics that wouldn’t support government entitlements and constant economic growth through population increase. There was another “benefit”; that being cheap labor used by many Americans to increase their profit margin. This “looking the other way” started with Reagan (farm workers), Clinton and accelerated under Bush and Obama. Trump was partially elected on the concern (valid) that many Americans have about this ongoing situation.

      This “unwritten” and generally “unspoken” policy by our top leadership was/is a mistake in my view. They took the easy way out and let the borders be porous, instead of educating the American people on the need for increased citizens. As a result, like the reader above, they circumvented and spit in the face of our system of laws. There will be a price to pay for this down the road.

      As for the illegals, I harbor absolutely no ill feeling as long as they are not doing illegal and bad stuff. They are trying to improve their lot for themselves and their families. The same damn thing early Americans did coming into the US (but legally for the most part). Virtually all that I have met over the years are good people, family people, hard working and resourceful.

      The most interesting thing to watch in the coming years is how many hispanic (is that politically correct?) people will leapfrog over many Americans economically. When this happens, it is plausible a great deal of resentment will build within those that didn’t succeed when they ruminate on the fact/reality that many of these now/and legal Americans came here illegally.

      It’s a mess in my opinion and the primary reason that reasonable solutions haven’t been implemented to turn this around is because there are too many damn vested interests in keeping it going. We’ve sacrificed our past values for an expedient solution to our economic problems.

      • Lulz

        Nothing nice to say except I agree with you. Politicians are traitors to the citizens. And they deserve what traitors get. Period.

  2. Enlightened Enigma

    I don’t believe ‘state representatives’ are involved with federal issues … duh.

  3. Daniella

    I am an immigrant and I don’t live in fear. Although truth be told I didn’t hop the border illegally, that must have something to do with it.

  4. Lulz

    Have you notices that if it calls itself a Democrat, it doesn’t stand for American citizens? They stand for the rest of the world but not for citizens. In all of their policies.

  5. annonymouse

    why should kids get punishes and ripped away from their loved ones because of what they want freedom and not poverty and not be afraid to get killed from war you don’t see any wars happening in the U.S no its all in the third world countries sorry if i don’t want my children getting traumatized because all they here is bombs and gun shots no thank you they pay taxes they have jobs but just because of wanting to get away from war as fast as possible we have to suffer and get our children ripped out and put in foster care to be deported so many kids die from foster care that’s worse than “illegal immigrants” it sickens me how you guys can just say that this is okay

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