Everyone is asking when the children of asylum seekers will be returned to them.
My guess is that those that are will be returned very, very slowly.
And given what I am guessing was a deliberate lack of advanced reunification planning on the Trump Administration’s part, I am betting that very few may ever see their parents again.
You see I think that WAS the plan – to make the loss of the children a permanent thing so as to make the idea of coming to the United States as unappealing as staying in Central America to face the violence threatened and perpetrated by the MS-13 gangs that Trump loves to frighten all of us with as well.
Donald Trump intended to hold on to these children – not just as a bargaining chip for a vanity wall – but as a tool to keep people of color from thinking of entering this country. Ever.
Lose your child to MS-13 or to the U.S. government. Either is a Sophie’s choice.
Given the current political climate, it is astonishing they still want to come here in the first place. How horrible must their lives really be that they would – three years after Trump’s escalator descent – still choose to come to a place where the President’s favorite pastime is hearing his rabid base scream “Build the Wall!”
Yes, we need an established border that defines our sovereignty.
But what we need more badly is solid immigration policy that deals with the undocumented who have lived law-abiding lives here for decades and have adult children who have only known the U.S. as their home since they were as tiny as the toddler featured on the cover of next week’s “Time” magazine cover.
We have paid to educate those young adults called Dreamers. They have attended school with our children, played soccer in our fields, sat beside us at Church services. They deserve a clear path to citizenship and their families deserve to know they will not be deported.
Call it amnesty if you want. But kicking them out of the country will not bring back a coal miner’s job in West Virginia. It will hurt our economy in ways Mick Mulvaney hasn’t yet penciled out.
Then we need to integrate our foreign and immigration policies so they work in mutually advantageous ways, including continuing to set the example of a nation based on laws that are defined by their justice, fairness and equality of application. We could start by practicing on our own citizens.
I don’t pretend to know how to do all these things and have them make the scales balance equally. Perhaps no one does.
But I do know how to start – give the children back, as quickly as possible.