Asylum

I have mixed feelings about making this blog too political, but at this point that is what I am thinking about, so I guess I will go there.

I am having a hard time understanding that there are actually people in this country who think it is okay to separate children (even babes in arms) from their parents, and then try to make these traumatized children represent themselves in court at deportation hearings. Young children in the best of circumstances should not be allowed to represent themselves in these situations, and these children are certainly not in the best of circumstances.

Regardless of anyone’s take on politics, I would think that most people would be appalled at what is happening now. Are judges really expecting children, who may not know even their own parents’ names, to know why they are fleeing their homelands? I have read things where people are questioning the motives of parents who have taken their children on a wild and dangerous trek from their homes to here. Really? The parents I know, including myself, would undertake a journey like that with children only if things are so bad where they came from that the journey seems worth it.

It was a Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire, who said “…you have to understand, no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land…” Read the entire poem, Home, here, it really is good, and it rings very true to me. I would not have taken my child on a journey this harrowing, unless it were the only option I thought I had.

The parents who opted for this journey did so in the hope that they would find safety here. They came looking for help. Asylum seekers are NOT illegal. It is international law and USA law that people are allowed to request asylum. We don’t have to grant asylum to everyone who asks, but they should be given a hearing, and if their fears are legitimate, we should take them in. If the judge does not feel that the person has a legitimate case, then the person can be deported. We have absolutely NO RIGHT to take the children of asylum seekers away from them. And we are not very smart if we think that asking a two-year-old who has been traumatized by separation from his parent/s to explain why he should be granted asylum is the right thing to do.

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