You Can’t Separate Immigration from Family Values

Whenever an election comes around, people want to know about candidates’ position on “family values.” Most of the time when people talk about family values they mean where a candidate stands on marriage or abortion. Very rarely does this coded language include genuine concern about families because if it did, we wouldn’t see the continued abuse of migrant children and families at the border under the Trump’s administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Photo courtesy of CNN

CNN released heart-wrenching photos of migrant families at the McAllen, Texas Border Patrol station that show children sleeping outside on the ground, some covered by Mylar blankets. Another photo shows a woman clutching a child and leaning against a wall. All of the photos confirm the horrific conditions migrants face at the hands of the U.S. government.

The article states:

An official from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Customs and Border Protection, responded to the photos in a statement saying in part: ‘As multiple DHS officials have been warning for months, the border security and humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. Current facilities and funding are inadequate for migrant flows.’ The official cited the administration’s request for additional resources to house migrants, and legislative changes to stem the flow of migrants.  

Investigations into the conditions at holding stations and in detention centers have already uncovered inhumane conditions and gross abuses. We’ve heard audio of children crying for their parents and families, and we’ve seen the videos of children who’ve been reunited with their parents and the concerning behavior they demonstrated after the trauma of being ripped from their families for months. On Mother’s Day, the Phenomenal Women Action Campaign and Families Belong Together mobilized mothers all over the country and launched the Phenomenal Mother Movement in an attempt to stand in solidarity with migrant families and raise awareness.  

When are we going to get real? If we don’t think about the conditions of migrant children and families in these holding stations and detention centers and demand answers from the administration, then we can’t honestly say we care about family values. You can’t compartmentalize immigration and family values.

If you want to learn more about how you can help, please check out the following organizations:

Families Belong Together

Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign

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