A Hefty Price to Pay
As an eight-year-old child, I experienced separation from my parents when my mother died and Daddy accepted a job in Oklahoma. Two questions raged through my mind at that time, “How will I grow up, and what will become of me?” Perhaps my own experience with separation intensifies my current grief over the children of immigrants on our southern border. Children currently being separated from parents must also wonder, as I did, how they will grow up and what will become of them. Some cruelties in life seem unavoidable. Others occur out of deliberate actions.
At the time my father took q job supervising crop dusting in Oklahoma, I could not understand nor justify his actions. As an adult, I realize he struggled with his own grief. I now suspect leaving me became his best effort to survive emotionally as well as financially.
Today, many people find it easy to condemn parents who show up seeking asylum. Just as I could not understand my dad’s decision at age eight, I suspect we can never truly understand the justifications or realities of their long journeys. In the comfort of our own lives, we do not “get” the desperation that drives asylum seekers who risk all to:
escape current droughts that have destroyed their crops, removed their financial incomes, and reduced their daily food intake,
seek protection from gangs and cartels that threaten their very lives.
Like my own father, immigrants traveling toward hope and opportunity. Unlike my father, many immigrants now languish in cages. In addition, after being taken from their parents, immigrant infants through teenagers frequently experience abuse and neglect. We can only wonder what lasting damage we do to children who experience this level of fear and misery. I find it horrifying to imagine the hate these children will have for us as they mature. Although many of us will not want to admit this fact, we have manufactured loathing for our country and for ourselves. Our own children and grandchildren will pay a very high price for the hatred we now prolong and promote. Oh my God, what are we doing?