Texas, 2018. In six weeks, nearly 2,000 immigrant children have been separated from their families and kept in metal cages. Border Patrol officers joke about the noise while young children sob for their parents. When the officials do acknowledge the children, they’re only told to stop crying, but at least one doesn’t understand - she only speaks an indigenous Guatemalan language, not Spanish or English.
It’s hard to know where to start when faced with a crisis that’s so blatantly wrong. It’s racist, and immoral, and un-Christian, and not based in US law, and being used for political gain, and causing generational trauma, and echoing dark times in American history when families were separated and institutionalized during slavery, Japanese internment, and Indian schools. But as ‘kid people’ who believe in respectful childcare, I think it’s enough for us to say: this is wrong. We knew better 70 years ago, and we know better now. As RIE practicioners, we can’t nurture the children in our care and stand by while others are abused. As nannies, we can’t support the families we work for while others are ripped apart. Domestic work is inherently linked to family and immigration issues - this is our fight. Here are four ways to help:
1. Vote. Today is primary day here in DC, and although we don’t have any ballot measures related to immigration or representation in Congress, I’ll be taking the baby down to our polling place this afternoon, because making our voices heard is the most significant political action we can take.
2. Call your representatives. Like I mentioned above, DC doesn’t have congressional representation. But chances are you do! It’s essential to call your senators and representatives and ask them to put an end to family separations.
4. Protest. There is a national day of protest planned for Saturday June 30th. If you’re local, you can join me in protesting at the White House, or click through to Families Belong Together to find a rally near you.