Yesterday at church, we prayed for an end to separating families that have crossed our southern border. We have been working, between the Poor People’s Campaign and the Interfaith Vigils for Immigrant Justice, on this same matter for over a year now.
It is time for us to stop separating families. Imagine: Mary, Joseph, and little Jesus getting to to border of Egypt and finding, thank God, there’s no wall! Yet, once they cross the border, Pharaoh’s agents say, “Separate them. You have to! It’s our rule!” So, they take the baby Jesus and place him along with all the others who are fleeing the edict to kill that Herod had issued. How many children found themselves in Jesus’ situation?
As if the separation weren’t bad enough, Pharaoh’s agents had been ordered to not pick up or touch the children. Period. Now, I doubt that the Pharaoh’s agents knew about the adverse effects of childhood trauma. So, we could cut them a little slack. They probably didn’t know about issues around attachment and resulting disorders. They might not have knows.
But, WE DO KNOW about these issues of trauma and attachment. The Administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the borders of our land is inexcusable and immoral. We can, we will, we MUST do better. It is an ethical imperative!
Thank you to our sister Laura Bush for her opinion article sharing her broken-heartedness around this separation of children from their parents. She tells this story, “Recently, Colleen Kraft, who heads the American Academy of Pediatrics, visited a shelter run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. She reported that while there were beds, toys, crayons, a playground and diaper changes, the people working at the shelter had been instructed not to pick up or touch the children to comfort them.”
As followers of the refugee seeking Protective Status (Jesus), let us do all within our power to #StopSeparatingFamilies.