Sometimes, you just don’t know how you got to a certain place and you need to ask. I’m sure you’ve heard about the child/family border situation happening in our country right now. We all collectively learned that President Trump signed an executive order earlier this week to reverse the family separation order of the zero-tolerance policy. Obviously, this reversal is a good thing in theory, but most of us don’t feel very good right now. There are still many questions, like what happens with the 2,000+ children already detained and what new set of problems could arise involving the indeterminate length of detention of the families. And more importantly: HOW did we let this happen in the first place?
I avoided writing about this issue at first because I thought it was almost unbelievable. Then I avoided it because I felt so sad that I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. Then helplessness overtook (a sentiment shared by many at this point). And then I got called out by you guys for not addressing my stance on the matter yet, and you were right, so here we are. I thought my stance was so obvious that I could hide in my sadness, but you reminded me that it’s my responsibility to use my platform to write about it, especially with the goal of broadening the understanding.
Historically, I try to open myself up to see/hear both sides of the story (see my guns and why did you vote for Trump posts). That’s been a challenge here. I know I’m preaching to the choir and generally beating a dead (non-Trojan) horse. But to be clear, I’m officially ANTI “ripping immigrant families apart and using children as pawns for political leverage.” The idea is horrific, immoral and profoundly damaging to the individuals as well as our moral culture. I’ve lost words. Thus my lack of writing.
But the fact that so many adults chose to enact this family separation policy and took so long to reverse it shows that they were telling themselves their own version of the story. President Trump and his administration felt that, after the last few administrations failed to fix it, the immigration problem had gotten so bad that they went for an extreme measure knowing that there would be side effects but hoping that the end result would create some sort of reform that they wanted and, more importantly, the immigration control he promised his constituents. They spoke of loopholes in the law, sex trafficking, safety of minors, and drugs over and over, but while immigration is nuanced and certainly we have a border issue, morality should never be up for negotiation or worse, negated by politics. I have to think that they believed they intended to help the future of our country, but the fact is they were willing to sacrifice these families in that attempt. What I can’t get my mind around is that these people, who were probably raised with morals, let the policy be in charge and passed the buck of morality while every family crossing the border in search of safety was prosecuted and separated. They feigned innocence, blaming the other side for “existing policy,” but if they had a moment to check their self-awareness, they could have taken responsibility.
But after watching the Secretary of State’s address on Tuesday and the press briefing on Wednesday, I realized two things:
1. Those in charge are telling themselves and the press/us a different story than we are reading in the media, and therefore…
2. It’s hard to trust anyone.
And historically, I’m a very trusting person.
It seems to me that right now, due to our lack of trust, our country is full of people that don’t feel safe, on all sides. It’s like we are poisoning our own mental wells with cortisol, activating our collective fight or flight response. I feel anxious every time I look at the news, despite the fact that I have a totally privileged life.
So why exactly do we feel so unsafe and anxious?
Some of us feel unsafe because we sense that our collective morals are being lost under this current administration.
We feel that the distinction between right and wrong is getting blurred and raising our kids in this political culture is uncomfortable and scary, unable to predict moral responses to problems.
We don’t feel protected, hell, they couldn’t even ban assault weapons AGAIN, so what gives us the confidence that this will be handled in the “right” way (whatever “right” is).
We also feel worried that our political and cultural divide will never again meet. We fear that we are breeding hatred and not preventing it by taking basic measures to help all of humanity be better and healthier.
I personally fear that our government doesn’t care about the people who need the most help, in every way.
The rich get richer, and those creating laws don’t need to care about social issues like public education, universal healthcare, homelessness, poverty, because it’s NOT THEIR PROBLEM. Literally. Their kids don’t or didn’t go to public school. They can afford private healthcare. They don’t live in neighborhoods full of poverty or homelessness.
These are not problems they are faced with day in and day out. Even if they were once advocates of those in need, by the time they’ve reached a high level in office, they’ve forgotten, their perspective has shifted, they’ve grown older and richer (with some exceptions, obviously). These people have somehow found themselves in 2018 using poor babies, literally poverty-stricken babies, as pawns to expedite their political wishes or even worse, their platform promises.
So that’s my fear. And this current obvious moral breach is just the latest proof that they don’t care about people in need. Living in a country where you don’t think your government will protect and help you when you need it, makes even those of us that don’t need help right now feel unsafe. I can’t imagine how unsafe these families feel.
But there are two sides to every story, right? And liberals aren’t the only ones feeling anxious and unsafe.
Those on the other side of the argument fear that we’ve lost our communities to globalization and that it has created a distraction from protecting and helping the current citizens.
Some feel that loopholes in laws give criminals the ability to come into our country, using children as their pawns.
They believe that while it’s all horrible, the threat of family separation might deter criminals from using children to smuggle themselves and drugs into the country.
Many people feel that their community will be threatened by these immigrants seeking asylum, potentially taking their jobs, weakening their economy, bringing drugs, poverty, and crime with them which could yes, endanger their children and families.
Listen, a lot of this is about where we live and with whom we surround ourselves. But most of this is about the stories that we tell ourselves, crucial to our own self-preservation to adjust our own moral compass. Are we at a point where our government rationalized cruelty…again?
Most of you know me and know that when I ask these types of questions, it’s only to decrease the divide and help come to more of an understanding. I want to pop my own bubble and understand others. We value all opinions and ideas here, unless they are hurtful or cruel.
So my questions are:
- If you were supportive of this administration’s immigration policy, what did you hope would happen?
- When you voted for Trump, what were your expectations?
- Do you want to build a wall?
- What would you hope for in immigration reform that would potentially not turn away people seeking asylum?
- What is your biggest fear with illegal immigrants? Is it population control? Crime? Drugs?
- Did you support the previous zero-tolerance policy before it was adjusted to keep families together and if so, why?
I know that you value the idea of family so much and likely didn’t predict this outcome. I honestly just want to know what the expectations were when you supported him or the current government’s immigration tactics.
If you have any personal experiences, we’d love to hear them. This could be on either side as long as they are true and not offensive. I’d love to hear happy immigration reports or refugee experiences about our government. I’d love to confirm that the men and women patrolling our borders are good people, doing the best they can in a shitty situation. But if you have a story contrary to that, please know this is a safe space.
You can and will be anonymous (just enter a fake name and email address that doesn’t exist) and we will control and veer the comments toward debate, deleting attack or offense. (Like we did with the ‘Why Do You Own a Gun?‘ or ‘Why Did You Vote for Trump?‘ posts.)
I apologize for not saying anything sooner. I just wanted to know why and how before I reacted emotionally to something political. I needed more facts before I could confirm my public opinion. I needed to stop crying about it before I can write. But I’m sorry I didn’t say something earlier.
In case you don’t want to comment and you just want to find a way to help, here is a list we put together.
If you know of other activities, outlets or organizations to support these families, let us know so we can add them here and ensure that people all over the country can find ways to help locally in addition to fundraising.
DONATE AND VOLUNTEER
- ACLU: This organization is currently raising money to help “defend asylum-seeking parents forcibly separated from their children.”
- The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES): They are the largest immigration legal services provider in Texas. The money that is donated will be used to pay the bond for parents currently being held in detention (which usually varies between $1,500 and $10,000). It will also be used to pay for legal services for immigrant children in Texas’ court system.
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: Also known as ASAP, this is a project of the nonprofit Urban Justice Center and whose goal is to “prevent wrongful deportations by connecting refugee families to community support and emergency legal aid.” This is a volunteer-based organization and needs donations to help fund the legal services they provide asylum seekers. They are also looking for volunteer attorneys and interpreters.
- Together Rising: If you feel like your head is spinning and not sure the best way to donate, this great organization disperses funds to other organizations that specifically help these children get proper legal support. They have helped fund Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, Kids In Need of Defense and RAICES, to name a few.
- The Young Center: Their mission is to “promote the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law.” You can volunteer to become a Child Advocate. This is an “adult who volunteers to spend time with and advocate on behalf of an individual unaccompanied immigrant child while he or she is subject to deportation proceedings.” They also expect donations.
Local Border Organizations:
- The Texas Civil Rights Project: If you are in Texas and want to volunteer, they are looking for people who speak Spanish to help translate for families and their children who have been separated. They also need volunteers to help with the legal intake process.
- The Florence Project and Refugee Rights Project: This organization provides free social and legal services to immigrants who are detained in Arizona, another border state. They are also looking for lawyers to take cases on pro bono.
- Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center: LAIAC is “dedicated to serving the legal needs of low-income immigrants, including refugees, victims of crime, and families seeking reunification.”
- Al Otro Lado: California is not immune to immigration problems. Al Otro Lado is a “bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants, and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico.” These services include helping deportee parents whose children remain in the U.S.
- Pueblo Sin Fronteras: This organization provides humanitarian aid and shelter to refugees and migrants on their way to the U.S.
- Families Belong Together June 30th Rally: Continued pressure on our government is necessary to make sure the families who have already been separated get reunited as well as making sure this can never happen again. Check the site to find a rally location near you.
CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES
- Call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-
3121 which will connect you to your local senate member.
- 5 Calls: If you need help with what to say, 5 Calls is a great resource to speak your voice on this and many other issues. You just need to enter in your zip code, select the issue that you care about, and they will provide you with a script to read.
- Whoismyrepresentative.com: In situations like this, we’re constantly prompted to call our representatives, and this website makes it super easy to find out who your representatives are in Congress, as well as their contact information.
Thank you for his post. I’m german and have been following the news in utter horror. Even though I know that horrible things happen to children all around the globe, why did this shook me to the core?
Then I realised it’s because it happens in america. We share the same values, we watch your shows, we speak your language. We have friends, family and co-workers there. If it can happen in america, it can happen in europe, too. And it is happening. There is undeniably a shift towards isolation and judgement towards immigrants, even though espcially germany should now better. All I can do is watch, hoffified.
tl;dr This is not solely an american problem. What is happening in the western world? What can we do turn this around?
I was reading on NPR last week a commentators speculation that this isolationist nationalism is stemming from the wide gap that has grown between rich and poor in developed nations. In the past 50 years this gap has widened because people have been left behind when our economies have shifted towards a more knowledge based economy with less manufacting.
I read that, too. I think its such a global problem as so many countries are just getting more poor and dangerous and stricken with war so of course families want and need to leave. But where can they safely go and what can they do when they get there? No answers here, just questions.
Age-old conundrum of the haves vs the have nots (thank you high school social studies teacher for talking about this idea). The haves are afraid they will lose what they have (status, privilege, wealth, access to resources, etc.) and the haves also tend to have access to the power to make decisions around protecting what they have. The have nots are often fighting for survival and bound by rules they did not set. The haves are able to continue changing the system to their benefit, again stemming from unconscious fear of losing something or becoming unsafe. The have nots must do what they can to survive in a system that isn’t set up to make that journey easy. Those in power (typically the haves) also set a culture around what we value as a society. If those in power decide “having” and “protecting” is valuable, then the rules are set toward those goals. Until WE, as a global humanity, (and specifically those in power – the haves) decide to reconsider what is most valuable in life, we will continue to fail those most vulnerable. For me, a rising tide rises all boats because my liberation is tied up in the… Read more »
That feels so dead on. Could you post a link to that article? Thanks!
Yes this is happening in some form or another all around the Western world. I’m from Chile and things are pretty peaceful right now (even more when compared to the US or even Europe), but we do have some far-right movements that are suprising for most of us. I don’t know what’s causing it and I bet nobody really knows (each professional judges it from his/her perspective). But it’s scary and it’s crazy, so many of us thought everything was “solved” when in reality it wasn’t! There was always something angry, resentful and sad boiling behind, and now it’s exploding everywhere. It’s not a coincidence…
I tell myself that History isn’t lineal, that maybe we need some setbacks in order to move forward….but that’s an optimistic’s point of view 🙁
I subscribe to your emails because I love to see what beautiful ideas you have not to listen to your political opinion which is one-sided… the one the main steam media wants us to believe. This 1. Is not new!!! 2. Get the perceptive from a border patrol official.
No more. I’m sorry but I get bombarded every day by bleeding heart liberals, I don’t need it from you. Donald Trump Is my president and I think he is doing an incredible job.
But you didn’t even answer any of her questions. She’s trying to get to know your point of view and you were hateful and just dismissed her.
It’s not border patrol separating families, it’s ICE. There is a difference. Border patrol locates individuals and processes their experiences. They are then handed over to ICE who is separating the families. I live in DC and personally know individuals working at ICE who all feel horrible about what is happening. Ignorance is bliss. With awareness comes responsibility. And those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
Doing nothing makes you compliant. Supporting separating families, speaks to a lack of empathy. I would suggest some mindfulness activities, perhaps imagine being separated from your family after floating on a raft for a week while starving and sunburnt?
This conversation was meant to open up dialogue not slam the door on it. Choose to be part of the solution but the problem. Every heart could use a little more empathy, yours dangerously needs it.
I don’t think you’re being fair to Emily at all. Yes, she is sharing her opinion, but she is also asking you to share yours. She is using her platform to try and promoted civilized discourse on an extremely divisive issue.
Yes, why don’t you try answer some of her questions, instead of just attacking “liberals”? After all, as we have seen, many evangelicals are very much against separating families and they’re usually not of the liberal persuasion.
@ Rose Blowers. i’d love to know what immigration problems you have encountered personally or what you think should be done about it. Curious if you just think its a problem or if you have any personal experiences yourself.
Keep in mind, immigration from Mexico is st an all time low. The people coming are mostly refugees. Not that that can’t be problematic too.
But statistically, those refugees that are allowed in are very motivated to do well. The 3 months of assistance they receive they repay in taxes as productive citizens. And then some. Many of are best and brightest citizens are immigrants and refugees.
That’s not to say we don’t need LOTS of reform. But not all people coming here should be lumped in the same category.
C’mon Emily, we know Rose hasn’t experienced anything personally. You’re making yourself look silly and a little condescending by asking her.
I think a large part of the issue is that people are having a hard time getting by as it is and when they see people showing up at the border and getting free hand outs, they feel resentful that the government is doing nothing to help them but is giving free support to people who aren’t even American. Secondly, while it is unfortunate that these migrants may come from disadvantaged areas of the world, it’s simply not possible for us to save them all and provide for the global population. You cannot have a society without laws and borders. If we just opened the borders and let the world enter the country, all those new mouths would have to be fed and clothed and housed and it comes out of the pockets of ordinary tax payers. It’s not fair to people to suddenly find their public facilities overwhelmed by newcomers who do not contribute to the tax base. Part of the reason the average American family doesn’t have 8 children is because it would be financially irresponsible and most people wouldn’t be able to support such a large family. If people are truly concerned about these migrants, the best… Read more »
Emily can speak for herself…but I’ll speak for me. I personally like the appeal of multidimensional business people. That is real. Nobody is 100% pretty pictures and filtered in sunshine all the time. It’s the real stuff in life that’s beautiful.
I also appreciate Emily’s respectful approach to offering a ingrative platform for people with opposing viewpoints to communicate and try and see outside their own bubble. It may not work…but it’s more than most are doing.
Lastly, and probably most importantly…you choose how to feed you heart and mind. It is not for you to criticize others on how the choose to nourish theirs. There’s tons of pretty pictures all over the internet…search one out next time you feel the need to type out a message discouraging others from their own sense of moral obligation. ✌?
Why do Mexicans flee to the US? Because Mexico if full of violet crime, why is Mexico is full of violent crime?Because the US is Mexico’s biggest drug market – end the drug problem, end the illegal immigration problem – this has been a known issue forever but it’s easier to put people in cages than it is to solve such a complex issue.
If you can’t handle living in a world where people dare express opinions that don’t align with yours, go build yourself a bunker and climb in. Your comment isn’t constructive and doesn’t open the door for dialogue and discussion.
Emily, I too come here to escape politics. Using your “platform” means you have the unique responsibility to educate yourself on the policies. You are not just “asking questions” as your listing of protest and organizations points out, not one place to donate to helps citizens, homeless, foster kids – not one. What about those who are poor here? Separated from the parents because of incarceration (like at the border), kids that don’t have enough food… heck people who don’t. It’s full of help but not anyone here. WHY? Not shocking the followers ganged up on Rose because people don’t want to talk about deeper policies points. Many of us ask our kids when they have a disagreement….. “What happened?” They often emotionally state so and so hit me, it’s their fault, etc. We then ask: “ Yeah but what happened before that?” In a nutshell— How did we get here? The deeper question. The policies and the results of those policies over decades. They require more characters then an Instagram or twitter post, or this blog. – Emily, Have you researched why kids were separated from adults? It was always done for safety. Not ideal, but it kept them… Read more »
Dear Kris, First off, I appreciate your well thought out comment. It gave me a better perspective of the other side of the coin. While I may not necessary agree with everything you said, you bring up very valid points. I agree that there are clearly very serious domestic problems that everyday Americans face -with no solution in sight. Everyday I walk to work, I see countless makeshift tents for the homeless (including women and children and those with severe mental health issues). I hear you – there are poor, hungry, and homeless that are already our neighbors (literally for me). As a parent with 3 young kids, I worry so much for the kind of future they will have. I think about the legacy we are leaving behind to our future generation. While I understand that there are only so many resources to go around, I don’t think that this is an either or situation. Just because one is morally aghast by the separation of families in our borders doesn’t mean that they are not also concern for the domestic problems we have here in the US. And on the flip side – just because someone is fighting to… Read more »
Thank you for speaking out, Kris! I share much of your thoughts. I work for an organization that provides care to under served and I see first hand, the needs of our community. They need housing, food, medicine and the list goes on. Some are sick and sleep under bridges. We simply don’t have the resources to care for every illegal crossing the boarder. Also, as you said Kris, separating families is not new with Trump. My friends have family who were separated for up to 6 months prior to Trump being elected. People need to stop blaming him. He has brought these issues to the forefront to be addressed. Also, I won’t be reading anymore comments. I am here to look at the lovely designs.
Thanks for addressing this issue in such a clear but comprehensive way. I loved the pictures you attached to the article (Families belong together and We should all care). Can I print them to take to one of the marches on june 30? Thanks.
of course! they aren’t mine so as long as you respect the artist i think they would be happy 🙂
I feel like Trump is proof that the world is really a ruthless and brutal place. We can stop pretending now. This is what ultimately rises to power, even in a supposedly democratic country like America. Deep down, the masses want a strong man to push people around,
Thank you for finally speaking up!
Though I live in Germany your statement:
“So why exactly do we feel so unsafe and anxious? Some of us feel unsafe because we sense that our collective morals are being lost under this current administration.” sums up exactly my thoughts and fears.
I would never support a wall between countries (hell, I lived behind a wall for the first 11 years of my life) but I fear that this crisis will lead to it. Maybe that was Trump’s plan in the first place?
Thank you for finally speaking up!
Though I live in Germany your statment ” So why exactly do we feel so unsafe and anxious? Some of us feel unsafe because we sense that our collective morals are being lost under this current administration.” exactly sums up how I feel.
I would never want to build a wall (hell, I lived behind one for the first 11 years of my life!) but I fear that this crisis was just something that Trump staged to get his way with the wall.
Thank you for writing this. I think it’s so easy to turn away from these issues and focus on our own lives but certain things demand action and attention. Internment camps are one of those things.
My grandparents were Japanese Americans who were put into internment camps during WWII, and I can tell you that they are still scarred from the experience. I think the most damaging part for them was looking back and wondering “why?” What gains were made from such a painful exercise? I think they would say we lost a lot more than we gained.
As country we need to find our empathy again. Hate can feel so good. It can give you so much purpose, but it rarely ever gets you where you want to be.
Love this last paragraph – so true. I honestly don’t think Trump supporters would say they *hate* immigrants, but they’re a threat, so power and control must feel good.
Thanks. I had a number of friends in school who’s families were interned during WWII. My sister’s college roommate’s older brother was born in the one of the horse barns at Santa Anita. It’s something I’ve always been very emotionally involved with. Why are we doing this AGAIN???
Japanese internment camps is exactly what this is sounding like. Isn’t it our job to learn from history so we don’t repeat it? I am just overwhelmed with grief that our own country is doing this to people.
There are just no words. I’m still trying to pull myself out of helplessness. I volunteer with Naomi Project which pairs mentors with at-risk pregnant women and new moms. Many of the families we work with are undocumented, and over the past 18 months people are refusing to work with us out of fear we’ll report them to the government. It’s the lack of trust you’re talking about and it’s preventing them from even accepting HELP. These women are in truly terrifying situations — they need healthcare and food, they’re crammed into a 1 BR apartment with 6 other people, working multiple jobs, often struggling in an abusive relationship — OH and trying to take care of a newborn! They are so paralyzed by fear that they can’t even accept a lifeline, they’re just silently suffering. I look around at my family who largely voted from Trump and I’m like, REALLY?! Have we grown so far apart that we don’t even share the same fundamental values of honesty, empathy, and decency anymore? I listened to my grandparents, who are otherwise so kind and generous, believe the best in Trump, give him the benefit of the doubt, and be optimistic about… Read more »
Thank you for the work that you do, Jess, and your perseverance.
Aw Sarah, thanks so much. I teared up in my car reading your comment this morning. So important to just keep going!
wow, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and your work. I have a question for you – do you think the women you work with are happier here living in that state of fear than they would be in their former country? It just sounds like living in hell and I can’t imagine. Also is it a national organization? I’m interested in helping.
Woof, good question. Honestly, their attitude seems to be focused almost entirely on the kids (note we work with moms so maybe different from the general population of immigrants). They’re willing to put up with a lot – bad “husband”, culture they don’t know or understand, language they can’t speak, hostility/racism from their neighbors, fear of being deported, and a total and utter inability to navigate the tangled web of our country’s social services. I got involved with NP because I was a new mom and wanted to help other new moms – cue visions of holding sweet babies and gabbing about life with a newborn! LOL. I was totally unprepared for all the sh*t they have to deal with – THE MOST BASIC THINGS like healthcare (XYZ clinic is only open on the third Tuesday of the month, only 2-4pm, this other clinic an hour away every other Wednesday…all of the lines are 5 hours long and oh by the way can you drive me because I don’t have a car?) and food (ugh this one is the worst…there’s often a whole bunch of hangers-on, usually men, that only want the stipend *for the baby* for themselves…just sickening). It’s… Read more »
Jess and Emily,
As an immigrant myself I want to say that the hell that latinas live here in US and you stated well is still more bearable than the horror that they live in their own country. Guatemala, for instance, is living in fear and terror for years with the organized crime and drug cartels. These women come here to escape and believing this is “the land of the free”. “No one puts your child in a boat unless the water is safer than the land”, let’s just say that. I’m sure they all dream about having a happy and safe life in their own country near family, attached to their culture and language…
Ana thanks for posting…I have complete respect for people who are working so hard to better their situation and build a better life for their families. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do anyway?
Jess – thanks for posting. Right on.
It’s all a bad situation. We are now finding out about the rampant corruption in our government. Guess it’s always been there, but I wish you wouldn’t call the President a liar. That’s where the hate starts. Truth is, they all lie and fact checking is meaningless. Most news analysts now are disgruntled former President Obama employees or Clinton campaign people who need jobs. Imagine where we would be if Hillary Clinton had won. Thank God that didn’t happen.
Uh, I think that you should do some more research. Trump lies like most people breathe. Fact checking is not meaningless–there are facts, and Trump ignores them.
Snopes and many fact check sites are liberal biased.
I have watched congressional hearings then watch how cnn reports what happened and it’s not even close. We American people deserved news not opinions.
If more people did this it would blow their minds and make them seriously doubt everything the MSM has ever “reported”. People like to tune in to whatever narrative fits their world view. Thereby never challenging themselves.
Jenny you are right. Trump is a LIAR! He is the definition of a liar. The truth has to prevail so this is why we have to fact check! In his explanation of why families are separated he blatantly answered : “I don’t want to do this, it’s the Democrats’ fault.” This is a Lie. This is happening because of YOU MR. TRUMP. You and only you signed the executive order to separate families.
Although we don’t agree with him – and calling is not solving anything but teaching others bad habits. Let’s keep it classy!
Politically expediency on the backs of children and families will ALWAYS be wrong. There is no gray area. To have to deal day in and day out with an assault by a potus who has no respect for truth or integrity, is demoralizing. This latest act of dehumanizing people who are desperate to escape their country with their families , risking everything is an affront to ALL OF US. We must stand up and protect the asylum seeking parents and their children. I’m doing so , we are also standing up for the preservation of the ideals of our Country. It is in my humble opinion, while I am grateful to have been born in the USA, our Country as some significant dark stains in its past. Whether taking life and land from the indiginous people( the American Indians ), participating amd codifying Slavery , Japanese Internment Camps, ignoring what was going on with Germany and Hitler, denying a boat filled with Jews trying to escape certain death; refusing to see people and their humanity during the years that led up to the Civil Rights Movement; allowing experiments on American Black males in the Tuskegee Syphilis “study” the subsequent wars… Read more »
Hi Janie, thanks for your reply. I’m sorry I offended you, but I stand behind my comment that the President is a liar. I referenced a very specific instance in which he said X, then 10 minutes later he said “I never said X.” I fully admit that politicians of every stripe and party lie, but not calling someone a liar when they clearly lie does no one any favors. It’s accurate. I wholly reject the premise that fact checking is meaningless. Truth is important and we need MORE of it in politics, not less. You don’t get more truth by ignoring the lies.
And you don’t get more truth by calling anyone a liar either. I learned that from in Sunday school and it’s been such a propelling and valuable lesson I’ve used throughout my life !
Mik, what do you call it when people consistently do not tell the truth?
You don’t get “more truth”….
You may not get “more truth,” but you are certainly not going to blindly swallow more lies, either. When you consider that Satan is referred to as “the father of all lies” where Christ is known as “the light and the truth,” your Sunday school reference carries a little less weight. If we can’t agree that truth is necessary in this discussion (both here and in he political realm), then I think the war is already lost.
Sadly and offensively, TRump Is a verifiable liar.
This is a fact that is not up for debate, if one thinks everything else is.
The man can’t even be faithful to his own wife (any of them). If that doesn’t demonstrate a fundamental lack of integrity and character, I don’t know what does. And no. that’s not debatable or hearsay, he’s completely unapologetic about it. Stop justifying bad behavior (especially when it’s at the expense of vulnerable people). And who can forget the infamous pussy grab audio? The way you speak when you think no one else is listening says everything about your character or lack thereof.
I’m trying to imagine it and it doesn’t seem so bad… so, um, where exactly, do you think we’d be if Hillary Clinton had won and why would that be so awful?
The president is a liar. GOP insiders have admitted he is a chronic, habitual liar but it would be suicide to speak up. The evidence that he is a liar is indisputable. Sometimes you have to call a spade a spade and not excuse it by claiming everyone does it when the evidence disproves that theory. Hillary was demonstrably honest. It is provable with real statistics and actual facts, not alternative facts. If Hillary had won, children wouldn’t be in cages, we wouldn’t have pulled out of the U.N Human Rights Council, our natural spaces would be protected, the Great Lakes wouldn’t be open to industrial drilling and mining, and Angela Merkel wouldn’t have been pelted with Starburst candies at the G6+1 Summit. She wouldnt have insulted the Canadian PM and legitimized a murderous dictator. To say thank goodness she didnt win is to claim that everything Trump has done is better than what she would do. She wouldn’t have taken $7 billion from the Childrens Health Insurance Program to cover massive tax breaks for the 1%.
Gah, I was JUST thinking this, prior to reading this post and comments. IF ONLY, Hilary had won the election… (sob, sigh) Well summarized, Amy. We could add to the list that we wouldn’t live in such a state of panic and scandal of what the president would do next. (While the right tried to generate a lot of scandal around Hilary, I’m convinced that she is fundamentally a gracious, if yet nerdy, career politician.) We wouldn’t have to explain to our kids why the President has other horrifying moral failures than being caught in lies all of the time, such as bragging about sexual assault and paying off porn stars. We wouldn’t have to watch as the president is/has systematically dismantled many of the agencies and policies that while imperfect we’re doing the job of keeping us together as a nation. I have survived these years of a Trump presidency hoping and desperately seeking a silver lining. Maybe there is something good about having an unpredictable leader??? Maybe it will shake up the status quo where the US has been taken advantage of? Maybe our own internal politics will get so shaken up that we might see some reform?… Read more »
DON’T lose heart.
Look at this as a “ test” (more like a sick joke, but still…) We are called upon during certain times in history, to show what we are made of. To be on the right side of history. That time is now.
Be strong and invigorated to show what good people are made of and WHAT WE CAN DO!
Hang tight and strong.
You are not alone.
Many many more of us feel the sense of moral duty as you do.
Never give up.
The pictures of kids in cages are from when Obama was President. Have you heard of the Logan Act? Trump cannot sign an executive order that will not be argued in court. Trump is the only President that came into office with more money than he has now. His companies are losing money because he is President. He donates all his salary and works for the American people for free because he loves America. Hillary lied about Benghazi, email scandal, etc. Have you investigated the Clinton Foundation? It’s a money making machine for the Clintons. You can disagree about how to solve a problem—Republican or Democrat—but when the left becomes unhinged, you lose the argument. We have disabled Americans and other needy citizens. We cannot continue to support the entire world. We have to have law and order. You don’t make policy based on emotions—you make laws based on facts. Watch Dave Rubin to understand polite discourse.
He came into office with more money than he has now??? Where did you pick that up? He won’t even release his taxes, you think he’s somehow released his current income? That’s just silly. He “donates” his salary??? To where? To who? His companies are losing money because he’s a bad businessman that’s filed for bankruptcy multiple times. He’s built his entire house of cards empire on lies, empty promises and bad intention. There’s about 10 books and 50 documentaries on it. Watch one. Read an article. All the evidence is out there, you just have to crack your eye open a tiiiiny bit.
Could you please share where you got this information that the pictures of kids in cages is from when Obama was president and that the Logan Act prevents Trump from stopping it? You seem very sure of your facts so if you’d like to educate us, please share where you are getting them.
Jenny, I did not see where I could respond to you directly so I’m adding to my original comment. From Business Insider: Several former Obama administration officials took to social media and news outlets last month to explain a gallery of years-old photos that showed immigrant children sleeping in shoddy conditions at a government-run holding facility in Arizona. The images, which the Associated Press first published in 2014, resurfaced recently for reasons that remain unclear, and quickly prompted viral outrage on Twitter. One particularly disturbing image showed two children sleeping on mattresses on the floor inside what appeared to be a cage. A number of prominent liberals — and even a former Obama administration official — shared the photos, mistakenly believing they depicted the Trump administration’s treatment of immigrant children who were forcibly separated from their parents. Jon Favreau, who worked as a speechwriter for former President Barack Obama, tweeted, “This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible.” Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children were being processed… Read more »
The photos taken during the Obama administration are of kids who came across the border unaccompanied, and were in the process of being placed, not kids forcibly separated from their parents as they have been doing now, under Trump. You can learn more here: http://www.businessinsider.com/migrant-children-in-cages-2014-photos-explained-2018-5
He’s being sued by the Sate of New York for using his charity as a personal slush fund. The man is being charged with actually stealing from charity
Those pictures are not old – here is the photographer who took them: https://bit.ly/2qbHACY
Gail, I agree with you about Clinton and her rotten Foundation. I also see where you’re coming from about domestic citizens needing support as well. But I would like to know, how can you say that about Trump losing money since being President when (as far as I know) he is still refusing to release his taxes? Not attacking you at all, I’m genuinely interested. A general comment on Emily’s article: I’m Australian, so perhaps it is easier for me not to be as emotionally involved. While I understand people are horrified at this situation, I don’t think it’s right to solely condemn the Trump administration. It is a fact that these policies were in place under Obama. I suppose I would vote Liberal if I were American, but in these situations I truly do see where Trump supporters are coming from when they talk about media bias. No one cared about the refugee children before it was used to attack Trump – perhaps because no one was reporting on it. Australia has an incredibly harsh policy of dealing with refugees and asylum seekers (we detain them for indefinite periods in heinous detention centres off-shore), so I guess you could… Read more »
Wait… let’s start with Hillary is demonstrably honest. Whatever else you think , please let’s not pretend that any of the majority of politicians are honest. But specifically Hillary Clinton with how her organization fleeced millions of dollars from individuals who wanted to help those in Haiti and then barely spent any of the money to that end. If you want to criticize Trump, fine. He has enough actions to be criticized but I cannot take you seriously when you defend a woman who stole money meant to help disaster victims and called African Americans males super predators. They’re all corrupt. Let’s start our conversation with honesty.
I struggle to understand this statement. Since “everybody lies” does not make it right. Two wrongs don’t make a right. It is still wrong. When we begin to accept that which we know is wrong because we feel as though we have no choice and must choose the lesser of the two evils is dangerous. It’s easier to go down the slide than use our energy to pull ourselves up. Let’s not take the easy way and continue to use our energy to demand better!
If there is someone who lies constantly and surrounds themselves with others who also lie, that person is a liar. If that person is the president, that person is still a liar. It’s not name calling, it’s telling the truth. Fact checking only does noting when you refuse to look at proof, research, or contrary statements made 10 minutes ago by the sameness spokesperson. I can accept that you did not support Hillary Clinton, but to call anyone in the new show just an out of work liberal, and assert that anything she did would be far worse, is the worst kind of deflection. Politicians on nothing sides could certainly do better by all of those they represented if they stopped playing political games, but let’s focus on what’s is actually happening now, under our current president, and how we can hold this administration accountable for their words and actions.
Janie, as a rational, non-emotional person I don’t understand why pointing out that the president is a liar is ‘hateful’? He has, very demonstrably, lied – and he doesn’t even seem to be bothered or ashamed when he is caught in a lie. I agree with you that all politicians, to some extent, misstate or exaggerate or whatnot. It comes with the territory. But when the person holding the highest office in the land declares “I never said that” and a tweet showing that he said it is *readily available*, it shatters a previously-held societal norm regarding presidential behavior. I can understand why this might be attractive to some people. It make politics more exciting for them, possibly, to have a candidate/president who’s not like the buttoned-up presidents we’ve known. “He’s a wild card! He keeps you guessing!” But in our connected world, international norms of behavior matter. Here’s a quote from a diplomat (it was a comment to a story in the New York Times): “I served the US Government overseas as Trump assumed the presidency and it was striking how quickly the tenor of meetings with allied countries and host-country officials changed. At first, among our country’s friends,… Read more »
Thank you so much for supporting President Trump! The liberals didn’t do anything to help the illegal immigrants, sine Bill Clinton began the separation of children from their families. Actually, a lot of children flooding across the border are by themselves and the ones that have an adult could be coming across with an abuser! President Trump is made to look responsible by the Democrats to ruin his accomplishments. President Trump 2020!
Thank You! A voice of fact and reason!!
But he IS a liar, and while it is true that all politicians/people lie, Trump is a systematic and unapologetic liar. Also, why “thank God”? Our standing in the world is diminished, we’ve alienated our allies while the POTUS praises dictators and despots. We are making great stides towards collapse the economy with a trade war. The US has cleared the way for China to be the most powerful, influential and respected nation in the world. China! Our education system is underfunded which means future generations will not be able to complete with the students from around the globe who will be the innovators of the future. All of this before we even get to the issue at hand which is a humanitarian crisis. Yes, I would love for the governments of Honduras and Guatemala to speak up and to step up to protect their own people so that refugees do not have to flee their own countries. But, guess what, those governments are super corrupt, with concentrations of power and no functioning representative democracy. This is the path we are careening down now. Our military has been commissioned to set up areas to hold immigrants in a concentrated area… Read more »
People who tell lies are liars. That’s what liars are.
Hate doesn’t start from calling out lies. Hate starts from lies being used as political fodder, spectacle, media attention, and erosion of democracy.
If Hillary had won, I would still have health care, a nazi protest never would have happened, the mental health/ gun purchasing policy would still be in place, shows like handmaidens tale wouldn’t be something that truly terrifies women because it would never cross our minds that it could actually happen, CHILDREN would still be with their parents.
What’s the absolute worst thing Hillary could have done. I’m curious.
Health care hasn’t changed since Trump came into office. I will tell you that several people I know was no longer able to afford healthcare under the Obama plan and as a result now pays the yearly penalty and still have no health care. They’re just out of more money.
I think there has been a lot of division because we are labeled as those who voted for Trump and how could we. When given the choice (which there wasn’t one) I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Clinton. To me, she is just plain evil. I know that half the country thinks otherwise. I am not putting these people down. It came down to who is the lesser evil. Trump was willing to address more issues that I thought were important to me than she was. The clincher – abortion. I could never stand in front of God and say I voted for someone who felt no wrong when it came down to abortion. What the bottom line is, stop dividing families because they voted for Trump. We truly didn’t have a choice. We didn’t have good options on either side of the table and it is our own fault. When Republicans could have rallied together behind a good candidate, they divided. Same on the Democratic side. They divided and didn’t conquer. Plain and simple. The border issue has been around for a long time. At least this president is willing to step on toes to get something done.… Read more »
I understand that this is not the point of this conversation but I was hoping you could elaborate on your stance on abortion. I feel that it is dangerous to women who are unable to support a child or even make the emotional and financial investments necessary for giving birth. Could you explain your side of this issue please?
I also want to respond to your “can’t trust the media” statement. If you do not trust the media, then where do you get your information from and how do you make sure that you’re getting the full story? for example, while your “cages from the Obama administration” comment is not entirely inaccurate, this months crisis was caused by Trump’s 0 tolerance policy.
This was not meant to be accusatory. I’m just curious about your words. Thanks
I don’t want to speak for Donna, but people are pro-life because they genuinely believe terminating a pregnancy is killing a human life. Would you be ok with a mother killing her baby after it is born because she doesn’t have the financial or emotional ability to support it? I understand that a lot of people don’t think of babies in the womb as the same as babies after birth, but if you had that genuine belief, you would view abortion the same as killing a baby out of the womb. I know a lot of people believe people who are pro-life want to control women or don’t care about women or women’s health, but please believe me when I tell you this is not the case. I appreciate you asking your question in a respectful way and hope you and others will believe me that being pro-life doesn’t automatically make you anti-women.
How often do you think women get abortions? Do you think they look like they are easy? I know several people who have had abortions for devistating reasons – threats to their lives & problems with the fetus that mean the child won’t live a week after birth. These women have wanted children and been devistated. The abortion laws that pro livers stand behind don’t even allow for these exceptions.
What I truely cannot understand is how someone can be pro life and not have a heart for the lives that are already in the world. Assault riffles in schools? Caging children? Limiting social services? If you care about life, I would love to see it extend beyond fetuses.
Back to immigration – can someone please speak to their right leaning perspective about boarder walls and immigration?? I too am very curious about what about Trumps stance is appealing?
If you’re going to call yourself “pro-life” or “pro-child” it has be to more than pro-birth. Refusing to help children and families in need outside the uterus is not Christian, is not moral and is not pro-life. This applies to health care, pre-natal care, pre-K, nutrition, childcare, abuses in foster care and much more, and it clearly applies to what is being done here.
Totally agree! Great comment!!!
Thank you for sharing the article. I think it’s important to recognize that immigration has been an ongoing issue, but that was only a snippet of the facts/article. The rest of the article goes on to explain (briefly) why it happen then and the difference between then and now https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.businessinsider.com/migrant-children-in-cages-2014-photos-explained-2018-5
Emily – thank you very much indeed for this very thoughtful post! I really appreciate the time and consideration you have put into explaining your position as well as the platform you have provided – through this blog – for people on both sides of the debate to post their views.
I won’t add any more as I think I’ve exhausted my posting limits on this topic under the question of lilac.
Thanks, Bea. xx
There are just no words. I’m still trying to pull myself out of helplessness honestly. I volunteer with Naomi Project, which pairs mentors with at-risk pregnant women and new moms. Most of our work is with undocumented families, and over the past 18 months people are refusing to work with us out of fear that we’ll report them to the government. It’s the lack of trust you’re talking about and it’s preventing people from accepting HELP. These women are in truly terrifying situations — they need healthcare and food, they’re crammed into a 1 BR apartment with 6 other people, working multiple jobs, often struggling in an abusive relationship — OH and trying to take care of a newborn! They’re so paralyzed by fear they can’t even accept a lifeline, they’re just silently suffering. I look around at my family who largely voted for Trump and I’m like REALLY?! Have we grown so far apart that we no longer share the same fundamental values of honesty, empathy, and decency anymore? I listened to my grandparents, who are otherwise so kind and generous, defend Trump, give him the benefit of the doubt, be optimistic that he would “surround himself with smart… Read more »
Sorry guys, I didn’t seee my previous post go through so tried to recreate it from memory lol.
I had the same experience with double posting, lol.
Sorry. Its happening these days! We aren’t monitoring in case you think it was us delaying. Just a big site so it takes a few to load. Thanks for your patience. xx
Glad I’m not the only one! 🙂
The New York Times podcast The Daily did a good job laying out the history of this practice, what previous administrations tried, what worked, what didn’t, what changed with this administration. There are several episodes over the past couple of weeks that are worth listening to (~1.5 hours of listening total). For me, the key takeaway is that this option, this policy of prosecutions first, has been around for years. Previously, no one was willing to enact it. Even last year when John Kelly was DHS Secretary (before he moved over to the WH to be Chief of Staff), he declined the option. Pursuing criminal proceedings first is the major shift here. Our justice system was not and is not prepared for that influx. DHS (Border Patrol) and HHS (who takes care of the now-unaccompanied minors whose parents are in criminal custody for crossing the border illegally) were not prepared. Think of the federal government like the largest oil tanker or aircraft carrier; these ships don’t turn on a dime. And, when you try to make them, the torque can cause chaos (things go flying, people get seasick) and capsize the vessel. This mess will reverberate for lifetimes. And, Americans… Read more »
Even prosecuting more people trying to come in the border will raise our costs! And keep in mind that the first-time families doing this are only committing a misdemeanor. And they get a few days in jail.
Our response to this is very costly.
And our immigrant population is only about 14 percent (less than Germany’s).
This issue of people migrating is not going to change. So there needs to be more creative ways to address global poverty and violence. Trump’s actions are mindless.
This is so true… there a major impetus here pushed by the private prison system that benefits in a major way with the more people we detain. Also, it’s true that the Obama administration also detained women and children (albeit TOGETHER) in horrid detention facilities, where the children were malnourished and often were unable to get necessary medical treatment. I am an immigration attorney and my partner volunteered down at the facilities on two different occasions and came back in tears. And this was pre-Trump.
I’m not defending the current practices – my point is that while this is much about the anti-immigration platform that Trump ran on, it’s also about the money that private prisons make when our government detains people. https://www.npr.org/2017/11/21/565318778/big-money-as-private-immigrant-jails-boom
Like you, Emily, I can’t even think about the family separation without nearly sobbing. I just keep hugging my baby and little girls at night and fighting back the tears.
I listened to most of that podcast as well (on my runs in the morning) and was actually going to recommend it. For the most part I felt it was educational on the nuances of the problem and didn’t just blame Trump which is always refreshing. Obama, Bush and Clinton were all unable to solve this problem. This isn’t the answer but I think no one knows what is.
I listened to these as well and found them very informative.
On the topic of podcasts addressing immigration – I just listened to a Revisionist History episode called “General Chapman’s Last Stand” (season 3 episode 5). The episode discusses the history of the border starting in the early 70s. At that time, the border was very porous so laborers (data shows those who crossed were largely young, male laborers) would come to the US (yes, illegally) for 6 months or so and then return home for 6 months or so. They would often do this over many years, a process called circular migration. As a result, net migration (those who crossed the border and stayed in the US) was quite low becasue the laborers returned to their families.
Now that the option of going home doesn’t exist, those who make it across the border never leave the US and they eventually send for their families. If the “policy” of allowing circular migration was allowed to continue, it’s believed that the number of illegal immigrants in the US today would be one-third what it currently is. What if building a wall actually keeps illegal immigrants in rather than keeping them out? Food for thought.
This doesn’t answer any of your questions, but please take a look at the executive order (https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/). While families will not be immediately separated, “illegal” immigration will now be a criminal offense, which will lead to children being separated from their families when their parents are charged criminally. This isn’t over, and we still have a lot of work to do.
From what I’ve read, it’s more complicated than that. Families will still be kept together even when charged criminally. There are strict rules that govern the types of facilities where children can be held, so there’s the question of where these families will actually stay, plus the fact that there’s not really room for this kind of influx in the first place. Additionally, there’s a federal court ruling that states that children are only allowed to be detained for 20 days. Trump has asked that ruling to be overturned (not sure if he’s formally appealed it), which would give the government the ability to detain these children (and their families) indefinitely. I’ve read that the decision is unlikely to be reversed, but it’s still scary.
Thank you, Emily for this post. The United States has always been a country made up of immigrants. How dare we not help the most vulnerable among us. I can’t believe that there are any good people left supporting Trump.
How about the Trump supporters that care about human trafficking, the safety of all, and the law. These children are innocent and we should protect them. Human trafficking is a huge problem! I don’t understand how the left can be so ignorant! Obama detained over 90,000 children, but you’re mad at Trump?!
Taylor, your claim is false:
“President Barack Obama did not oversee the separation of 90,000 migrant children and their parents at the U.S. border, contrary to a misleading online report and claims circulating on social media.
“The claim, published on a conservative website, was repeated on social media throughout the week …”
If the children are victims of human traffickers, should they be treated like stray animals, caged and unloved? I say no. And yet US OFFICIALS are doing this.
How is separating children from their parents and locking them in cages helpful? If you are prolife , you must be it for ALL people.
And what does human trafficking have to do with this?
Seriously: people are expecting you to comment on this nightmare?
From one working mom/ happily married woman to another: remember- you don’t need to do it all/be everything to everyone and you probably can’t to have a peaceful and thriving family and successful business. You’re so crazy accomplished…and Doing/Being It All is a trap that many of us learn late in life- often around peri-menopause!
I have a full life and lots of creative (amateur) outlets. But I’m a doctor and no one at work also expects me to be a master plumber and musical expert laying down some sick beats and ready to exhibit my oil paintings next week.
It seems insane to me that you’re pressured to be more than you already are when your central product is a really valuable fun, deeply informative and amusing style/design/renovation blog. If you’re fine with it all, great. But just be careful not to feel that you have to take it all on- especially when there’s a seemingly endless barrage of shocking issues to cope with these days. I’m still not sure why readers expect you to be their online BFF or therapist!
“I’m still not sure why readers expect you to be their online BFF or therapist”
Oh my gosh, so well said. I really appreciate that you speak on so many topics, some not related to design/fashion, but it isn’t kind of us to chastise you, or anyone, (ON A POST ABOUT LILAC) for not doing it as fast as WE think you should. Give a girl a second to breathe! I can’t imagine even how long it took to get your thoughts together, research all of this so you are informed on both sides AND type it all up. I bet you felt the weight of the world on your shoulders this week, partially because of words said by strangers and directed to you, and I’m sorry for that.
I know I’m not answering the questions you asked in the post, but I know plenty of others will, and I’m ready to read those comments. Thanks Emily and team.
In the past Emily has bravely used her unique platform to encourage healthy dialogue among women readers of differing opinions. It’s a brilliant use of her blog to help get us each out of our own inevitable echo chambers. I personally really appreciate her thoughtful contributions and the opportunity to read others opinions. Thank you Emily. I was one of the Lilac contributors and really really appreciate your bravery.
Normally I wouldn’t expect this from any random lifestyle blog. But Emily is different and spoke her mind in the past about hot topics. And I’m thankful for this and the platform she gives for honest discussion (for example about the Trump election).
I don’t do anything I don’t want to do (I mean that seriously, not in a passive aggressive way – ask my friends:)) and if I didn’t want to write about this i would just put a quick ‘how to help the kids’ post. Historically I have written about and asked the audience for help on controversial issues so yes its expected but its also something that I feel compelled to do. I knew I was staying silent too long. But as a reader of this blog even I was reader for someone to start talking. Additionally and more importantly I can’t find ANY site that I trust where we get real opinions of the more conservative side. I’m desperate to know more and hear every side because I myself don’t always love how the some of the media slants things towards my views. Anyway, all to say yes I feel a responsibility but I kinda think we all should, too. Besides I secretly really want to be a therapist 🙂 I want to learn from our readers to help understand.
I appreciate the dialog on this, but I agree it’s not something Emily HAS to do for her platform. I find the discussion interesting to follow because we are having respectful discussions on the topic which is so NOT like discussions on news sites where the trollers hang out and just want to fuel the fire. I want to learn more. I don’t think children should be treated inhumanely, but I also am a proponent for following laws. If I were to go to another country, I would follow the laws to get there. There are those who want to legally come to this country but can’t because of the limits. The children aren’t old enough to know what is legal or not, but I am sure many adults who come here illegally know what they are going to face if they get caught. They take the risk, they take the “punishment”. As for immigrants, I am all for them. Illegal immigrants, as people, don’t scare me. I just want everyone to do it the lawful way. If we don’t follow the laws, what is the point of having laws at all for anything? Do we want to then become… Read more »
Alice, I completely agree. It is very presumptuous of people to dictate what subjects Emily addresses. We are not entitled to her thoughts and feelings!
Yes! I expect!
Not for this blog to be an “online BFF or therapist” but to speak UP in times when something is happening that is so horrifying and terrifying that people are comparing it to Nazi policy.
Maybe before it was ok to ignore politics but not now. If Emily can reach out to her 1000s of readers and touch the heart of someone, even one person, who might think differently about voting for the monster in charge of the USA next time then that is a good thing.
I have the same thoughts as Alice. (Thanks for summing it up so well, Alice!) I saw a rather pushy comment yesterday asking why you hadn’t addressed this on your blog yet, and honestly, it made me a little angry. This is YOUR blog and YOUR space, and you will speak on issues when you feel moved to. I know that interaction with your readers is important to you, but please don’t let anyone bully you into writing about subjects that you may not feel ready to address or that you may not wish to address at all in your space.
I do want to thank you for approaching this from an approach of inclusion and trying to understand people on the other side of the political spectrum.
Hi Alice – I was the one to post the request that Emily express her voice on this matter. I am an avid follower of her blog and have always appreciated her amazing interior design skills but also her ability to engage readers from both sides of the spectrum on a controversial topic . I know Emily is an adult who can choose who she wishes to engage with and what she blogs about. She could have completely ignored my questions but she didn’t – and for that I am grateful. I really do find the comments here enlightening – all the way from yours to people who have talked about their own personal experience and how they process and consider this global problem. I am not American but British and I have a very different Weltanschaung to many who live in the USA. I find the comments here really do help me to understand how my fellow English speakers across the pond tick and why they think a certain way. My questions have been considered entitled, presumptuous and pressuring. But to be honest – in the light of the tragedy that these children are going through – I’m on… Read more »
Emily has a history of showing empathy – we ALL make up this democracy no matter what creative field we’re in-
Sometimes it’s hard to show up and look at pretty pictures of home when you know the world is on fire for other families and it’s decent to say so. All my fave bloggers have.
Emily doesn’t owe us her personal life, but taking a moment to have conversation about kindness and empathy never hurt.
Emily, I appreciate your wanting to see both sides but this administration is 100% focused on personal gain. If a starving child asked Trump for his hamburger, I doubt he would hand it over even though he could immediately buy another one. Additionally if these children and families were pale skinned, blond, blue eyed children, they would be treated very, very differently by the administration.
I do not like to admit it, but based on what I’ve heard others say to justify this, I think your last sentence is so unfortunately true. There is such a strong anger and fear of people that look and talk differently than what you do. I wish everyone could see that we all want to have happy and healthy children, random moments of uncontrollable laughter and inside jokes with our spouse, quality family time, food on the table, a safe home, and friends to support and love. We are really not different from each other when it comes to what matters most.
A story form the northern border: there is a beach that people in both the US and Canada walk that happens to straddle the border. There is a sign, but it is hard to see in the bush that has grown up around it. If you know people who live in this area you have heard stories of accidentally walking across the border and being politely informed by US border patrol that you have to turn around and go back. However, a young brown woman recently accidentally crossed in this same way and was detained for 2 weeks. You’d have to be naive to think the colour of her skin was not a factor in the different treatment she received. Here is the story with a picture of the beach/invisible border: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/jogger-crosses-u-s-border-by-accident-detained-by-authorities-for-2-weeks-1.4717060
It is very hard not to see the actions of this administration, from the first weeks, as a sustained attack on people of color.
I think that this post was written verrry carefully because Emily is a kind conscientious person who does try to please everybody and trust everybody and not alienate her fan base. But I was shocked that there was no mention of the outsize role RACE and WHITENESS have in this and many of the current administration’s decisions. These are explicit acts of WHITE SUPREMACY. Trump supporters have the right to say they aren’t white supramacists, but they 1000% voted for one. I think this specific issue touched so many of us because we have children we love, or parents we love, or families we love. If there weren’t babies/children involved, we would not be responding in the same way.
1000000% AMEN to this comment. THIS is implicit in all of the discussions/concern/“crises” No one is overly concerned until the situation might have relevance in their life. So now, while it is heartening to see, I find it a bit too little, too late.
Trump supporters and the wider American people have quietly stood by and allowed white supremacism to rebrand itself as “making America great again” and it has led to this. And it will get worse. But I really don’t understand why people didn’t see this coming. They knew what Trump was and who his constituents were. They knew. And they let it happen. Because it feels powerful to be “better than.”
“Additionally if these children and families were pale skinned, blond, blue eyed children, they would be treated very, very differently by the administration”. Sorry, but this is a ridiculous statement. Where is the outrage that parents who know that crossing the border is illegal are putting their children in harms way? Do you really honestly think that if thousands of Norwegians suddenly showed up at the border without documentation and without legal entry that we would just say “Sure, come on in?” Just be honest and say you want completely open borders! Then everyone including those from “white” countries and Asian countries and black countries could just roll on in with a kid and they’d be let into the country, given free healthcare and education and welfare because “its the right thing to do” because people in this country are “too rich”. I get that there are people who are suffering in their own countries — but why are we bashing America and not holding those countries responsible for protecting their own citizens? You can’t put everyone in the lifeboat no matter how much you want to. I’m sure that I’ll get skewered for this point of view and accused… Read more »
Trump is on record saying he wants/prefers immigrants from Norway and other similar countries. Look it up, he said it. He doesn’t want the brown-skinned ones.
“an actual solution to the immigration problem that isn’t mired in emotion”
I think that you should try having a little more emotion. There is no reason that any of us were born in America; it was just dumb luck. We didn’t earn this. Others have just as much right to be here as we do.
OK, so you’re answer is “open borders” for all. Thank you for your honesty at least. I disagree completely, but at least you have stated clearly what you want.
Your reply to this comment resounded with me. Do we want decisions or policies being made about people’s lives, especially children’s lives, without emotion? God I hope not. It is the dehumanizing comments and terminology that makes Trump’s intentions so apparent and his rhetoric so dangerous. It is a complex issue, but to live in a world where a decision is made without consideration for the people so desperate to be here and to read that anyone would think that’s the way to do it is abhorrent to me.
Yes, Tess, we need to know the background story behind these people’s history and reason for coming to the U.S.A. Could people fleeing violent gangs have moved to another part of Mexico? I have great empathy for Americans living in neighborhoods with violent gangs. I’ve been thinking about moving and for the past year, I’ve been looking at on-line crime statistics in small cities all over America. It is horrendous. People would be shocked if they saw the truth of what is going on here. To say nothing of the extreme poverty, lack of education and history of incarciration in areas of Chicago, Milwaukee, etc. And then there is Appalachia. I used to work at a community college and 85% of the free- tuition students were illegal immigrants. People have jobs that required that the spaces be filled by and fill them they did. We have so many people, the working poor, who will never be able to go to college. Don’t say any American can get ahead in America, if one’s entire adult family is incarcirated currently and routinely and many relatives have been murdered, those people live in a different world than we do. I want the government… Read more »
Your response is 1000000% spot on. Thank you!
Trixie I believe wholeheartedly with your comment. Other countries have strict immigration policies. If you look at Australia; there is no way you can stay in their country illegally or ever gain citizenship by doing so. We do have laws. Laws are made to PROTECT NOT TO HURT and when these laws are broken, there ARE consequences. You.cannot realistically pick out the people who are good and bad that are breaking the law and decide. If you were to do that. that would not be a just way. Because who is to say and you could not physically do that! The Law is the Law. Laws need to be changed through our democratic system where we the people decide; not one person with a click of the pen. If we were to become a country without laws, can you imagine the havoc of the unscrupulous on our society! We would not be living the life we live today without a just-law abiding society. I feel horrible for these children that these parents are bringing them over here and may or may not know the repercussions. However, if the laws are not reinforced, who is to decide the fate of these… Read more »
Val Ciger, not all laws are just. Not all laws are moral. As an attorney it pains me to say that but it’s a fact. Do you know that it was a law in Germany that Jews had to wear a yellow star? You implication that because something is a law, that makes it right, is disheartening to say the least.
In American we have a legal system, but we don’t have a JUSTICE system.
Elise – yes- and in fact Jews were decreed “unlawful ” in Nazi Germany as part of the dehumanising process. They were considered “Untermenschen” – literally “under people” with no access to justice.
Today, when refugees who are seeking aslylum are denied their international rights, criminalised, separated from their children and put into dog cages , the Trump regime is dehumanising them too and treating them as Untermenschen”
Elise. I find it hard to believe you are an attorney and said that! Obviously, you did not study Constitutional Law!
To answer some of your questions: 1) Ankle monitoring with regular check-ins with ICE throughout removal proceedings have been over 90% effective in keeping families out of detention facilities while navigating the former civil, now criminal proceedings for unlawfully crossing ports of entry to claim asylum (the policy is called Family Case Management and had been monstrously effective in keeping the majority of family asylum seekers out of detention through the last two administrations). 2) The USCBP (border patrol) could also stop blocking regular ports of entry for asylum seekers to cross safely into the US and allow them to avoid surrendering at alternative checkpoints, which then triggers criminal processing. Most migrant families are completely unaware that border patrol has blocked traditional ports of entry where asylum seekers typically cross and learn of the “zero-tolerance” policy during their processing with CBP. Many parents have no idea their children will be taken from them. Keep in mind they have travelled thousands of miles in search of safe-haven from torture, death threats, physical and sexual trauma already. Moreover, people fleeing persecution in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras often do not have regular access to TV, internet, or telephones. Honduras is one of… Read more »
To Lauren the migration professor (and of course to Emily!) – a huge THANK YOU FOR THIS.
Thank you! Fantastic information.
Wow, Lauren. Thank you so much. I’d love to continue this conversation and interview you. Are you open to more conversations? email firstname.lastname@example.org and lets talk. thanks so much for your comment. xx
Separating families is a very different issue from open borders. These parents are being deported back to their countries without their kids. They are never going to see them again. We can barely keep our dmv organized – how are they going to reunite these families?
And another note – we should be holding the employers responsible who are hiring these people for cheap labor.
At the very least, when this policy was implemented they should have had a way to identify children, toddlers and babies, and how they were related to the parents or family members they traveled with. Failing to do so demonstrates complete incompetence, utter disregard for human dignity, and the compassion that children and babies deserve, regardless of where they come from. You are welcome to believe a policy of separation is a good idea. But please don’t defend how badly it’s been implemented, and the horrific results and unknown consequences we as a society will have to deal with collectively.
Thank you Trixie for the above sentiment. I appreciate you reeling it in and challenging people to stop looking at this situation from an emotional lens, and asking for ideas that will actually benefit our neighbors. Answer to your question is “no”, and none of us want children separated from their parents, but, they are breaking the law, and are willing to risk putting their children in harms way. However, it is terrible to imagine to be so desperate, that you feel it is better to risk this, than fighting for a better life in your own country. Personally, I need to do something that helps me cope with this hopelessness. Right in my own community there are people that need so much help. I opened my home to a homeless family for two months to bridge a gap so they could find work and find affordable housing. Last year, I helped rehab a trailer house so a family could have affordable housing and their child could stay in same school district. I do what I can, besides working full time and raising my family. I want to live in a society that helps with head and heart. I agree… Read more »
i’m a canadian LOLing at “free healthcare”. get outta here. who cares what country anyone was born in. we’re all humans and this canadian has no issue paying taxes so a syrian or mexican who is living in canada can have a better life.
Yes. This is the hard truth. And, Emily, this is exactly the forum where we should air our thoughts, even if and especially if they diverge from one another. Since the time of Abigail Adams, political matters have been discussed and in many cases improved in the domestic realm. Home is where the heart and mind are. Now, let’s please remember that as we well intentioned folk try to reckon with the complicated realities of our world. I bristle at the pat characterization of Trump supporters as racist. Let’s also please remember that according to NPR as well as the NYT, the Obama administration deported more illegal immigrants than any other administration. That’s not an indictment of him, it’s a sign that this is a long standing issue that doesn’t have easy answers. I suppose the bigger issue is that there are places in the world where people are willing to take incredible, dangerous risks to leave in favor of the chance to come to the relatively more stable USA. And that, friends, is not something that the USA alone can solve.
You’ll get skewered, not because you have a differing point of view, but because your point of view is based on lies and assumptions and ignorance. Sorry, just being honest with you.
I hear what you’re saying.
It’s not up to us citizens to come up with an immigration policy that works for the country. But we can demand that the ones in charge can come up with something more humane than treating everyone as a criminal, and forcebly removing children from their parents. Cant we at least agree that causing massive trauma and suffering is not a good idea?
Also, i do think its important for wealthy countries to house citizens of other countries fleeing from danger. Countries all over the world do that in healthy ways every day.
The way this current US administration is handling this crisis is shocking and sad.
What strikes me most is that i thought most republicans were christians with traditional values, house the poor, feed the hungry etc. Does that not apply to actual humans?
I completly agree.
That is such an unfair statement about president Trump. He donates his salary to charity and works for our country for free. Please don’t believe everything you hear on the mainstream media. This problem has been around for a long time. Trump is trying to protect these kids and our country. Do you lock your doors at night? A country is not a country without borders. We want to help those who are truly seeking asylum but some of these situations are not legitimate. The hatred that is coming from the media, Hollywood and the left in general is just horrible. I’m sorry but when democrats and the media start calling the opposition Nazis, they have lost the argument and have no solutions. They are desperate to take the news off the great economy and low unemployment number—not to mention the IG report about FBI corruption. This is a manufactured crisis playing on people’s emotions. Listen to the interviews of the border control agents to get the true facts of what is going on at the border.
Totally agree with you. Of course this is sad, but at least we have a President who is trying to fix the problem. I have waited my whole life for a President with a business background. Look what he is GETTING DONE. I call this real service to our country. I come from a military family and we are loving that President Trump is so patriotic! I was open minded with President Obama, but I am feeling very positive with the Trump Adm.
Emily — you are only feeding these people by asking for their opinion.
I’m glad you are benefiting from the administration, Sally! Screw the children, amIright!?
“These people”. You are creating a divide, and not a discussion. Sit down with someone who sees things differently than yourself and you might realize you have a lot more in common. I, for one, probably am not on the same political spectrum as you, but I don’t believe “screw the children.” I wrote letters to my reps, demanded action, and hold accountable those who are in office, left or right. The dialogue of “F Trump and half the country that voted for him” is divisive and removes the opportunity to work together to create change for the better. Because believe it or not, we’re all a lot more aligned than you think.
Sally, I want you to know, or at least really consider, that Trump is a really bad business man. He lives atop a house of cards. It’s all a show. His tax returns would likely demonstrate this but nonetheless, there’s plenty of public information that shows this. He isn’t patriotic. That’s all show too. He’s playing you. You’re being manipulated. Don’t balk at that – he’s VERY GOOD at manipulating. You have to seek it, but the truth is out there, and it’s not on Fox News. You have to want it! It’s upsetting and will maybe make you an outcast in your home and among your friends. It’s hard. But seeing the truth is real bravery.
Sally, there were times when I thought ‘great, he at least has a business background’ but then I reminded myself that running a democracy is almost the opposite of a business. A democratic country should benefit the people, not the business. This distinction is massive.
I have so appreciated this post and it’s subsequent dialogue.
I will say, I really don’t understand your comment here. One of the central ways a country benefits it’s people is by advocating for a healthy and robust economy that affords its community a livable wage and opportunity for growth and advancement.
Competitive and beneficial trade negotiations, participation in international organizations, domestic spending allocations etc are extremely relevant to democracy and a free and successful population. A strong economy has the capacity to lift up those in need. A weak one very much limits that potential.
A democracy is definitely not the opposite of a business.
We are not a democracy. We are a republic. There is a difference.
Not trying to bait or attack you, but I do want to respond to your nazi comment. Over the past year, I have found many of the cries of “nazi-ism” to be hyperbolic. In this instance, however, I was really shaken by the parallels between Nazi Germany & what the implementation of this zero tolerance policy looks like. Specifically, I am referencing the cages, the separation of families without explanation or tracking, and the use of dehumanizing language like “infestation” and “animal.” This is not to say that I am calling individuals nazis, but I do think there are troubling parallels between this administration’s actions and actions taken by the nazis.
I don’t mean to be overly assumptive, but my guess would be that many of the “nazi” comments you’ve heard are more likely talking about policy & actions than name calling.
When I heard that the lie they were saying to a lot of kids who were with their parents, in order to separate them more willingly was “you’re just going to go take a shower” I was chilled to my core. If that’s not an echo of extermination camps I don’t know what is.
Works for free? Trump and his family are making millions of dollars off of his presidency. Crime levels are at historic lows in the U.S. As you say, the economy is “booming.” If illegal immigration was such an economic depressor, how is that possible?
Yes, he donates his salary as president to charity. Look it up. His net worth has fallen his his presidency. Look it up.
Why would the border control agents give a more true picture of what is happening than the immigrants themselves? It sounds like you are looking for a source that will confirm your pre-existing beliefs.
Read Amber’s post (border agent’s wife) for her perspective.
Gail I am from Germany and following the US politics closely since Donald Trump ran for office. What I find really troubling in the US is the strong division between liberal and pro Trump. Often it seems your country can only see black or white, democrat or republican. There seems to be no middle ground or room for compromise. The whole campaign was so incredibly based on division and often just outright hateful and this issue is still going strong. Politics shouldn’t be about one person but rather about what is going to make a country prosper. Living in a highly developed democracy is a great privilege and we should be very thankful for all the advantages this political system is giving us. Free press is one of them! I can not understand how in this age it is ok to attack the free press constantly. I it right to assume by mainstream media you are referring to nearly every news outlet despite Fox? Everybody has a right to believe what they want (and where they get their Information from) but it is extremely disturbing to see the majority of news being labeled “fake” just because it is coming from… Read more »
The Nazis did not feed, cloth, educate, and provide safe shelter to children whose own mothers sometimes put them in danger with strangers. To compare our border facilities to Nazi camps is unforgivable and misguided.
Gail, you’re reading and believing only what you want to because it’s helping you sleep at night. It’s not fun to believe that child abuse is happening now for the purpose of political leverage, but it’s true. Trump has shown he doesn’t truly care about those kids. He has shown he only cares about enriching himself. I wish you’d give these opposing views a fair chance. Want a good example of playing on people’s emotions? That’d be Melania’s jacket yesterday.
You do realize that her jacket was a slap in the face to the media who constantly lie about her. Not one fashion magazine has interviewed her or had her face on their cover since her husband was elected—unlike Michelle Obama. I know her husband is divisive and he is blunt and unfiltered. He is not a politician and that’s the appeal for a lot of people. Politicians don’t accomplish anything. However, because democrats lost the election doesn’t give them the right to destroy their opponents. It’s very easy to follow group thinking but it’s hard and I would say brave to be conservative and actually not think by emotion alone. The left has become unhinged and the horrible things that actors, actresses and others on the left say and suffer no consequences is unbelievable to me. Threats to her child are just one example. Agree?
You do realize that Trump is playing on your emotions? Like a fiddle. He knows how to manipulate the truth and then get people to believe him as the one and only truth. When you put him up on a pedestal, you can’t see into his eyes, leaving you to kiss his feet.
I do lock my doors at night. But if my neighbor 8 houses down ran to my door and told me that his life was in grave danger, I would let him in my house while I processed that information. In your analogy, my house is fully equipped with protections to make sure he doesn’t murder me or take my wallet, which I imagine is your next point.
Although he receives no salary, his company is making lots of money as a result of him being in office. That’s what the 1%, the really wealthy elite do, they leverage their capital and salary is nothing to them.
“He donates his salary to charity and works for our country for free.”
!!!!!!!! LAUGHING AND CRYING AND CRYING MOSTLY BUT ALSO LAUGHING
The unethical financial gains the Trump family is REAPING are staggering and if anybody thinks Trump ran for presidency for any reason other than thickening his thick thick pockets, well, the only other reason I can think of is filthy ego-stroking.
Look it up—he donates his salary to charity and his net worth has fallen since he assumed the presidency. Obama came into office with very little net worth and is now worth millions. Who made money off the backs of the American people—not Trump. He worked and built his own company. Obama never built anything. He was a community organizer.
Donald Trump’s father built a real estate empire. Trump inherited it and benefitted from the contacts and business ties his father already created. The president should be a civil servant anyway, not a boss.
Gail, you can’t win with these people. Thank you for your passion and your posts.
I totally agree with your last sentence, and I think so many (white) people are appalled at these actions and want to join in on the conversation, but also want to ignore the huge, racist red flags with the whole system. The family separation policy was initially thought up by Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, both of whom are overtly racist. The hosts on Fox and Friends (Trump’s favorite news source), just this morning brushed off children in cages, saying ‘it’s not like we are doing this to children from Michigan’ or something to that affect. It’s not just about safety, jobs, etc. It’s about keeping our country more white, and we need to bring that strong undercurrent to the surface.
‘”Do you really honestly think that if thousands of Norwegians suddenly showed up at the border without documentation and without legal entry that we would just say “Sure, come on in?”’
If they were fleeing violence and poverty and came with children, then yep, I absolutely do.
This is your complete opinion on the matter. You do not know our president personally and maybe you choose to ignore the good deeds this man does (helping feed families with Red Cross after the Hurricane) but maybe you don’t believe any of that either. Please do yourself a solid and look from both sides of the line.
Seriously? Because he had a photo op at a shelter? What did he do for the people of Puerto Rico, who are ALSO US citizens? It’s a crime what he’s doing to this country.
Nobody should ever be made to feel less than human. Nobody. Ever.
Thank you for your courage. We are all nesters here and thus care about family. We create sanctuaries, which we need now more than ever. This is insanity and I’m afraid too.
^^Loving this comment.
And at the end of the day for these immigrate moms, they put thier babies in rafts or walked them through unknown lands all because the country they were born into was scarier than the unknown of leaving all they’d ever known. I can’t imagine how horrid thier lives were to pick up and leave only hoping for something better. It so important sometimes to put politics aside and only look at morals and how we treat each other. It’s what defines us, not blue or red. Thanks Emily for posting your thoughts, and for those who commented for opening a discussion postivily… American needs positive disagreement, we need common ground. Xxx (posted while bf infant pls excuse typos or crazy spellings)
Like you, I am sure I am not getting the full story. Like you, I am unable to completely trust any one side/what any one person is saying. Basically, I feel really psycho on this whole issue for a number of reasons. If I were a Mexican, living under druglord ‘rules’, I would do everything in my power to get my family to the US, even if it were illegally. If it seemed like it would happen within a few years and I felt like our life was safe enough, I like to think I would try to do it legally. If we lived in a dangerous area and were trapped by what I imagine is the normal trappings that a family cannot control and thus cannot manage to leave an area b/c of those trappings, I would enter the US illegally and I would, if need be, send my children without me illegally…anything to try to save their lives/give them the best possible life. I am a mother. I understand that need to save a child. The VAST majority of the children detained were sent without their families, therefore they are separated from their families. I have a college… Read more »
omg. THANK YOU for saying all of this. i’ve thought this so many times. if any american were in the same situation of these people with kids, they would do the EXACT SAME THING. i mean, just look at the “white flight” out of Detroit because of the riots in the 60s. there were riots, not even the same as the absolute craziness and terror of living in some of the countries that these immigrants are leaving, and all the white people left. i mean, it wasn’t illegal to leave Detroit to go to the suburbs, but the idea is the same. they didn’t feel safe, especially if they had kids, and they ran away.
i’m pretty sure all these people that say that the immigrants should stay in their own country and fix those problems would not be saying that if they were in that situation. there just seems to be a real lack of empathy in america right now.
And, “go the legal route” doesn’t work for people that are dirt poor and living in these situations. if it did, we’d have way more people leaving those countries and coming here.
And, “go the legal route” doesn’t work for people that are dirt poor and living in these situations”. So, is your point that American citizens who are “dirt poor” and living in poverty don’t have to go the “legal route” either meaning that they should be able to just take what they want from anyone and everywhere? I mean, theft isn’t LEGAL but it is expedient. If a homeless person took your purse would you be OK with that? They are just poor, and maybe fleeing inner city violence. Where is your humanity? And before you tell me that illegal immigrants are not taking something from us — they definitely use our taxpayer dollars for all kinds of services. Maybe in 5-10-20 years they may start also contributing to that tax base but until then it’s my dime and I should get a say.
You know, it is possible to have empathy and still not think that the best option is to just fling open the doors to the country for anyone that wants to come here.
I’m not anti-immigration, but should there NOT be SOME limits? Any limits? Any vetting?
This is not said enough. There is no viable legal route for those who are living in poverty.
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences. I found it very helpful.
You raise an interesting point that some of these kids were sent to cross the border without parents. Still I don’t belive this for the so called “tender aged” children.
Thank you Christina. Seriously interesting and enlightening to have personal experiences. Brian and I talk about this all the time, re your comment at the end – physically volunteering and knowing first hand how things are is so much harder than writing a check and there are many of us who just put our charities on auto-pay monthly and call it a day. I can’t wait til my kids are a little older and they’ll come with us to volunteer. For now we donate and write letters. xx
About the rest of it, I think its such a nuanced problem and I so appreciate your view and the time it took to write. THANK YOU.
Thank you for your post. I agree with you 100%. My son lives in San Antonio and the border workers work very hard and try to be humane. Don’t forget that these are not traditional families like most of these posters and the illegals are breaking our laws. Still, they are human, and right now there is no good answer. We need the wall, even if it will be painful. It’s just too bad Congress can’t put their petty politics aside and come together for America. Supportive or not of this administration, at least the President is checking off promises. And the MSM is still so mad they were wrong about him that they are what’s wrong with America now. And also, I fear these posters here think that Cup of Joe is real news. On a side note- I love your lavender kitchen!
We do not need a border wall – conservatively, it will cost $50 billion to build (but many reports have said it will cost much more), $20 + million to maintain, and the wall won’t be impenetrable (there will still be ways to get across, be it scaling the wall, digging under, bribery or otherwise) or be a real immigration policy. For example, the border wall will not: – grant legal status to DREAMERS and otherwise provide citizenship to longtime residents that may have come here illegally but that pay taxes, abide by our laws and contribute to our country in meaningful ways – deal with the fact economy depends on and rewards companies that use illegal labor and treats those who enter illegally (or on a seasonal visa) for work differently than those seeking entry for asylum or citizenship. – address vast number of companies apply for and utilize seasonal work visas for their low cost labor needs (in addition to perhaps illegal labor) – create a bi-partisan, humane and appropriate program for refugees and asylum seekers (who are currently being prosecuted as criminals or just told not to come at all) – end the backlash against immigrants of… Read more »
Could Caroline have meant to say, “Morning Joe,” meaning the news program, instead of “Cup of Jo”, which is a blog?
Unfortunately, this administration is not the only one using immigrant children as political pawns. With our country’s checks and balances, it takes two to play games with people’s lives. If you look to our other elected representatives, many are choosing to do nothing so they can continue passing blame and working on their campaigns for re-election. Demand better, arm yourself with knowledge, and prepare to vote against incumbents in upcoming elections.
Your comment is overly simplistic and therefore completely evades the facts. This administration and the Republicans who support it are the only ones using immigrant children as pawns in a game. The idea that it takes two to play is absurd. This was a problem created entirely by the President and his advisors including John Kelly, Stephen Miller, and Jeff Sessions in April. The Democrats have introduced several bills that would stop it but the Republicans have refused to join them. The Republicans control Congress and therefore if they wanted to stop this madness they could. All by themselves. But not even the bare minimum who would need to in the Senate have the guts to step forward. This is not an incumbency problem, it is a Republican Party problem. (Not to say that there aren’t individual Republican citizens who aren’t horrified also. But they should know this is the official stance of their Party). The only way to solve it is to vote out Republicans in the fall. My blood is boiling over this week and I can’t stop crying thinking about these families. Both-sides-ism is classic deflection and under these circumstances I simply cannot let your comment stand.
The Republicans in Congress could not stop it all by themselves, they need 60 votes in the Senate. They currently only have 51 Senators and McCain isn’t present to vote. The Democrats are not the only ones who have introduced bills. Is there a reason you are dismissing the Republican Senators who have introduced bills? I am extremely frustrated with the entire situation, but I don’t understand how you can present your own deflections while calling out someone else’s. It is true that the president created this mess all on his own and can end it, but we have a Congress that can pass laws to fix it as well, and it’s not just Republicans who are needed to do that.
I agree with you, Concerned, and I find the above reactions to be very interesting. For a nonpartisan comment, you get partisaned bucking from both sides of the coin. If that’s not proof that our country is broken, I don’t know what is.
I have to admit that I have been waiting for you to comment on this too but not because I feel like it is an obligation of yours, but because you always manage to perfectly verbalize MY feelings and frustrations on these topics. Thank you for your strong voice and continued support of open, positive dialogue in an effort to make this a better country.
Thanks for taking the time and energy to write this. It is truly awful.
1. This is virtue signaling. consider the whole story before feeling sad.
2. parents can go to port of entries officially to not have their children detained
3. or patents can not put their kids in that position by not entering the country illegally or following proper channels.
4. not to mention adults who are USING kids to get across…that shouldn’t be stopped?
this law was created during prior administrations…why create laws to not enforce them…sounds like a waste of time and creation of beurocracy that ultimately causes division and conflict.
someone decided to make this an anti-trump issue in the media…and now that he has reversed the order, he is still getting grief in the media. there is nothing trump can do in which people call continue to call him racist hateful unamerican nazi. that is what saddens me.
Nancy – I’m curious, do you think that any action by ICE would be justified as long as it’s directed at people coming through improper channels?
nora, i’m curious…if you knew i was white would you assume i get pleasure in keeping down *brown* people? seems a bit presumptuous and unhelpful not to mention hardly open minded. also to other commenters i did read the cup of jo articles and the snopes fact checking—prior to commenting. but just as there are those resources on the internet, there are others that point out other sides…this includes resources quoting the new york times as reporting an increase in child smuggling and migrants admitting to bringing children over because they think it will help their cases. i appreciate that others have different opinions than mine and respect it. and laura, the media does not hide their disdain for trump and the media does choose what to report and what not to. both liberal and conservative outlets. so calling me shameful? is naive. i don’t automatically think that you are inhumane or uncaring because you have a diffrent opinion. however i do find the constant barrage of personal attacks from those who are so supposedly so supportive and caring of people and children hypocritical. are any going to comment on the above personal experiences of christina and her observations? please… Read more »
Christina provided an anecdote about friends of hers who are immigrants. The thing is, our friends are likely to share similar views to our own. I am guessing that Christina and I differ in political views. Correspondingly, the friends I have whose families immigrated here legally also differ from Christina in their thoughts about immigration policy. One of my good friends in college literally couldn’t visit her family in Mexico because the risk of kidnapping was too high. She grew up in a border state and has found Trump’s rhetoric surrounding immigration pretty offensive.
Personally, I am most upset that the administration chose to enact this policy without putting any procedure in place to facilitate family reunification. I am also frustrated that so much of my tax dollars are going toward detaining people for a misdemeanor offense and enriching for-profit prison companies.
It’s odd that you can look at those children and claim that it’s the fault of the media for making Trump look bad… Sorry I said odd – I meant shameful.
Nancy, to your 3rd point, I can’t help but think (as a mother myself) of the absolutely horrific conditions that would force me to make a decision to leave my home, travel a long distance with my children, and risk entering a country not knowing what awaits. It’s honestly unimaginable to me, so I have to believe that these families feel they have no other choice.
As for the 2nd point, there are several reports of families being turned away even when seeking asylum as legal points of entry. As Emily noted, it may be difficult to know all the facts, but I think the overarching question is how we navigate a difficult policy situation with basic human decency.
excellent thank you
i agree totally and get all the facts out there.
Hi there. I would encourage you to read this post on Cup of Jo for a more thorough understanding of what happens when families seeking asylum try to enter the US the proper way: https://cupofjo.com/2018/06/family-separation-what-you-need-to-know/
you know what’s a waste of time and a unnecessary creation of bureaucracy? jailing them in the first place. People could just be turned away, if that’s the rule, but no, *someone* is making money (our money, as taxpayers) by having people jailed for who knows how long.
FWIW there was no law saying kids should be separated from their parents; just that kids couldn’t be jailed, nor detained for over a certain period of time. If I read this correctly (https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/was-law-separate-families-passed-1997/) if the admin./government/we wanted to, families could be detained together for under that period of time, but it’d take more efficiency (and political will) for the paperwork or whatever to be completed that fast.
if you detain people in jail, then what do we do with the child of that adult?should we jail him or her to with the parent? how do you solve that. you just said that was the prior law…i guess the past administrations didn’t really think it through…
according to snopes in august 2015 families were rarely separated…that means they were separated. this is before trump.
Hi. Just want to fact check one of your comments. The law was not put into effect in prior administrations. It was instituted on 4/6/2018 by the TRUMP administration. It was approved by TRUMP.
This is not the law. That is a lie.
Most desperate immigrants are NOT using kids to try to enter country. Nonsense
Nancy, I pledge that the minute that he stops acting like a “racist hateful unamerican Nazi” sexist privileged warmongering narcissistic liar, I’ll stop calling him that. In fact, I would LOVE him to give me the opportunity to never speak or think of him again.
i’m trying to establish facts and points of argument. name calling and exaggeration is of no help.
-Actually, people who have been coming into the ports have been detained and had their children taken from them as well. -Also, if it’s hard for us, who have access to countless news sources, to keep up with how policies are enforced, imagine how difficult/impossible it would be when you are fleeing in fear for your or your children’s lives, often on foot, through dangerous territories that are not your own? The way most are entering was generally accepted practice until weeks ago; these aren’t necessarily people who are getting text alerts about the latest immigration policies or understand the most up-to-date nuances of the current administration. In many cases when families are fleeing gang violence, the risk of crossing wherever they are able is still better for their kids than to stay where gangs threaten to murder and rape kids that are 7 and 8 years old to extort/control their families. -I don’t know that it’s been shown that even a single person has used a kid to get across, but if so, it’s certainly less than 1%. This argument, which the administration has been emphasizing, reminds me of the Japanese internment camps, where not a single person was… Read more »
ok that’s great. give me the citation that it’s less than 1 percent. because i don’t know that, and i’ve read much different numbers. in fact, please cite all of the references you are using to say how many are coming do to gang violence etc. it would be helpful to know for this discussion. thanks!
Less than 1%.
1. Emily casting as wide a net for shared values (values that according to polls the vast majority of Americans share) in her audience is not what I would describe as virtue signaling.
2. Seeking Asylum at a port of entry is legal
3, See above. And as you’ve expressed dislike of supposed “virtue signaling” I’ll spare you any appeal to emotion. For a more nuanced look into the whys of “illegal” immigration, consider researching the “Mexican Migration Project” and how the Per-Country limit impacts highly populated nations
4. In only 6 of 1,000 cases were the adults accompanying a child not his or her parents. The welfare of kids in smugglers can’t be adressed effectively under this zero-tolerance policy.
This Is not a law, as repeated by the Trump administration, but a policy. It is being made into an “anti-Trump” issue because the Trump administration is enforcing said policy.
Additionally, I don’t actually think family separation makes Trump un-american as this has been a common occurrence in American history from slavery to internet camps to ‘boarding schools’ for native children
I was literally just about to say this. Seeking asylum is not, nor has it ever been a crime, and illegally entering the country has been traditionally treated as a misdemeanor offense. Many families seeking asylum have repeatedly been turned away from our borders and are faced with the option of either returning to the danger of their former lives, or attempting to illegally enter the country through any means necessary JUST to keep their families safe. I can’t imagine the fear these families must be facing to make that choice.
So perhaps Emily wrote a blog post about these immigrant children under the Obama administration? Cup of Jo? Any reference to this in their comments about Trump and his horrendous immoral actions? Letters about these particular kids? Policies that caused this? I mean, how can we live in a country that allows this…outrageous right? Or am I incorrect? Or are you not sad about this too.
Hey Nancy, I appreciate your comment. I think such a huge problem is not knowing the facts and just getting testimonials that fit our view. If Trump didn’t lie so frequently things might be different but he does and getting accurate statistics on this issue is impossible. I just want real facts because how can we possibly brainstorm solutions without knowing what we are really dealing with? We have no trust in this country and that is terrifying.
Please read the following and if you would like please share your comments about it on the next feelings about immigration blog post…including do you think the media did an adequate job covering this report.
thanks for being open minded and inviting my opinions.
Absolutely! Where was the outrage when Obama advocated for separating migrant “parents” from their children. Where was your outrage then? I sense this current outrage is very selective and based entirely on the 99% negative press Trump had received since day 1.
The activist press was totally silent when Obama was doing this very same thing to migrants trying to enter the country illegally at the southern border of the USA.
This is a false equivalence. Trump’s new “zero tolerance” policy has resulted in more than 2,000 children separated from their parents in a matter of weeks. I would certainly have been outraged if that happened under Obama, especially if he used disturbing language like “infestation” to refer to the immigrants and asylum seekers.
At least the Trump Admin provides water, food & a clean environment. The Border Patrol reports that the Obama Admin didn’t even provide water. Now, who’s humane?
1. Caring about the well-being of others – specifically, children – is not “virtue signaling”. It’s called empathy.
2. There are documented reports of children that have been separated from their parents at legal ports of entry
3. Parents that are fleeing from fear of drug cartels and sex traffickers are not likely turning on CNN and getting updates about the family separation “deterrent”. If you had a child and feared he or she would be abused or taken from you, you’re saying you wouldn’t flee?
4. Absolutely this should be stopped. Every administration has tried to stop this problem. No other administration has used the separation of children from their parents as a means to an end.
**IT IS NOT THE LAW to separate children from their parents upon seeking asylum.
Please, please diversify your news sources. Emily is right, it’s hard to know what is true. So, nobody should just be watching Fox news, or just read the New Yorker. The deeper we divide ourselves, the worse this is all going to get. We have got to find a way to communicate thoughtfully and with empathy.
yes. please diversify you news sources.
1. selective caring about children is virtue signaling. not empathy.
I’m curious why you think Emily is selectively caring about these children? As a longtime reader, I’ve seen her contribute to a number of other organizations that aim to help both domestic and immigrant children.
I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. Would love a little more insight into this particular viewpoint.
i personally believe that calling this issue out after the number of misleading media references and pictures that have been published, without publishing a thorough review of the history of the laws under previous administrations not to mention without publishing links to those articles that dicscuss the history of those laws and practices. and no links to numerous articles that report the truth behind some immigration propaganda photos…all with an undercurrent of trump not caring about kids and morality this and that is virtue signaling. of course emily cares about children, and of course she contributes to society and charities. and she has a right to her opinions and her blog…of course.. but she also invited opinions. it is my opinion that this blog post is from a standpoint of virtue signaling whether conscious or subconscious for the above reasons. another commenter said it was empathy not virtue signaling. okay. i don’t know if that implies i personally am not empathetic or it was just a general debate comment…i know i am empathetic. of course i don’t want children hurt, taken away unnecessarily…just like emily and the other commenters on this forum. but i also want some common sense including… Read more »
The officials in his administration have been on record to say that this is being done as a deterrent. Inflicting mental, emotional, physical harm on children as a means to discourage people from coming to the border is unjustifiable. Families being separated under Obama was the EXCEPTION, not the rule as with this administration. Crossing the border is a misdemeanor, what other misdemeanors are prosecuted 100% of the time. With everything this administration has said and done, it’s really hard to just categorize it as coincidence and not a strategy to hurt marginalized people.
Completely agree with all your points! Media sensationalists have divided this nation, not Trump. He is merely enforcing law enacted by Congress.
Completely agree! Media created this. They did this with Ebola and now with these photos (many from 2014!).
First, thank you for articulating a different viewpoint. It’s not an easy thing to do.
Second, to your point that this law was created by another administration, do you feel it was the right decision for the current administration to begin its policy of enforcing it last month? If yes, could you explain why?
Nancy – do you also agree with the use of the “zero tolerance” policy to criminally prosecute asylum seekers, i.e. persons or families presenting themselves to border control agents and seeking to enter the U.S. on grounds of a