Opinion: ICE raids on immigrant families

By Jean Kenin
Posted 7/3/19

I am profoundly saddened that our country's policy for immigrants - many of whom one can think of as refugees from violence and climate change - is itself violent and often inhumane. It is bad enough …

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Opinion: ICE raids on immigrant families

Posted

I am profoundly saddened that our country's policy for immigrants - many of whom one can think of as refugees from violence and climate change - is itself violent and often inhumane. It is bad enough that the threats of ICE raids deeply unsettle our neighborhoods, making what is already a challenging time for families seeking peace and right-livelihood into a nightmare of red tape and fear of separation from loved ones, but the purposeful separation of children from their families at the border is an unspeakable horror no nation should tolerate.

The emotional and psychological damage we are doing to those defenseless victims of our border policy is taking a toll that will weigh on all of us for the foreseeable future. Whatever happened to "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore"?

Anything short of a generous policy toward those seeking a new life in our country lessens us. Congress could allocate money - unneeded now in the huge defense coffers - to build warm and welcoming family-centered facilities at the border; to offer more legal aid there quickly to process those wishing to cross; to provide more accurate investigations for those caught in an unjust cycle that labels good people wishing to reunite with their families as criminals; to accurately identify true criminals who attempt to bring us harm and, finally, to provide organized social programs that will efficiently place people with their U.S. families and in locations where their work is needed and welcome.

History should have taught us that abuse toward others has only served to diminish us as a country, whether perpetrated toward Native Americans, ethnic and immigrant groups, or in the tragic enslavement of people wrenched from their homelands. Each and every time, we eventually learned that all of these victims of our abuse had vast cultural riches to share that have enriched our country immeasurably.

As in all times, these are the days that test our humanity. Be informed and let your congresspeople know your thoughts. On Saturday (July 6), Taos Immigrant Allies is hosting a workshop/informational gathering at SOMOS on Civic Plaza Drive. at 6 p.m. for people who want to be involved with trips to the border, collection of goods, fundraising, letter-writing campaigns, legislative actions and more. Please search Facebook for Sin Fronteras Nuevo México and and Taos Immigrant Allies.

Jean Kenin is a retired teacher who has been a Taos resident since 1972.

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