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Families Belong Together: Compassion, Not Criminalization

by Women for Justice Guest Blogger Fran Jaffe

Immigration laws are tough to wrap one's brain around. In a land that promises a dream of freedom and opportunity, in a land that embraces the words on the statue of liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

One would think we would find a way to deal with the issues of immigration in a more humane way.

Alas, no nation can take every single person in who comes to it's shores. How to create a system that deals with this confounding situation humanely is the million dollar question. To date, we have fallen far short of answering that question. The past administrations do not have a great track record when it comes to answering or even coming close to answering that question.

As in everything in America, we treat a huge section of the people coming to our shores, many trying to escape tyranny, themselves, as criminals. And once they enter our criminal system they become part of our brutal punitive penal system. As long as we look at these folks as criminals, they will be treated inhumanely.

Having said that..though Trump did not create the system that treats these hopeful immigrants as criminals, he has taken it to unheard of levels of abuse. His rogue regime is responsible for separating children from their families, even the youngest of children, babies are not an exception.

No other administration has done this. However, this is what Trump and his minions do.

Whatever flawed awful policies came from past administrations, he takes them and makes them unimaginably more egregious, more inhumane.​

There is no excuse for this rogue regime's behavior. No past examples that match the escalation of blatant abuse of power and use of hatred to justify treating any human being--man, woman or child--in the manner they are being treated.

Human beings looking for a better, more humane life are not criminals!

Why the hell can't we, the so called richest nation in the world, find a way to create an immigration system that is based on compassion rather than criminalization?!

Don't look for it coming from the fascist rogue regime running America at this moment.

If you are outraged at what is happening right before your eyes...if you want it to stop...you must, every one must, vote. You must vote in the midterms and you must vote in the general election. You must vote. If you cannot at least DO THAT, then your outrage is worthless and you may as well admit your responsibility for enabling these and other egregious acts perpetrated by this administration.

Yes, the photo of the little boy in a cage, crying, being passed around is not from the Trump detention camps/centers. It was a part of a protest.

However, when a senator goes on an unannounced visit to a detention center and is barred from entering,

you know there is truth to the real life stories being told by the mothers of children who have been ripped from their arms.

You know there is truth about the poor conditions of these detention centers.

You know there is truth in the stories of ICE officers lying to the mothers about where and how long their children are going and how long they will be kept.

This is an excerpt from Snopes explaining where the photo really came from. No, it was not from the Obama era: "However, as it turned out, the photograph was taken on 10 June 2018, but it did not show a child confined by immigration authorities to a cage. Rather, it was snapped during a protest staged in front of Dallas City Hall to call attention to the Trump administration’s practice of separating families and confining undocumented children. Different photographs of the event document that the same child was standing a mocked-up “cage” open at the top, and several commenters noted that the boy was crying not because he was confined, but because he saw his mother outside the pen and could not immediately figure out how to get to her."

Now, I am seeing propaganda pieces, I am sure coming from our current regime, showing happy little children lavishly eating and giggling whole playing soccer in a well maintained yard.

I have a hard time believing that any child entering foreign strange surroundings and being taken away from their families--their mothers--would adjust so rapidly as to be gleefully playing in a yard.

I have an easier time believing the stories of the families, the mothers of these children and the lawyers fighting for their human rights.

Guest Blogger Fran Jaffe is a nationally acclaimed artist, born in Oak Park, Illinois and currently resides in Anna, Illinois. She is a practicing activist and an avid Bernie supporter, voicing strongly for Universal Health Care.

Women for Justice is an all-volunteer team.

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