More days than not recently, when I listen to the news on NPR on my long commute, I burst into tears.
Loss of constitutional rights. Gutting of the environment. Shooting of children, for God’s sake. Ugly words hurled at the same children, who speak up and act to try and stop the shooting.
I suspect I’m not alone.
The story that made me cry this morning shook me to the core. About an immigrant mother and child, taken into custody. The mother is being held in California, the seven-year-old daughter in Chicago. I repeat, seven years old.
The report gave me chills of terror this morning. Writing about it now I’m experiencing that same loss of breath, the same chills. I’m imagining one of my own babies at that age, and what it would have meant to them to be torn away from me. Sent 2,000 miles away. Unfamiliar with the language. Lost and alone. Terrified.
I can’t stand it.
It makes not one tiny scrap of difference to me that this mother and daughter are in the U.S. “illegally.” Whatever situation forced them to come here together can only have been desperate. All I care about is that our federal officials have done this horrific, evil thing. And they’re doing it more and more often – at least 50 immigrant families have been torn apart in this way in the last year. It’s their idea of a good way to keep families from crossing our borders in the first place.
But these are human beings, who love and need each other to survive. Separating a child and her mother is an act of government-sponsored cruelty and torture.
As with every post-mass-shooting scenario (and how repugnant it is that we’re so familiar with those scenarios), thoughts and prayers are not enough. But, beyond writing to elected representatives, I don’t know what else I have to offer.
I despise our nation’s leadership with every fiber of my being.