While we were visiting family in Ohio a few months ago, one of the fun activities my mother-in-law (MIL) was doing was tracing her family history. She was able to delve into generations of her family that she had known only smatterings about from passed down old stories and occasional pictures. Being intrigued with the mystery and history aspects of tracing family trees, I asked her to start tracing my family tree. We came across some interesting facts and features of several of my great grandparents, but that fun search took on new meaning in regards to recent political events happening.
We live near the biggest major city in south Texas before the border with Mexico, so seeing or interacting with immigrants isn’t a rare occurrence for us. When news outlets started publishing pictures and stories of families being split apart after immigrating from their home country after making onto US soil due to rulings and orders from the White House and the Attorney General, it caused a rumble of emotions in me.
Initially I was saddened that the need for illegally entering the US is even something considered by people who were craving safety and a better life for their family. There are legal means to gain entry into the US, but sadly, there’s a backlog of cases that needs funding and more judges to handle the amount of cases they’re seeing, even before this order went into place.
Then I was appalled that children were being forcibly removed from their parents after making onto the soil of the same country who enshrines a giant green lady standing on an island in New York Harbor with a poem that reads:
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” she wrote. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Munchkin just turned 5 and Little Miss will be 3 in September, they’re at the age where if the stories were different and we were illegally crossing the border into the US, the chances of them being taken from us and moved into a “tender age” shelter would be very likely. As a mother, my heart aches for the parents who risked everything to make it to the border of the US and chances at freedom and safety, only to have my children forcibly separated from me.
All this to say that; no matter what political crowd you associate with, no matter if you’re keen on MAGA or would rather he not be President, know this: we all at one time, were immigrants. Maybe not us directly, but our great grandparents, our many great grandparents, or even our immediate family; made the bold and probably very frightening move from all that they knew so that they, and their children could have a better chance at success, jobs, education, and maybe even survival.
So please, try to have some compassion for those who are starting out in a new country, maybe even learning a new language, so they can better themselves and their families. Also, if you don’t like something happening in the political world, get involved, learn about the candidates running in your area, support those who you feel can make a difference in how they address the issues your area is facing, and most importantly VOTE.