The article “New immigrant separation policy being considered,” about a government proposal that would harm immigrant children and families, sounds an alarm that calls for more prominence than being played on Page 11 of the Saturday Globe.
As a mother and grandmother, I don’t know how I would make the impossible choice officials are considering: either to keep my children with me in detention for months or years or to allow them to be to be taken to a shelter so that relatives or guardians could seek custody. Would losing my kids be worth having them avoid incarceration for no fault of their own? Meanwhile, the children under this policy are likely to think their parent no longer loves them or that they are being punished for some misdeeds. Why else would they be sent away, children are likely to conclude.
Before World War II, some Jewish parents sent their children out of Europe on the Kindertransport to England to save their lives. As a social worker with experience in child welfare, I can only imagine how the parents struggled with this decision, and how abandoned many of the children felt. Yes, their lives were saved. But there was an emotional toll that must be recognized.
If our government decides to place vulnerable families in impossible situations, readers should have that information front and center. When the White House abandons the American value of the importance of the family for some groups, we all become vulnerable, citizens and immigrants alike.