To who do you owe your heritage to? When interviewing people for an activism project for class for our class at Community Charter School of Cambridge, we asked people this question. The most common answer to this is family, friends, but most importantly, parents. Through the interviews we have conducted we have gotten the same response; parents are the gateway to the acceptance of culture. So, why is it that families are being ripped apart? Why is it that kids are being denied of their culture? The answer is simple: their parents are being deported.
Deportation rates have skyrocketed drastically in the last ten years, which started at the beginning of the Obama administration. Unsurprisingly these numbers increased even more under Trump compared to Obama’s last year in office, according to NPR. The rate has gone up so much that, the Boston Globe reports, that “a coalition of lawyers and advocates created a 32-page guide and a template for such affidavits, which are based on state law, to help families understand who can care for a child if a mother or father is detained or deported.” However, in the end the children will still be left to fend for themselves.
When these families are split research has shown that youth are much more at risk to increased health issues, depression, anxiety and many other effects. What has just been listed are only the mental effects of deportation. The Associated Press also reported that families experiencing familial deportation make less visits to hospitals and medical clinics than the average family. In fear of being contacted by ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, families would rather skimp out on necessary medical visits.
More often than not, children get lost and go unaccounted for when going across the border with and without their family. The New York Times reported that some 700 children had been taken from their parents after crossing the border, and about 100 of them were under the age of four. Days later, ICE admitted it had lost track of 1,500 children who had crossed the border without their parents and were later placed with sponsors. The announcement drew criticism and caused confusion because many thought these missing children were the same children separated from their families at the border.
It isn’t until it happens to them they will see all the pain and suffering these families go through. Therefore we shouldn’t let these children grow up without their parents. It’s up to us as citizens of this country to help one another, lift each other up in the good and the bad, to always see the good in people because we often judge people without knowing their story. So I ask you to please understand what is happening to our country right now. To at least do some research or take a few minutes out of your day to make the lives of the youth a bit more tolerable as they continue to live without their families everyday.