We Americans are fond of proclaiming that the family is the focal point of our lives with our children’s well-being the most important aspect. However, if people truly believe that the family is so important, then why are there so many suffering children? More than 4 million children have been born in the United States to illegal immigrants – making the children legal Americans – but whose parents are subject to deportation.
Many families become separated when their parents enter this country illegally and thus do not possess proper immigration papers. Because the children born in this country of illegal parents become citizens at birth, they are allowed to remain. However, the parents do not automatically receive citizenship status. As a result, when they are deported, their children must take refuge with family members or strangers.
These children suffer greatly because of the long, painful separation that follows. Oftentimes, the children are traumatized by middle-of-the-night raids by immigration officials during which time they witness their parents being handcuffed and taken away to jail. Imagine the pain such children endure during such disturbing events – the tears streaming down their cheeks, the hurt reflected in their faces, and the social withdrawal that develops soon thereafter.
Children release their frustrations primarily by crying and creating an emotional barrier that psychologically scars them for life. This quite often leads to dysfunctional and unhappy lives. Even children who remain with their parents but relocate often feel the pain of moving to a place where they are unwelcome because many do not speak the host-country language.
I believe that our children should never be separated from their parents. I also believe that a family should be together always. Only through a close social bond can a family develop the values needed to become productive citizens and carry on their ethics to future generations.
This separation needs to stop, the tears need to stop, the suffering needs to stop, and the pain needs to stop. We should ensure that our “little angels” do not suffer from the mistakes of us adults.
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