“no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark”
– Warsan Shire
There is a time for holy anger. That time is now. I am asking you to be angry with me, and I want you to turn your anger into action.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted the Bible as justification to separate children from their parents at the U.S. southern border. The Trump administration just overturned asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence. Since these heartless policies have been enacted, more than 11,000 children have been taken from their parents according to NBC News last week. These families have been systematically torn apart by our government’s immigration enforcement.
Some of these beautiful people are coming to LCS Northwest now for help with immigration, asylum services and counseling. There are many, many more we don’t know about. I am a better person for breaking bread with them and listening to their stories.
One of our primary goals at LCS Northwest is to keep children safe and families together. The stories we hear everyday from the border are horrifying. We know from experience that no one leaves home and risks their family’s lives unless the fear of staying is even greater. It is unconscionable to add to this trauma by tearing children away from their parents. The trauma these children are suffering will likely impact them negatively for their entire lives.
Those who ask for protection at our borders are doing nothing illegal. Family unity is a right enshrined in U.S. law, which recognizes that strong families are the cornerstone of our society. Further, the right to seek asylum is protected by both U.S. and international law. It’s time for us to follow these laws.
The safest place for children is with their families and in communities that care. We need to ensure safety and representation. Surely, as as a nation, we can protect our borders while NOT inflicting cruel trauma on vulnerable children.
These new policies toward immigrants and asylum seekers are not only un-American – they are evil. I do not use that word carelessly. I cannot pretend to diagnose the people creating and enforcing these policies. However, I can say it flies in the face of “love thy neighbor as you love yourself.”
This cruelty started with the first travel ban that targeted predominantly Muslim countries. It has graduated into a policy that purposely separates children from their parents, as a “deterrent” to seek refuge in America.
Right now, more than 200 moms are being held in the SeaTac Detention Center – in our own backyard. Most of these mothers did not have the chance to say goodbye to their children. This cruelty goes against my faith. I do not see it as a partisan issue. Most Republicans I know are just as disgusted by this practice as my friends who are Democrats. ALL of us need to speak out against separating children from families no matter who or where they are.
President and CEO
Lutheran Community Services Northwest
What can you do?
- Contact your elected officials. Let them know where you stand on this issue and ask them to take measures to immediately halt the forced separation of children from their parents. Here is a link to find your representatives’ email addresses:
- Coordinate a food or hygiene drive. We are out of food and hygiene supplies for our asylum seekers. Go to this website for details and who to contact.
Thank you for your truthfulness exposing this evil that is happening to these vulnerable parents and children. What has happened to the value of “give us your tired , your poor”?
I am so glad some of the faith community are speaking against this atrocity of our time. I am a Christian myself, and I am tired of Christians rationalizing their horrible treatment of children and trying to say it’s supported by the Bible. Jesus welcomed the little children – he didn’t lock them up in cages. Thank you for speaking out.
Thank you David & LCSNW.
David- thanks for speaking passionately and forcefully about the devastating practices affecting families seeing refuge and asylum. I hope others are motivated to go beyond anger to action, our international neighbors deserve nothing less.
Thank you David. This situation highlights a broken system allowing tyranny to be performed on behalf of us, the people of this nation. If we do nothing, we are condoning an action – separating families – that creates hatred and divide. Thank you for the link, I’ve told my representative it’s time for him to stand up against this on my behalf. I encourage anyone reading this to do the same. No matter what political tribe you place yourself in, I ask you to take time to think about the reality of what is happening and ask yourself (as I did): would I separate a family in crisis, a neighbor standing in front of me asking for help?
I was searching the internet to find ways to foster a child from the southern border and found your site and your posting, David. Thank you for taking such a definitive stance and calling evil by what it is. Many of those who have initiated the policy of forced separation and many enforcing it appear to be gleeful it is causing distress in the US public and in the affected families. That severe lack of empathy is the root of evil.
Lord God, help us understand this insane drama that we are struggling with, regarding the horrid things that are happening at our borders!!! I’m so very sad that our grandchildren & great grandchildren will never experience the amazing USA that I grew knowing & being so very proud of!!! I can only imagine a sane, safe America for our future…oh Lord we pray!!!
Dear David, Thank you for speaking up and out – and guiding us all in channeling our anger into action. Thank you for all you do to make the world and our country a better place. Its leaders like you that make the Lutheran Services in America network a powerful force. Peace.
Dear Mr. Duea,
Thank you for your comments and for speaking out for our vulnerable future Americans and dear international neighbors. LCSNW was there for us when my husband immigrated 20 years ago. Your organization has never been more necessary. May the love you share be a balm for these vulnerable souls’ wounds.