Do not tear immigrant children away from their mothers
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As I sit here on Christmas Eve with my children, all I can think about is the government's plan to begin separating Central American children from their mothers when they cross the US-Mexico border seeking asylum. I have met many of these mothers and children, as an attorney who volunteers at the immigrant detention centers (better known as Baby Jails) in Texas. This shameful practice of jailing asylum seeking mothers and their children began in July 2014 under the Obama administration. Jailing asylum seekers is not a deterrent, because the hell they are fleeing is worse than any hell we can inflict on them in the US. But make no mistake, these are traumatized women and children who desperately need protection. Most of them have fled severe domestic violence or gang violence. The Trump administration plans to begin separating these women from their children, leaving the women to rot in jail after tearing their already traumatized children from their arms. Visiting the detention center in Dilley, Texas in 2015 I met a woman who was raising her 3-year-old brother (their mother had died). The little boy was torn from his sister's hands at the border. The sister and her own son were thrown in Baby Jail while the little boy was placed in foster care. I will never forget the sister, screaming and crying. She could barely tell me what had happened. She had fled her country because her in-laws had enslaved her and were threatening to take her son, after her husband had kicked her in the stomach when she was pregnant with a baby she later miscarried. We heard from the foster care agency that the little boy, like his sister, was inconsolable. Sister and baby were eventually reunited, and they won asylum. These are bona fide asylum seekers. They are human beings. They love their children, just as we love our children. For the Trump administration to judge these women for making the decision to flee their country to save their children's lives is akin to judging Jews for fleeing Nazi Germany. This is not a partisan issue, it is a matter of human decency. Please sign this petition this Christmas to say tearing immigrant families apart is NOT Christian, it is NOT American and it does NOT represent who we are as a country.
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