UPDATED: As these stories have developed, we’ve learned that the “lost kids” issue is more complicated than originally reported, though no less concerning. Please read as much as you can about what’s going on:
There are very few things we’ll write about at GeekMom and GeekDad that touch on the political sphere. Primarily that’s because we understand that our writers and our readers stretch across many perspectives and backgrounds, and that it makes more sense to celebrate the things we all enjoy than to focus on the differences in our opinions. When we feel it’s important for us to use our platform here to comment on political issues, we focus on things related to the family experience, and endeavor to base our statements on the available facts, using as much compassion as possible. That seems like what good parents should do. And so, today we’re saying something about a political issue that is seriously concerning us as parents, about which we want to encourage our readers to inform themselves and hopefully take action towards resolving: how immigrant children are being treated in America.
The following stories have been in the news starting a month ago, and gaining notice over the last couple weeks:
The tl;dr is this: unaccompanied immigrant children are being lost in the foster system, the government is enacting a policy that results in children being separated from their parents on the basis on immigration status, and those children may also end up ‘lost.’ This is a horrific situation, and as parents (and, on a more basic level, as human beings) we want this to stop.
It is perfectly reasonable to have an informed discussion about the history of America with respect to immigrants, the number of immigrants we take in, and what the reasons can be for encouraging or discouraging immigration. But physically losing track of immigrant children, or deciding to take children away from their parents, as part of the system we impose for dealing with immigration is, in short, evil. There can be no humane argument in support of this in a country that values family as strongly as we do. We live in a country that families want to come to not because they want to take something away from those of us lucky enough to already be here, but because they want to join us and be a part of making something even better. We must be willing to handle immigrant families with care, respect, and charity, even if we ultimately turn them away. Mistreating kids or taking children away from their parents is fundamentally antithetical to what we represent at GeekMom and GeekDad, and we hope our readers agree.
We need to take a stand on this issue. This isn’t about the false dichotomy of the red side winning or the blue side winning; this is about the moral fiber of our country. We encourage you, our readers, and every parent who loves their children, to ask your elected representatives and the candidates for whom you are considering voting, whether they support the forcible separation of children from their parents, or a system that can’t keep track some of the most vulnerable people it’s responsible to protect, and then act accordingly with your voice, your vote, and your financial support.