Don’t separate children, and don’t ignore the real issue.
The news lately has been replete with stories of people vociferously decrying the Trump administration’s separation of families at our borders. This practice has been going on for many years, but the scrutiny of President Trump finally brought it to light.
Even though these people are perhaps breaking the law when they enter our country, the advocates agree that families must remain whole. The outcry, however, stands in stark contrast to the approach taken when it comes to sending people to prison. If an individual lies to authorities, commits a white collar crime, or smokes an illegal substance, without almost any thought, judges will incarcerate that person for one, two, five, or even 10 years. These sentences are often not the fault of the judge, but rather due to harsh sentencing guidelines. 2.3 million people are currently held in American prisons, according to stats by Prisonpolicy.org. Almost half a million individuals are placed behind bars each year for nonviolent crimes such as drug offenses. Only about 187,000, according to the site, have actually been convicted of a crime.
Where is the justice? Where is the yelling not to separate children from their parents? In many cases these people haven’t even been convicted of a crime, but those who have and must be punished are imprisoned without consideration of their families. Why do we give people from other countries a pass and toss our own citizens in the trash, so to speak? It isn’t politically “cool” to advocate for these people. We don’t speak about it; we tear apart families and ruin lives, but since it doesn’t have political ramifications the media is silent.
By all means, advocate for the people trying to cross our borders, but speak to your elected officials so they may advocate for your neighbors and countrymen whose families are also torn apart for much more mundane crimes.
Let’s not lose the focus of our humanity and forget that the fabric of our society is made up of tight-knit families, which are important wherever they may come from.
Do it for the children!