Here is a letter I am sending through a friend to Washington DC regarding the family separations going on at the border right now. If you are upset about this issue, send a letter to your representative, too.
June 17, 2018
I write this letter to express my concern over the recent family separations at the border. While I understand the need for security in our borders because of terrorism, I believe the pendulum has swung much too far toward security and away from liberty since September 11, 2001. I support DACA, and I am dismayed to hear of the harsh anti-immigrant measures taken by the current administration in this and other immigration matters.
I have taught boys in a residential treatment center. I can unequivocally say that breaking families apart who want to stay together is bad policy. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the boys at the youth home tell their story. It went like this: “My parents got divorced. I began my negative behaviors.”
My parents also divorced when I was nine. I was fortunate to have an excellent stepmom who influenced me greatly and picked up a lot of broken pieces when my family fell apart. However, the separation of my family has had the most profound negative influence of any single event in my life.
Families are the foundation of communities and society. People are formed by the families they grow up in, and it is my strong belief that it behooves the government to support families in any way. Preventative policy saves money down the road by preventing crime and the need for prisons / residential treatment.
I am from Utah, and I love the Utah Compact. I feel like the compact is smart policy--not only for families but for business and the economy. I would love to see that theory and practice echoed in federal policy and enforcement.
For the record, I disagree with a zero tolerance policy. Zero tolerance has no eyes. It has no heart. It has no place in the country where we say:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Thank you, and I hope your voice will be that of sense and compassion. Lift your lamp!