To paraphrase an old quote, you can tell a lot about a person’s character by how they treat those from whom they can gain nothing.
Early on, I chose immigration as one three primary issues in the AoC Checklist because I feared the president would make targets of aspiring Americans. How little we knew. Since then, AoCC has been advocating alongside groups like RAICES, Al Otro Lado, Cosecha, Make the Road, and many others, by amplifying their calls to action.
If you need even a whiff of hope that someone in the president’s cabinet is listening to us—us as in immigration advocacy groups, human rights groups, brave investigative journalists, protesters outside ICE facilities, and to us who have been writing letters to DHS officials, here it is.
In this interview, the acting director of DHS said, “[The policy of family separation] did not work if you lose the public trust.” We succeeded in making our disgust and outrage clear. It is small progress, but it still progress nonetheless.
And we need it. Every week, people suffer from the scope of this administration’s depravity: Force feeding. Stealing desert water caches. Failing to keep records to reunite families. Denying urgent medical attention. Revoking citizenship. Yes, over and over, the administration has absolutely caused us to lose faith. While lying to our faces and claiming to create security, they inflict trauma on the already traumatized.
This is not a matter of who is or isn’t “legal”. With unlimited power and resources, this is how our leaders choose to treat fellow human beings. It speaks volumes of their characters. So, if even one person heard our opposition to separating children from their parents, that’s good. It’s a big deal. And it changes nothing about what’s next.
We keep speaking up because history asks this of us—and our consciences demand it. We stick together. Showing up for one other matters, especially for the many people opposing immigration policies at great personal risk. Last week, we got a nod that DHS heard us. The outcomes could be something even better if we keep making our voices heard.
See the most recent edition of the Americans of Conscience Checklist.