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People First Immigration
One of my strongest memories of my grandmother is the way she would tell my twin brother, Joaquin, and me about how she came to this country as a child after being separated from her dying mother. Even as a seventy-year-old woman, when she recounted those moments, she would cry like the seven-year-old girl she was when it happened, sobbing that she never got to say goodbye. I see her image in the children at our borders today.
Today, the photos and videos of immigrant children crying for their parents haunt our collective conscience. Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy is responsible for children as young as infants being taken away from their parents, caged, and even “lost” in the foster care system. In federal detention, several immigrant children whose parents have presented their families for the sanctuary of asylum have even died. We are heartbroken. We are outraged.
It’s time for an immigration policy that puts people first.
This moment demands that of us. And in order to meet the challenge, we must not only expand our political will, but also our moral imagination. We must remember what immigration means to our national identity, and who we want to be as a country.