We’ve held our babies in our arms. We’ve snuggled them when they had nightmares and boo-boos and fears of the boogeyman.
We know the ache when we’re away from them for an hour—not to mention the sore boobs when we’re away from them during breastfeeding. We know the panic when they toddle off for five minutes in a store.
Imagine having your child—the human being you gave birth to, not a vague, fuzzy picture on the television screen, but rather your child—ripped from your arms.
Imagine now not knowing where your child is. Not a random child—your child.
Imagine it. You must. You must let yourself think the thoughts and feel the heartbreaking emptiness.
We must because only we can change this.
Only we mothers can understand how another mother would feel when her breast milk dries up because her baby was taken away and sent to a detention center in another state.
Only we mothers will understand the despondency of being separated from our child—the utter, hair-ripping despair.
We must think about it now because it’s up to us to change it. To continue to stand up for what’s right. To continue to pressure our government to return every child to their mother.
I don’t care what your position on immigration is. This isn’t about who is eligible for asylum; that’s a whole other debate. This is about getting children back to the parents who love them and want them.
As of Thursday, July 12, 57 of the 103 children under five were reunited with their families. The remaining 46 were deemed “ineligible” for reunification for safety reasons or because their parents had already been deported.
Assuming the “ineligibility” reasons are legitimate, there are still over 2,000 children under 18 that need to be reunified by the end of the month.
These mothers need us to not put our head in the sand. These children need us to remember how much children need their mothers.
If you’re a mother, you know what it means to love your child. You know that you’d do anything for them—including trying to go to a new country for their safety. You know, intimately, the bone crushing fear when your child is in danger.
The news is exhausting. We want to look away and pretend this couldn’t happen in our country. But it did, and it is.
Here are three easy ways you can help today:
1. Donate to RAICES.
This small Texas charity has already donated $20 million to the government to pay for the bonds of detained immigrant parents and transportation to get them back to their children, many of whom were sent sent to different states. If you don’t believe in viral fund raising campaigns, check out this skeptic’s defense of RAICES.
2. Email or call your congressional representative to keep the pressure on.
It took me three minutes to email all three using the tools below. NOW has also provided a script and the government provides contact information:
3. Share this blog or this news story from Elle on your social media channels.
We must keep this story in the minds of other mothers before it gets lost in whatever the next scandal will be.
I’ll admit there are days when I bury my head in the sand too—just for mere sanity and survival. And that’s okay. But we can’t stay that way. The world needs us women, us mothers. The world needs to hear our voice.
“Being brave is part of your DNA. You’re a woman.” – Tribeswoman, Women Writing to Change the World Workshop
Author: Tracy White
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron