How The Policy Of Separating Immigrant Children From Their Families Is Causing Americans To Break Ties With Their Own

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While Fighting Towards The Unification Of Immigrant Families, We Are Breaking Ties With Our Own

We need to be better than this.

I sat on the couch, pursing my lips in thought, when my husband said, “Don’t do it.”

“Do what?”

“I know that face. I know you’re itching to start a fight. You have your phone out and the news blaring. Who posted what? What do you want to say?”

Well, there’s no denying my husband knows me like a goddamn book.

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have been avoiding the news and social media, you’ve probably heard about the separation of children from their parents at the Texas/Mexico border.

Mainstream media has been dousing all of our senses with visuals of children in cages, sleeping under tin foil “blankets” and audios of them crying for their parents. 

Ann Coulter even came through, as usual, and gave us a beautifully tragic soundbite claiming they are just child actors.

The tragedy is not only in the current immigration situation, but that there are far too many people whose mind is in sync with Coulter.

Scroll down any news article or video on Facebook or Twitter about the babies in cages and you are sure to find the worst of humanity among the commenters.

But what happens when those commenters are your friends, or your family?

What do you do?

How do you stay true to yourself by not remaining silent while also trying to keep the string of a relationship strong?

I’m not a snowflake. I’m not a liberal.

I’m a mother. I’m a wife. I’m a daughter. I’m a friend. I’m a human and, the last time I went to the physician, I still had a heart.

You can absolutely love the man who claims his seat in the Oval Office and you can be a die-hard, red all the way, card-carrying Republican. But you can also have emotions toward innocent children that have no idea what’s happening other than they are no longer with the only people they know and love: their parents.

I watch Fox News so I can understand the other side of the coin. I don’t want to remain biased by only consuming what the right calls, “leftist propaganda.” 

So, yes, I get that our country needs better security so that gang members aren’t just waltzing in, waving our American Flag in success right before they shoot up an American family. (Because it’s always an American family on Fox News.)

I get that not all of the immigrants fleeing to our country come with favorable intentions and that some may be using their children as their ticket into the US.

RELATED: We're All Immigrants — And NOW, Immigrants With Blood On Our Hands

But, and here’s a crazy fact so hang tight: Did you know that American born men are more likely to be incarcerated for crimes than those who have immigrated here? Don’t believe me? Check out this study that states the following:

According to an original analysis of data from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the authors of this report, roughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males age 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born. This disparity in incarceration rates has existed for decades, as evidenced by data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses. In each of those years, the incarceration rates of the native-born were anywhere from two to five times higher than that of immigrants.

That means the immigrant you are so frightened of is far less likely to hurt you than your own domestic partner.

Think about that!

Then here we are, fighting for these children to be reunited with their (more than likely non-violent) parents, while we also start to break down our personal relationships into comments on threads and see the true, racist, hateful colors of the people we know and love.

If we have the knowledge on how to help people in need, do we have the responsibility to share that? And if we don’t, are we just lazy? 

At what point does our silence equal complicity?

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On an episode of comedian Marc Maron’s podcast, he joked that when he finds out a friend is a Trump supporter, he no longer knows what to do with them.

And as someone who is anti-Trump, down to my bones, in every single blood cell, it’s also hard for me to know what to do.

Months ago, I landed in a fight with a relative about Trump. She is pro (obviously) and as we fought publicly on Facebook, the anger rose inside me so much so I almost took up knitting just so I could mail her a pussy hat.

We’ve since started talking again with the caveat that we don’t speak politics.

Last night, I posted about my heartbreak, and the feeling of helplessness; I want to care for all those kids and help in any way I can.

That relative commented, “No comment.” 

I chose not to reply to that because if I did, it wouldn’t end well.

Should we remain on speaking terms because we don’t agree on politics? Wait. But it’s so much more than politics. 

It’s the lives of children and adults who are now forever traumatized by what we have done to them.

They are running from slaughter into what should be a welcoming, Lady Liberty loving land, but instead they are being treated like animals.

She’s okay with that, as are so many other friends and people online and in real life.

Showing compassion is not a partisan issue. It’s a human one. Show your heart and speak up. Use your voice for those that can’t.

Want to help? Use ResistBot to help find your representative and send a message to them in under TWO minutes!

RELATED: I Forget That I’m The Child Of An Immigrant Because I’m White

Liza Walter is a writer who focuses on current events, pop culture, and true crime. She loves cheese, Game of Thrones, her husband, and son. Not necessarily in that order. You can follow her on Twitter @NerdyLiza.