Following yesterday’s article, I wanted to get a jump on transitioning our mindsets to be able to anticipate the next steps in this long Immigrant Rights battle. I’m immediately reminded of sadness and confusion mixed with anger that swept Los Angeles after Prop 187 passed. What we weren’t prepared for was the effect on our friends and families, but most of all on the children of the immigrants who were taken by ICE.
The number of children separated from one or both parents as a result of immigration enforcement is significant;…for every two immigrants apprehended, one child was left behind. This suggests that potentially thousands of children [were] separated from their parents as a result of the immigration enforcement activities, and literally millions more at risk. (Report by the Urban Institute and Introduction by Janet Murguia CEO National Council of La Raza)
In the report the National Council of La Raza found that the impact on the social structures that are meant to support children were actually “profoundly negative.” That it was the responsibility of Americans to become both concerned and aware that “school systems and child care providers must prepare for the likelihood of substantial numbers of their children being left behind without care, without warning.” It is our responsibility to become aware as well, instead of reacting when the raids come and being blindsided we must prepare ourselves. First, I will share with you some details of the effects on children then I will propose a solution.
After Prop 187 passed there were approximately 5 million US children with at least one undocumented parent in the US and what followed was an intensification of immigration enforcement without regard for the lives of the children, who were citizens, and placed them “at risk of family separation, economic hardship, and psychological trauma.” When families are torn apart in an instant there is a direct and consequential impact on the ones who need the most protection and support. ICE will not give their parents the opportunity to make arrangements for the care of their children. Children are directly dependent upon their parents for care, safety, earnings, sustenance, and emotional support regardless of their parent’s status. As a society we believe that children above all else deserve our protection and care and in the case of immigrants we do not afford legal citizens (with immigrant parents) that right if they are undocumented or here illegally.
As we saw when the Muslim Ban was implemented, it often does not matter what the law might say, immigration officials take the law into their own hands. At LAX when Muslims exited their flights they were told to sign a waiver of their citizenship electing to deport themselves back to their country of origin, and in the same way ICE has the same influence:
ICE’s processing and detention procedures made it difficult to arrange care for children when parents were arrested. Many arrestees signed voluntary departure papers and left the country before they could contact immigration lawyers, their families, or- in one of the sites- their home country consulates. Detained immigrants had very limited access to telephones to communicate with families…
If given the option ANY parent would do anything in their power to ensure that their child would not be abandoned, without notice, without a call, let alone sign a waiver to voluntarily deport themselves: unless under duress. With ICE officers raiding towns, cities, places of employment, areas they believed immigrants or minorities were hiding: “many families hid in their homes- in some cases in basements or closets – for days and weeks on end.” And those parents who were detained were held for five or six months on end without the ability to communicate with their families leaving thousands and thousands of children feeling abandoned and lost. Those feelings and the psychological trauma is real, it is something that we cannot simply overlook either.
The care of young ones fell on the shoulders of siblings, neighbors, communities, and the costs as well. This extended the hardship even further into the communities because now people were caring for double the children, double the diapers, double the formula or more. The backlash is what we see today, making itself so visible and why we are standing up to #Trump and his methods that seek to isolate and purposely drum up feelings associated with “the stigma of being labeled ‘illegal.'” People feel alone, they feel targeted, they feel helpless, and they are reminded of the very real trauma of being abandoned by their parents when they were torn from them in the previous raids without any warning or good byes.
Here is the Vision: in order to transition from Reactionary to Anticipatory we must take responsibility for our local governments. In Los Angeles, in 1994 we passed Prop 187 and we learned from that mistake did we not? We are rising up now and standing up for our immigrant brothers and sisters whether documented or undocumented. Here’s the rub: when Los Angeles was being named a Sanctuary City that meant that we were not going to allow our local police to carry out ICE’s agenda. We were not going to succumb to the pressure that mounted from Trump regardless of what he might throw at us. BUT, Mayor Garcetti has not carried out the necessary steps to make Los Angeles a Sanctuary City.
Let me repeat: Mayor Eric Garcetti has not carried out the necessary steps to make Los Angeles a Sanctuary City.
What we are looking at, because we trust too much in our local government and if the #MuslimBan has done nothing but show us that Los Angeles is as much in the balance of right and wrong as any of the other cities due to their non-compliance with the Stay, then we must take action.
Mayor Garcetti has met with Donald Trump on 3 Occasions: while he continues to refrain from outright fighting WITH us; he may very well be lining up with the other side. We cannot let this happen. It is our duty to start to accept that the Bubble Up effect works, but it only works if you and I take action and do our due diligence. Look at Senator Feinstein’s voting tendencies…we have no one to blame but ourselves. So, instead of reacting we must anticipate these moves.
Anticipate that ICE is coming unless we stop them.
Anticipate that Raids are next.
Anticipate that Garcetti will crumble for Federal Aid.
1. I have created a Los Angelenos United: Anticipating Local Government Action Group JOIN.
2. Follow The Real Los Angeleno on Twitter
3. RETWEET to Mayor Garcetti that we demand he make LA a Sanctuary
4. Follow Up with a call to tell him to make LA a Sanctuary City (213) 978-0600
5. Drive all who can become citizens to start the process: CHIRLA will do it for FREE for the next 100 days through their #100DaysOfCitizenship program. Starting February 21 every Tuesday and Thursday:
The Bubble Up effect works but it takes time and consistent effort, it also takes numbers. The more you put in the more chance we have of gaining the attention of those we seek to influence. We can Unite. We will have to shore up our local defenses first and foremost.
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