There is a crisis
There is a crisis happening on our nation's southern border. The number of migrants fleeing Central American violence and crossing our border is at record levels, and is stretching the limits of our nation's ability to handle a refugee crisis of this magnitude.
But there is more to this story—the awful conditions many of these migrants face while in detention, or their ability to even seek asylum. It's hitting children the hardest as reports have revealed many do not have access to basic medical care or sanitary living conditions.
The worst stories detail malnourished and sick children sleeping on cold floors, often with little to no supervision as they've either crossed the border alone or have been separated from their families by border control officials. There have been multiple reports of assault and abuse.
This week, a gut-wrenching photo surfaced of a father and his 23-month old daughter who drowned trying to cross the border—her arm over her father's shoulder in a muddy bank. In addition, a mother and young children were found dead from sweltering heat.
These images are heartbreaking, and they should not be overlooked. They remind us of the human-element of refugees fleeing violence and oppression.
Regardless of your political beliefs, we can all agree that this is not the image of America that we know and love. This is not what the world should be seeing and we must all take action to demand change.
Our nation's leaders—in both parties—have failed to put politics aside and offer a comprehensive immigration plan that addresses all of these issues.
As citizens of humanity, we cannot become numb to the horrific conditions across the world. We cannot ignore the fact that parents are willing to risk their lives to escape circumstances we cannot fathom in order to try and provide a safer future for their children. We cannot ignore what we would do, if faced with starvation, death, or persecution, to save the ones we love more than anything in the world.
We are the country those people flee to. We must be worthy of that sacrifice. We must not loose empathy or compassion, or become so engulfed in our polarized culture that we brush off the suffering of our fellow men, women and children.
We cannot become blind to the tragedies of the world—especially those in our own back yard. We are better than that. We must be better than that.
It's our belief that together, there can be a solution that offers:
1. Compassion and basic human rights to migrants who have made it to the United States as their claims for asylum are processed through the legal system.
2. Broader border security and more support for the border officials who do not have the capacity to process or reduce the influx of migrants.
3. Foreign policy solutions that aim to stem the violence in the Central American countries so that migrants are not forced to flee to save their families.
4. A unified American vision that celebrates the story of people from all around the world coming here to live freely and work towards a better future together.
All of this can be done. But we must demand compassion. We must demand empathy. We must demand action.
Thank you for your ongoing support.