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We Will NOT Tolerate the Trump Administration’s Policy of Zero Tolerance

Many immigrant women who have taken the decision to migrate to the United States with their children have had to make very difficult sacrifices: being humiliated and discriminated for being Latina, fear and poverty for being undocumented, among other things. As mothers, we consider these sacrifices worthwhile if they are to offer our children a chance to live in prosperity and peace. But separation from her children is for a mother a death penalty. It is something that cannot be forgotten or overcome, something that will scar us for all of our life.

We have been hearing in horror about how the U.S. government under President Trump is inhumanely separating immigrant mothers and fathers from their children, including young ones of even 4 and 3 years of age, who remain in the hands of a government that does not value their life, a government that admits having “zero tolerance” for their presence in this country, for their existence.[1]  This policy is such a deep violation of the life of these children that it reflects a moral corruption on the part of the government that is practicing it. A violation that thousands of mental health organizations and professionals are comparing to historic cases of similar family separations, such as when African-American children were sold during slave auctions, or when Native American children were taken from their families in order to be assimilated, and during the Holocaust. [2]

The government is calling this a new “Zero Tolerance” policy, which refers to the decision to prosecute and incarcerate all people who cross the border without documents. It is a punitive policy which seeks to deter immigration into this country, even if this means violating due process and the most basic human rights.

But we should not forget the reasons why these fathers and mothers have fled to the United States, and the role this government has played in implementing policies in Latin America that have made hells in the countries immigrants come from. From our own experiences we know that many mothers who take the risk of crossing the border do it desperately after finding no alternative to protect their children. They come from countries with failing governments that have been imposed by the interventionist policies of the United States, which help only the interests of that government no matter the human consequences suffered by families that are forced to migrate.

Many of the women who now migrate have survived wars in their countries that left them with great traumas. In other cases, the free trade policies between those countries and the United States have killed the agricultural jobs that many of them used to do before, leaving them in poverty, without the ability to cover the basic necessities of their families. And many single mothers come fleeing from violence in their homes, which in many cases results in death.

Nevertheless, this week we have heard Attorney General Jeff Sessions announce another new decision through which the U.S. government will stop extending the protection of asylum to people who come to this country as refugees.

These politics demonstrate that Trump’s government is willing to destroy the democratic values of the American people, and to violate the international laws and the Human Rights which this very country helped to establish.

To our parent immigrant brothers and sisters whose families are suffering these atrocities, we extend to you our love, our solidarity and our indignation. We assure you that you are not alone and that we will continue to fight to resist these racist and inhumane policies. We will also continue to work to make of Mujeres Unidas y Activas a place of sanctuary and refuge for immigrant women who feel the fear that their families may suffer the same fate.

To our allies we ask that we all send a message of zero tolerance for these atrocities. We make this ask specially to those who have a protected voice, who can exercise their power to protest and demonstrate their indignation without fear of deportation.

We cannot tolerate the separation of these children from their parents. We cannot tolerate the detention of minor children in jails and prisons. We will not tolerate the violence exerted by the state against our immigrant and refugee families.

Join us!

This Thursday, June 14th at a Families Belong Together Rallies Hayward: https://www.facebook.com/events/1736830406398646/

San Jose: https://www.facebook.com/events/255995971643109/

Other locations: http://map.familiesbelong.org/search.php

 And on June 20th, join us in Sacramento to Defend California Values.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1286034674860535/

See MUA in the news regarding the action we and our allies organized on June 1st, outside the offices of Sheriff Ahern of Alameda.

https://www.univision.com/san-francisco/kdtv/actividades-del-dia-nacional-de-accion-en-el-area-de-la-bahia-video

[1] https://www.vox.com/2018/6/11/17443198/children-immigrant-families-separated-parents

[2] https://childsworldamerica.org/stop-border-separation/stop-border-separation-text-preview/

Contributor

Lourdes Martinez

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