I admit, the young piping voice of that little girl in the borderlands of Texas asking for her aunt to come get her, while another desolate child cried for his Papi, broke my heart. I felt grateful when Rachel Maddow broke down while reading an Orwellian euphemism, a new alien phrase, “tender age shelters.” What was being done in our name, with our tax dollars, by our government?
Today my head feels clearer, my heart braver, because so many Americans felt the same, and said, no, this isn’t who we are. What great news of that practical couple, who proposed raising bail money on Facebook for parents, so separation wouldn’t happen. Hoping for $15,000, they now have $13 million in donations to help local agencies that will work to reunite families.
It’s money needed, since our federal government has no system in place to do so, and remains silent on the matter. There is much talk about long sought-after immigration reform in Congress, but no mention of public hearings or a full airing of problems legislators only call “complex,” but seldom take time to explain. Republicans control matters, but even they can’t agree, the real reason we’re stuck.
If like me you’re weary, and becoming aware of how little you understand about legalities that ensnare people who seek safety and a future for their children, there’s help. These books go to places our legislators refuse to brave, busy waging war. These books freely wage life. Check them out!
Sonia Nazario’s recently updated, Enrique’s Journey: The Tale of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother. It highlights the stakes, the personal risks, and also the people who help.
Shanti Hekaran’s novel, Lucky Boy, reveals an undocumented immigrant mother’s journey, her detention and separation from her child, Ignacio, and another more privileged immigrant couple trying to adopt him. Honest—with comedy relief.
C. Susan Nunn’s vibrant novel, Song of the Earth, is the passionate tale of a newcomer journalist’s changing take on Arizona’s borderlands, its flash floods, its illegal immigrants, drug-runners, “coyotes,” and an ATF agent. An educational page-turner.
—Rickey Gard Diamond