With the gift-giving part of the holiday season having just passed, many of us are enjoying our presents, relaxing with family, and reflecting on the highs and lows of the past year. In the midst of the season of giving and good cheer, however, the federal government's Department of Homeland Security seems to have donned its Grinch hat. As the Washington Post has reported, "The Department of Homeland Security has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year . . . ." For the most part, these families have fled indescribably violent and volatile conditions in Central America, seeking safe haven in the United States. Their plight of some of these families was front-page news, until the unaccompanied minor and Syrian refugee crisis took center-stage, the latter fueled in part by loud rhetoric on the part of some presidential candidates, particularly in the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
The announcement of the blanket policy is troubling because it sounds a clarion call that the cases will no longer be given individual scrutiny. Though the new initiative targets those ordered deported/removed by the immigration courts, most of those impacted by the policy face unspeakable consequences if they are forced to return to their countries of origin.
While the need to formulate a workable immigration process for people fleeing the chaos which reigns in much of Central America is not disputed, we could very well formulate a specific "Temporary Protected Status" for situations such as these, and find a way so that we do not send parents and young children back into the very belly of the beasts they so desperately fled.
If you would like to contact The White House to ask President Obama to reconsider this policy, click here.
To everyone who comes across this little blog in the vast annals of cyberspace, we wish you all a very Happy New Year. Here's to more peace, more compassion, and more justice in 2016.