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A political administration, bereft of character and morals, imposes more terror on children fleeing violence

I recently read about the nursing mother’s baby being pulled from her arms while in a detention center, because of the Trump administration’s interpretation of the “zero tolerance” policy against illegal immigration. Tonight, I heard audio recordings of babies crying, toddlers calling for their parents and a six-year-old begging to call her aunt — torn from their parents and locked in cages, right here on U.S. soil.

I am sick at heart. I waver between wanting to leave the country that perpetuates this horror, supporting more liberal candidates who might oppose the extreme nationalist policies of the Trump administration or donating to nonprofits who directly assist immigrant families.

I can’t be the only person in this agonizing quandary. I love my country, but I am also ashamed and frightened. And even if there is a drastic change in political leadership, I don’t believe 'politics as usual' will reverse all the damage, locally and globally, that has been done in the last 500+ days by our new gang of “leaders.” As a friend of mine said, "it’s so easy to cut down a tree, but it takes so long to grow another."

First Lady Laura Bush reminds us of the internment camps that Japanese-Americans were forced into during WWII. I am reminded of children separated from their parents as trains pulled up to concentration camps all over Europe during Adolf Hitler’s rule of Germany, all being herded to the ovens.

Selling my house and moving out of the U.S. has been something I've considered. Frankly, I doubt I’ve got it in me to leave my family and friends for a self-imposed exile, to a place where it may not be that much better — it seems many parts of the world are now leaning toward exclusion and violence. I may not live to see the pendulum swing back toward the middle.

As far as political solutions are concerned, I will financially support and vote for Trump alternatives, but I don’t expect to experience a collective change back to a humane and compassionate sanity. Even if more humanistic candidates win, undoing all the harm that has already been done will be nearly impossible and it will take decades to right the ship on broader policy issues.

To me, it’s double-down push back time against Trump’s draconian immigration policies, as well as his normalization and encouragement of hatred for U.S. citizens of color and ethnic minorities. Every day I am lucky to be introduced to literally hundreds of nonprofits and charities that provide critical, life-saving services to families — regardless of legal status, country of origin, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity. Food, safe housing, transportation, protection, medical care, legal advocacy, mental health services, child care — you name it— all provided with no questions asked. Those are the NGOs I want to support in any way that I can, with volunteer time, donations, in-kind contributions; anything I can do.

As a comfort, I am reminded of how Denmark saved the vast majority of their Jewish population during the German occupation of Denmark in World War II. On October 1, 1943, Hitler ordered all Danish Jews to be arrested and deported. Despite the risk of certain death, the Danish resistance movement helped to evacuate 7,220 of Denmark's 7,800 Jews, plus 686 non-Jewish spouses, by sea to nearby neutral Sweden. It was the largest single act of collective resistance to aggression in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany.

I want to help those nonprofits and service providers who have feet on the ground and who can help save those who cannot save themselves. And if there are opportunities for me to be a part of any resistance, to the cruelty and abuse of innocent children that is unfolding before our eyes, I’m up for that too.

MissionBox readers respond ...

So necessary to have voices like yours speaking out against this horror.

We researched some non-profits helping the cause and found the RAICES program to pay bail bonds to get immigrant families back together is really on point (treating the symptom rather than the cause feels less hopeless right now).

—Michael B.

Photo: US Customs and Border Patrol



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Co-founder and CEO of MissionBox, founder and president of MissionBox Philanthropic Fund, founder and past CEO of Community TechKnowledge