Can you imagine ever having a reason to give up your child? I can’t. Nothing and no one could ever make me part ways with my babies.
Now imagine really, really wanting your child to have a good, safe life filled with opportunity in the United States but fearing it might not be possible because of strict immigration laws like those recently enacted in Alabama.
There are parents in Alabama who are illegal immigrants and as a result staring at the very real possibility of deportation. And some of those parents are making the choice to potentially sign their kids over to friends, relatives and co-workers if they get arrested or deported, according to the Associated Press.
If that doesn’t break your heart, you must not have one.
To make the situation even more sad, state Sen. Scott Beason, one of the key sponsors of the measure that is frightening illegal immigrants, is saying such stories are simply fabricated to “pull on heart strings” and is publicly doubting if there are really that many people who are considering giving up their kids.
The law in Alabama was passed earlier this year and allows police to hold suspected illegal immigrants without bond if they can’t prove citizenship. Opponents of the measure fear it could lead to widespread discrimination. It is in effect until at least Nov. 29th, at which time an appeals court will hear oral arguments from both sides.
As a result of the law, some illegal immigrants are saying if they don’t make plans for their U.S.-born kids in the event of being arrested or deported, they fear the kids will be left home alone or sent to foster care. Many of those living in fear are from Mexico, where they are deathly afraid of returning because of the drug cartels.
I’m aware there are plenty of anti-immigration folks out there who relish the idea of illegal immigrants being deported. But I just can’t imagine who would celebrate this new law knowing it will mean the separation of so many parents from their children — people who came here in search of a better life for their offspring. After all, isn’t a better life something we all want for our children?
Even more heartbreaking (if that’s possible)? The kids who are old enough to know that they could be separated from their parents, and there’s nothing they can do about it. Would you wish that on any child, no matter his or her immigration status? Where is the compassion?