“I Never Thought I’d Have To Warn My Kids…”

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My friend Nina just posted this on Facebook:

Things I never thought I’d have to warn my kids about: school shooters and immigration sweeps. I worry that my kids will end up being rounded up by immigration in a sweep of “illegal aliens” at school. You might say that’s irrational, but when US Citizens who happen to have foreign sounding names are being targeted at airports and there are immigration sweeps happening at schools, it’s not a far fetched idea.

As a parent of children with a “foreign sounding name” that often gets confused with a middle eastern name, I do worry. I remember being chosen for “random bag inspections” immediately post 9/11 on every single flight I took. And I do mean EVERY. I’d be one of four or five people. So I don’t think I’m being paranoid.

So now I have to teach my children their constitutional rights… and remind them to not say anything unless either their father or I are present and they have their attorney present. That they have a right not to have their belongings touched without their consent. That they have the right not to turn over and/or unlock their phones or other electronic devices. That they have a right to an attorney.

These are things that Smith and Jones never have to worry about. These are things that people who don’t “look foreign” don’t have to worry about. These are things that WE have to worry about. Even though we are citizens. Even though my children were born here, to at least one US Citizen. Even though they are US Citizens jus soli AND jus sangui. Even though my husband is naturalized, I’m under NO delusion that he is safe from harassment.

I pray for everyone who is afraid or in danger tonight, for our citizens as well as for the alien living among us, and for anyone who helps them bear their crosses. I pray that all Americans will remember that what is legal is not necessarily just, and that justice demands we break unjust laws. I pray that we remember that whatever blessings and privileges we have– food, shelter, safety, stability– are not given to us for us alone but to share with those who lack. I pray that Christians who are pro-family will stand behind what they profess and protect families from being forcibly separated.

I pray for a world where mothers don’t have to talk about things like this, and children don’t have to be afraid.

Maybe then, America would be great.

(image via Pixabay)

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