Why Don’t They Take Their Families?

Why Don’t They Take Their Families? August 1, 2017



He’s at it again.

The same pompous gentleman I mentioned earlier today, the man who thinks that poor people spend between $30 and $60 a month on vending machine sodas, came back to the same thread with another question. He wants to know why, when an undocumented Mexican migrant with a United States citizen spouse and Natural-born American children is deported, he doesn’t take his family along to Mexico with him. And he asked it so genuinely I think he doesn’t know the answer. “Excpet [sic] under exceptional circumstances, and we have not been led to believe they exist in this case, I would never leave my family behind. I would not let any governmment [sic] split up my family,” he says.

I didn’t want to out the ignorant man in my first post, but it’s a public thread, and the man in question is himself a very public person with an allegedly pro-life NGO of his very own, so say hello to Austin Ruse and have a look at the thread yourself. 

He said that.

He actually seems to believe that a deported father is selfish for not bringing the whole family along.

It takes a special kind of mind to just presume that everyone’s sad predicament must be because of their own vice. That the reason these migrants will never see their children again is that they’re making a selfish choice.

I don’t think Mr. Ruse is listening to me, but for anyone who would like to know, this is why fathers and mothers who are deported don’t bring the whole family along.

Let’s pretend that you are an undocumented migrant. You came to this country illegally. You probably shouldn’t have broken the law like that, and maybe you did it for nasty and selfish reasons. Then again, maybe you were escaping gangs who wanted to murder you and this was your only chance. Maybe you were desperately poor and just wanted to pick strawberries to earn a tiny wage to stay alive. Maybe you were brought here against your will by human traffickers or by your parents when you were little. In any case, here you are. You’ve been here for twenty years.

You got married. You have an American citizen wife and natural-born American citizen children, the kind of children who are told in school they could grow up to be president. You’re not rich, but you and your wife and children have an apartment or a house. You have electricity, gas and water and the children can’t remember a time when they didn’t. Your children speak English.  They go to an American school where only English is spoken. They watch Sesame Street. They eat Ring Dings. They get regular checkups at the pediatrician. All their shots are right on schedule. They keep asking to go to summer camp and ride ponies. Your son won’t go to sleep at night without his Batman night light. Your daughter just celebrated her First Holy Communion, and you still get chills when you watch her receive Our Lord on Sundays. She wants to be a nun like Saint Therese when she grows up. Your son wants to be a superhero.

And then you get picked up by ICE. They take everything you have on you– your wallet, your Rosary, your ID, the photo of your family, the ten dollars in your pocket. You can re-claim your things withing thirty days, but most undocumented migrants are in prison for longer than thirty days, so it’s effectively gone forever. They cram you in an overcrowded cell, and eventually they put you on a bus and dump you across the border in Mexico with nothing but the clothes on your back.

Everything you have is gone. You can’t go to the ATM and get some cash. You can’t take out your cell phone and call anyone. You can’t go look up your old friends because they’re somewhere else in Mexico, if they’re even still alive, and you haven’t spoken to them in twenty years. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a charitable person who lets you sleep on the floor of their shelter and maybe helps you find some kind of work, but they’re not always around. And they’re not really good at finding people work– after all, a lack of jobs is one of the reasons people flee Mexico in the first place.

Oh, and of course, you’re in a town in Mexico right on the border where immigrants are dumped back through the fence with nothing, which means the gangs are here with bells on. Gangs who make lots of money by kidnapping and trafficking people who won’t be missed, like immigrants. These gangs would gladly take your wife and daughter off your hands and force them into prostitution– remember, the average life expectancy for a sex slave is seven years, two years for a child sex slave. They’d love to take your son and make him a drug mule. And if you say no, they’re not going to go look for somebody else. They have guns. They have vehicles, money, friends, people they know in town, and you don’t have any of those things. You have nowhere to hide.

Would you bring your family along to Mexico with you, if you were deported?

Honestly now. Tell me. Would you?

You’d think that someone who runs an NGO called “Center for Family and Human Rights” would know something about the agonies facing actual human families, such as the families of migrants. You’d think he’d have at least heard of some of the reasons why it might not be a good idea to take your family with you if you’re deported to Mexico. But then again, Ruse doesn’t even understand why poor people don’t always have time to roast a whole chicken, so I don’t even know why I’m remarking on his ignorance anymore.

And I reiterate what I said in my last blog post, in response to the same person. The Christian thing to do, when someone is suffering, is to empathize and to help them. Not to ask why they didn’t do something different.  Not to presume they don’t love their families enough. A Christian should try to understand a person’s suffering– to realize that, in different circumstances, they might be suffering the exact same agony and deal with it the same way. And when we’ve tried to understand, it’s our duty to help carry their cross however we can.

(image via Pixabay) 






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