Standing with refugees, asylum seekers immigrants, and orphans because it is persecutory and tragic to separate families…
This Mother’s day as we stand with refugee and asylum seeking mothers and the orphans who do not have mothers, I reflect on the tragedy of my own family and how the Trump Administration is working policy to ensure families suffer similar tragedies:
This picture reflects five generations (1875-2018), all torn apart by inadequate immigration laws failing, moms, children, and families! This is one maternal line, starting with my great-grandmother Feiga, who with a tragic “Sophie’s choice” sent two of her youngest children, including my granny Rose, to a remote corner of the globe, South Africa, saving their lives during the Eastern European Pogroms.
Feiga eventually made it to Israel, losing children in the Holocaust too. Gran never saw her mom again. She was raised in the Johannesburg Jewish orphanage. I was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to the United States during the Apartheid era, only to face my own “Sophies choice”- during the time binational same-sex couples were deprived of immigration rights because of the Defense of Marriage Act.
My mom Prof Carmen Nathan is buried in the Tswana Royal Family Cemetery, a great honor bestowed by Royal Chief Mangope. Hannah, my daughter, was orphaned in Vietnam and Rafael’s grandparents (via her other mom) were Holocaust survivors. It’s all a long difficult story. America closed its doors on us back in those days. And then when I got in it was a miracle. We have had to go to great lengths, and the law was never kind to us. Costly and debilitating in every way.
And so I am standing with refugees, asylum seekers immigrants, and orphans because it is persecutory and tragic to separate families – and it is terrorism to threaten to tear families apart. The Nazis did that! Putin did that! Unfortunately, the new Trump policies take an already broken system, one that needs reform, and exploits that broken system to persecute and terrorize, instead of finding a fix. Our neighbors’ kids are afraid to go to school. They may come home to no parents.
What are we going to do? Continue to be silent? Resistance through marching is not enough. While we fight in the courts, children are losing their parents. I do not have the answers except to know it lies in major reform and priority changes and that will only come from a proactive and angry American citizenry that refuses to allow this to go on. What are we going to do?
In Reflective Solidarity, Happy Mother’s Day!
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