We’re at the point in the United States where children need to carry proof of citizenship papers, and even then, their proof will be disbelieved
Julia Isabel Amparo Medina, a 9 year old U.S. citizen was just detained by CPB for 32 hours, because they didn’t believe she was a U.S. citizen. She was carrying her passport card. She was carrying her papers, and they were the right papers. She was arrested anyway. She’s terrified.
For every one of these stories that makes the news, there’s a high probability that there are other, similar stories that don’t.
If 32 hours is the threshold for what makes this story newsworthy, what if a child is held for “only” 8 hours? Is the newsworthy thing still the detention of children? Probably not, given how many children are in ICE detention as I type this. Is the newsworthy thing the detention of American children? Maybe, and THAT fact is troubling. Because it means we’ve come to accept the idea of jailing immigrant children. How long will it take for us to accept the Trumpian idea that some U.S. citizens, like Julia Medina, aren’t ‘legitimate’ U.S. citizens? A shocking number of Republicans already believe these ideas, and represent them with editorials like, “Why we should end Birthright Citizenship.” How much have we gotten used to?
We got used to children getting killed in schools. It’s been six years since Sandy Hook elementary witnessed the mass murder of grade school age children, and our gun laws didn’t change.
We’re apparently used to the idea of immigrant children being put into prisons, because this simple fact is no longer newsworthy enough to make a headline, anywhere in the U.S..
How long will it take for us to get used to the idea of more these ‘kerfuffles’ where citizens are stripped of their rights, and jailed? How long before we decide, yes, okay, it’s fine that Birthright Citizenship ends?
How much longer are we going to let this continue?
And, great, the ACLU can sue. And given what’s happening to the courts, maybe they win, maybe they don’t. In the meantime, who disappears? And how do we know?
If a whole family disappears, and there’s no one who knows their story, who tells the reporters? If the CPB has Facebook groups where they joke about what they’re doing, and normalize this for each other, who becomes a whistleblower, and if they blow the whistle, who will believe them? And what does it matter, if we just get used to more and more of these kinds of things? If we believe the story, but don’t take action to stop the injustice that the story tells us, what was the point of knowing?
I refuse to think of any this as normal, or acceptable. And I’m going to find my way to fight this.
I hope you do, too. And maybe together, we can stop this sickness of the American soul.