Families Belong Together

I wanted to take a second this morning to thank all the folks who stood and stand with the Families Belong Together groups and to say something we rarely get to say in this time.

You accomplished something—what you have done matters.

No, the work is by no means over—there are still over 500 children separated from their families despite the heroic efforts of the ACLU, numerous pro-bono attorneys, and many dedicated non-profits. We must never give up and we must be in no ways tired. But because even moderate success is rare it’s worth a moment of reflection.

You saw your government, in your name, activate a policy that was specifically designed to take children from parents. The agencies and directors involved in implementation did so without tracking the parents and children as a unit—without even a passing thought of reunification. Worse still, a Syracuse University study shows that the enforcement agencies targeted adults with children for prosecution over adults alone.

You understood that this “Zero Tolerance” enforcement policy was heartlessly cruel beyond words. Because you could not stand for it you were compelled to stand against it and you made your voices heard and it mattered. Whether you were in Tornillo or McAllen or Paris, Texas or Paris, France you made your voices heard. It mattered—and the policy that couldn’t be changed—changed.

Yes, it’s still not over and it’s still bad. But without you, it could have been so much worse.

Instead of 500/600 kids, we could be talking about 5,000/6,000 or 10,000 or more. It’s clear those in charge did not and do not care about those families.

You made them care about you.

You mattered.

Please don’t forget that you can.

Thank you and God Bless you.

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