News footage lately has been infuriating and saddening; men and women are seen holding signs and yelling at children in busses to “go home” – when going home could lead to their torture, rape, and murder. I’ve been so close to losing my faith in humanity, but thankfully I live in Los Angeles.
While the country is divided about what to do with the 52,000 immigrant children who are at the center of a national debate, the message from the mayor of Los Angeles is clear – they are kids and we should help them.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said yesterday that the city is in talks with federal agencies about housing some of the children who crossed the border alone since October. According to the LA Times he told a crowd at an event Tuesday, “As a father, who are we as Americans if we don’t step forward first and say, these kids who are isolated, alone … let’s get them someplace safe and secure.”
As a mother, I think it is our duty as human beings to help these children. I keep thinking about my 8 and 10-year-old sons and the circumstances that would lead me to pay a stranger to take them on a dangerous journey and leave them alone in another country. No matter what your political beliefs, they’re children and what kind of people are we if we don’t open our hearts to children?
Garcetti isn’t the only one showing compassion. A group of Latina Bloggers including our Southern California friends Liz Cerezo of Family is Familia and Eva Smith of FoodTechLife joined together with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Catholic Charities and many other organizations to create Border Kids Relief Project. There’s no political agenda; it’s just people working together to get information out about how to help children in need.
The site lists what donations are needed and where to make them, where to volunteer, and how to partner with the group.
It’s easy to look the other way, to change the channel or click on yet another Facebook survey. But we can’t look away from this. We can’t send these children back. When buses full of immigrant kids do come to Los Angeles, I hope there are no mobs of angry people yelling at children. I hope that here in Los Angeles, we’ll follow the lead of our mayor and instead of hate we’ll show kindness.
Want to learn more about the humanitarian crisis?
- Read this New York Times article about the horrors the children face in their home countries.
- Here is a fact-based Q & A from the New York Times about what is happening.
- For historical context, read this moving Dallas Morning News Opinion piece “Refusing Sanctuary to Children in Need.”
- Or watch this segment on the Rachel Maddow Show called “The Human Crisis Overlooked by Border Protesters.”