U.S. immigration officials Wednesday conducted a series of worksite raids near Jackson, Miss., detaining 680 people and separating an unknown number of children from their parents. While news reports continue to update the what, where and when details of this man-made crisis, we’d like to focus on who was affected: families and communities.
Workers are deeply rooted members of their neighborhoods, schools and places of worship. Workers are members of families; they are parents. Worksite raids ripple through and devastate communities. They force families to face their worst nightmare. They leave children with no place to go. They are cruel, they are unnecessary and they are part of this administration’s unremitting assault on immigrant families.
ICE says that when they conduct these big, workplace raids, the employer is the target. But we know it is the whole community that feels the hurt. Children suffer from the trauma of parental separation; schools, child care providers, child welfare agencies, faith leaders and community organizations scramble to make sure a child doesn’t go home to an empty house. In the small towns where these raids tend to occur, the harm reverberates across neighbors and communities. That’s what is happening in Mississippi today, and it’s what many—too many—children fear could happen to their families and communities tomorrow.
We condemn these raids. We condemn the trauma this administration is inflicting on our children. Family separation is a crisis at our border and within our nation. It must stop.