Yesterday ICE raided food processing plants in Mississippi and detained 680 undocumented immigrants.
It’s the largest workplace sting in more than a decade, and according to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence, it’s probably the largest ever for a single state.
In small towns near Jackson Mississippi, the workforce is made up largely of Latino immigrants, making it the perfect place for an ICE raid to occur.
There is so much to unpack here, and so much to talk about, but what I want to talk, what I need to talk about is the kids left behind,
I taught pre-k in a largely immigrant rural community in small town Texas. My class was made up of 95% migrant worker’s children, and these were some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.
But my job was never about those parents. My job was never to question if the kids should or shouldn’t be in America. To know if their parents were tax paying citizens.
It was my job to teach the kids. My job to foster a love of learning, to teach them how the school system worked, to help them make friends with one another and to show them kindness and love.
When they lined up, they called theirselves my pequeño patos. That means little ducks. All in a row, loving school. They were the very first class I ever taught and I will never forget them.
It was the first week of school in those tiny Mississippi towns. Some of the kids were starting school for the first time. Some of them had been in school for years. It doesn’t matter.
Yesterday, parents didn’t show up after school to pick up children just like the kids I taught. Nobody came for them.
Yesterday, children just like those I taught got off buses walked up to their homes, and when they went to open the door nobody answered.
Yesterday children got up, started their day with parents and a family, and ended it asleep on a gymnasium floor surrounded by strangers.
How is this happening? Is this humane? How can we do this to our kids? And how are we not doing anything to stop it?
I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know what any of us can do. Do we protest? How does that give those children their parents back?
How does that prevent them from sleeping on a gym floor, not knowing where their next meal will come from?
At this point, after two mass shootings fueled by racism and hatred, I don’t any answers. I don’t have a solution, and I don’t even know how to be a part of one.
What do we do, now?