The election is over and now it is time to begin the hard conversations of what is real and what is rhetoric in President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda. What is right and what is wrong? What values are we going to embrace as individuals, as a nation, and what values are we not?
Show Us the Immigration Card in Your Winning Hand
Trump won. Trump voters please show us your hand. What is it that you, as a Trump voter, believe in? What policies of Donald Trump are you going to support in our country and what are you not?
Let’s talk immigration. We have 11 million or so illegal, undocumented people living in our country. What is going to be the method for a pathway to citizenship for them? Let’s focus on these people and their families.
Donald Trump’s Immigration Policy
I looked at Donald Trump’s Immigration policy on his website: DonaldJTrump.com
Point number 5 states:
5. Immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties. All immigration laws will be enforced – we will triple the number of ICE agents. Anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws and to have a country.
So, “anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation”. I understand that, and in part I agree with it. I want to know what it looks like for families already established and living here. What are you, as a Trump supporter, willing to allow it to look like?
We’re rounding ‘em up
According to Donald Trump’s own words during his campaign, it looks like rounding up people in droves and deporting them is his answer. What Trump said during his Sept 2015, 60 Minutes interview about illegal immigrants in the US can be found here at CBSNews.com
Here are some quotes from his interview.
Donald Trump: “If they’ve [illegal immigrants] done well they’re going out and they’re coming back in legally”.
Donald Trump: “We’re rounding ‘em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they’re going to be happy because they want to be legalized. And, by the way, I know it doesn’t sound nice. But not everything is nice”.
Personally I believe Trump’s language is poor. When talking about millions of people and “rounding ‘em up”, it has a chilling ring to a 1940’s Germany. “It doesn’t sound nice. But not everything is nice” doesn’t make me feel any better about his plan.
What about the kids?
So what about undocumented parents who have been living here for years and years? What about the children of these illegal immigrants who were born here, are US citizens, have grown up here, attend schools here, and have never been to Mexico or the foreign country of their parents in their lives? What is the right thing to be done for these kids?
Immigrants, both legal and illegal, represent 19 percent of the school-age population (five to seventeen years old) in this country.http://openborders.info/public-schools-for-immigrant-children/
These children are your neighbors, your kid’s classmates. They play and hang out together. Many were born here and are US citizens. For the Latino kids, some don’t even know how to speak Spanish. These children have been raised American. They don’t know how to live their lives in Mexico any more than you or I would.
So when you see the “rounding ‘em up” of these children’s parents by Trump’s ICE agents, what are you going to do? Are you going to stand by and watch families be torn apart? Are you going to watch these kids, raised just as American as your own, be forced to follow their undocumented parents to not only a foreign country, but one totally foreign to them?
Real world solutions are needed
This is potentially a real world scenario. These kids and their parents, these families, are not just numbers. They don’t exist as only data points in a report. They are real people, living lives as best they can in this country in homes next to you and me. You know them, your kids know them, and they deserve to know where we stand with them on immigration.
I have a friend who said Donald Trump “will work to find a path to citizenship for current illegal immigrants”. Removing 11 million people from our country first is not the pathway I will support. Is it what you are supporting? Is it one of the reasons you voted for Trump?
I support legal entry into the US. I do not support tearing families apart and sending children raised in this country to a foreign one. It is cruel, and as America we can do better. The pathway to citizenship for the illegal and undocumented people living here now, needs to be made without deporting them and their children first.
I have friends who are school teachers. The day after the election many of their students, these children, showed up for school scared, many with swollen eyes from crying. They are terrified that their parents will be rounded up and sent to Mexico with or without them. They asked, “Why? Why would people vote for a man that says he will deport us?”
If you voted for Trump, please imagine this is your child, and then answer their question. And if you profess to believe in unity, if you claim that family is important, are you going to allow mass deportation happen to the families of these children?
If you’re not, will you stand with me and support a pathway to citizenship that respects the family and is a process that will not traumatize millions of children in our country?
Todd is a Men’s Life Coach, an entrepreneur, a licensed healthcare professional, a husband, a father, and a world traveler. His mission is to co-create a strong and compassionate world by facilitating transformation through understanding, trust, and empowerment. He received his coaching education from Newfield, a certified coach training school, and is a member of the International Coach Federation. Learn more at Empowered Men Coaching.
This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post
Photo credit: Getty Images