Sacrificial lambs on the altar of your ambition

Dear President Trump,

I’m distracted and not sure I’ll be able to write you a proper letter today. Our daughter has been in England for three weeks with her crew team and they are set to come home tomorrow, but we heard from her a couple of hours ago that her passport is missing. She and the team have looked everywhere and it is just gone. She and her coach are scrambling to figure out how to get her on the plane with the team tomorrow afternoon. We’ve sent her pictures of her passport and birth certificate and she has her driver’s license with her so the plan is they will go to the US consulate in London first thing in the morning to have an emergency passport issued. We’ve offered all the problem solving we can from here, and now we’re just waiting to see what happens and if there’s anything else we can possibly do from our end to get her home.

Although stressful and patently unwelcome, clearly this situation pales in comparison with what the parents and children who were separated at the border and who have yet to be reunited are facing. Our daughter is not alone, she is 18 and capable of advocating for herself, she speaks the same language as the people whose country she is in, we have the means to facilitate whatever needs to happen to get her home, we are not being held in cages, we know where we all are, and we were not attempting to escape a violent, unstable situation. For us, this is a stressful situation, but it is not one that is life or death or that could significantly traumatize our daughter or interrupt critical parent-child bonding periods. The asylum-seeking parents and children, on the other hand, have none of these benefits or safeguards and your cruel, politically motivated family separations are inhumanely jeopardizing their futures and lives. You’ve also dragged the US into backwards, morally corrupt practices that should be called out by international bodies as the human rights violations they are. I hope the free world has the courage to sanction us and to publicly shame you for these atrocities.

May all the children and parents be safe and reunited.
May you realize that sacrificing their happiness on the altar of your ambition will ultimately backfire.
May you realize that sacrificing their health for your base’s approval will ultimately backfire.
May we hold ourselves accountable for addressing the short and long-term needs of these families.

Tracy Simpson

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