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  • 1.  ICE Raids

    Posted 08-14-2019 10:31 AM
    Most people would not think of Mississippi as a place where illegal immigrants are endangering the lives of citizens in small rural towns. Apparently, the Federal government does. Regardless of your politics around immigration reform, the real world consequences of raiding the work places of food processing plants last week and arresting workers as criminals has long lasting ramifications, not just for the families and towns, but for the country. The raids occurred on the first day of school, without advance warning to schools or child protective services. Parents were bused to undisclosed places with very little time to make calls to friends and relatives. About half of the 680 arrested are back at home under house arrest and without jobs. There is still no conclusive report on the whereabouts of all the children whose parents were involved.The plant owners involved in the raids have yet to be charged. What response do we make that will be heard?

    Cathy Grace
    Tupelo MS

  • 2.  RE: ICE Raids

    Posted 08-15-2019 07:21 AM
    Thank you Cathy Grace for this update. It is so important that we act in support of the children. My heart breaks to see how these children are left essentially on their own with little or no explanation. I understand that in addition to this the plant was fraught with unhealthy conditions. In these sweeps workers are not paid and the companies get slaps on the wrist. They rarely get fined. They are never incarcerated as the workers are. Their children aren't left with parents.
    The Peace Educators Interest Forum has carried many alerts for educators to advocate and support children. I hope we all will let our legislators know this behavior by our government is unacceptable and should be challenged. We have to stand with these children and families.

    Craig Simpson
    Dorchester MA

  • 3.  RE: ICE Raids

    Posted 08-15-2019 09:01 AM
    Thank you, Cathy, for bringing up this difficult topic.  I feel that we are at another low point in our history as far as how we treat vulnerable people in our communities, especially people of color. After all, we were just told by government officials that only European refugees and immigrants are included in our own Statue of Liberty's welcome.  I hope that if anyone knows of a united front that specifically includes ECE folks they post it here. We know as well as anyone and more than many the repercussions of these traumatic separations on children.  As disheartened as I am I do take heart at the many protests that are occurring across the country.
    Can the Peace Educators Forum also post to the main community?

    Aren Stone
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA

  • 4.  RE: ICE Raids

    Posted 08-15-2019 09:25 AM
    NAEYC's America for Early Ed. offers suggestions for helpful action. That article, in turn, links to the helpful resource "How You Can Help Immigrant Children on the Border Right Now".  These resources don't address the Mississippi raids problem directly, but they go to the root of the Government's misguided and inhumane policies and practices that harm children because of ICE actions.

    John Surr
    Peace Educators Interest Forum
    Charlottesvle VA

  • 5.  RE: ICE Raids

    Posted 08-15-2019 07:44 PM
    This is such terrible news. It is happening here in California too. Many of our children's programs have put together packets for families (in Spanish and English) telling them their rights and asking them to give the program a letter stating who in the community they want to care for their child in case they are unable to do so. We are handing these out to ALL of our families so everyone understands what immigrant (or suspected immigrant) families are going through. The flyer also includes phone numbers of groups that are available to help in various ways. I deeply believe that one of our professional responsibilities is to be a voice for young children and their families. Every ECE professional must call their representatives and media and talk about how damaging these policies and actions are to children. Regardless of anyone's specific views on immigration - this is not the way to treat children.

    [Julie] [Olsen Edwards]
    Soquel CA