Could You Walk One Thousand Miles?

“Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.”

— Khaled Hosseini

Do you have a job?
Do you have food in the refrigerator to cook your meals?
Do you have a bed to sleep in?
Do your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren go to school?
Do you have a safe place to hang out in your home?

You are lucky!

Imagine if armed men arrived at your front door, stormed in without permission, drug you outside and shot you in front of your children
Imagine if these men reentered the house and raped your wife and terrorized your children
Imagine if your wife decided to walk one thousand miles to the US border to seek safety for her children
Imagine if the border guard took her children away from her and sent them to separate detention centers
Imagine your children ages five months to fifteen years old alone in cage-like settings with no adult supervision
Imagine children the age of six taking care of children who are between the ages of one to twelve
Imagine your children dying of an illness that was not taken care of while they were in detention camps

Maybe you can’t imagine these scenes. Maybe you block it out of your mind.

You are lucky!

Imagine the US president declares war on Iran
Imagine he requires all men over the age of eighteen to register for the draft
Imagine packing up your life and moving to Canada
Imagine the Canadian border patrol separating your children from you and putting them in detention camps
Imagine your children not being taken care of because you are trying to seek asylum

Maybe you can say this will never happen to you. I was a High School student during the Vietnam War. I knew young men that would go to Canada to escape the draft.

People look for safety, shelter, food, jobs, and educational possibilities for their children.
There are countries that don’t provide these necessities. People are being run out of their towns because of religious differences, lack of employment, regimes of terror, and lack of freedom.

Do you not think that richer countries have the responsibility and empathy to help them out?
Do you call yourself a Christian? What would Jesus do in this situation? He would welcome, feed, and take care of those in need.

Yes, there are bad apples in every group. The US has decided that all of the refugees are bad apples. They have been referred to as an “infestation, animals, rapists, terrorists and more”. A woman arriving at the border with a baby in her arms holding on to the hand of a three-year-old is not a threat to anyone. A man who is carrying a child on his back for one thousand miles and holding the hands of two other children is not a terrorist, rapist or drug dealer.

Children are living alone with other children. They are not being provided with toothbrushes, soap, or blankets. Toothbrushes are considered a luxury by some of those in our government. They don’t take showers or wash their clothes. This is not humane. The US government let this happen. When are they going to fix this problem?

Put these children back with their parents. Oh, I forgot, you didn’t keep track of their parents and now you don’t know where their parents are.

The US government should be ashamed of themselves. Oh sorry, not this government. They have no shame.

Are you angry at how the President is handling this situation?
Do you think these people are criminals and should be punished?
Do you think these people should be given the chance to start a new life in the US?
Do you have a solution to the problem?

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read this article. Now you can turn on the TV, read a book, or write a letter to your senator about how you feel.
Maybe you want to forget you ever read this article. Maybe you don’t want to answer the questions posed.

You are in a safe place. Turn off the lights, take a shower, and climb into your cozy bed. You don’t have to worry about the necessities, you have them.

It is our moral responsibility as citizens of the US to provide care for refugees, immigrants, and the poor who live among us.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

— Emma Lazarus

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