Deportation: A Very Personal Conversation

The sequel to CBS’s popular series The Good Wife is called The Good Fight, and I have become a fan. The next-to-last episode, which began streaming last Sunday, is the chilling case of a young black investigator caught up in deportation proceedings by ICE. The story is frightening, and all too real and believable.

I have a deportation conversation happening much closer to home. The woman who cleans my house is Salvadoran. She and her husband are here legally; they have papers allowing them to be here and to work. Their young daughters are American citizens. But protections for Salvadorans fleeing violence in their country have been ended by the Trump administration. In 2019, she and her family expect to have to return to their village in El Salvador.

An elderly neighbor of her mother’s, who lives in the village, was thought by gang members to have seen something she shouldn’t. They came for her at midnight, and her body was found the next morning in a ditch, two bullets in her head.

Trump supporters would say that violence in El Salvador isn’t our problem, and perhaps it isn’t. But we are a large and rich country. We admitted this family in recognition of the threat to their lives, which apparently has not abated. They work. They pay taxes. They contribute to our culture. Their daughters are Americans, like us.

And she sits at my kitchen counter, eating lunch, talking about her fears and their  reluctant preparations.

I am ashamed of my country.

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