The Shock-and-Awe Migrant Arrest Story

Of all the terrible news coming from the Trump administration, the one that affects me most deeply is the plan — still under consideration — to have armed ICE agents swoop into high profile U.S. cities and arrest migrant families in the most public and menacing and visible way possible. “A deterrent”, says the Trump administration. In their minds, creating terrified children is a legitimate deterrent.

Seattle would certainly be a target. I have Salvadoran friends who could be at risk in such a sweep, and the possibility breaks my heart. They have young children, who are U.S. citizens. No matter. That will not protect this family.

My mind goes back to what people must have felt like during the World War II policy of interning Japanese-American citizens — both those families ripped from the safety of their lives and those who had to look on, helpless to intervene. Although the episode was later judged to be one of the most shameful in U.S. history, and the government eventually paid reparations, the damage was done.

A few voices on both sides of the political aisle are bemoaning the polarization in our country, and calling for active ways to bring “we the people” back together. Our treatment of vulnerable migrant families is one of those dividing lines. I have nothing at all in common with those goading Trump to go forward with this cruel plan, and couldn’t even sit in the same room with them for a discussion of who’s right.

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