Thoughts on Immigration and Child Separation
MONDAY JULY 2ND, 2018 - This past Tuesday I, along with many other Colorado candidates for political office, advanced to the general election in November. It's an honor to be the Democratic nominee for State Senate District 15.
But these are troubling times, and we are more divided than ever. Every day we are bombarded with messages about racial tensions, class differences, and perhaps most pronounced in Larimer County, the divide between urban and rural folks. With social media compounding the bubbles we live in, the polarization of our politics has reached a fever pitch.
Yet as a candidate for a district whose population spans the political spectrum, it's important to get to the roots of what seem to be divisive issues and unify us in the name of common values. Specifically, when I see children being taken away from parents at our border, i want to know - where is this coming from?
Who benefits? Who supports it? How can we get back to a place of common humanity?
Here is what I understand:
First, for all our disagreements, the issue of child separation isn't partisan. Regardless of where they stand on immigration reform, many Republicans, including the current and former First Ladies, do not believe this policy of family separation makes us any safer.
Second, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is tasked with providing "short-term foster care" for these children, was overwhelmed before this exploded in the past few months. The ORR does not have the capacity to deal with the volume of children being removed by the US officials at the border, and as a result many are:
Third, who benefits: much like our privatized prison system, contracts have gone to companies that don't necessarily have background in social work, child development or education. In fact, they seem to be managed by large defense contractors. If children are going to be separated from their parents (they shouldn't be), at a minimum can't we make sure they are cared for properly?
I'm having a hard time seeing an end game here that brings anyone closer to immigration reform goals.
But the needs of the people of Senate District 15 are shared needs. To know that our country is fair and just, especially to children. To know that our judges are apolitical. To know where our next meal and paycheck come from. To have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare and housing. To have clean air and water to breathe and drink.
And you deserve political representatives who will listen to you, take your battles to the state legislature and fight for you.
I hope that amidst the controversy, in our different ways, you will take the time to learn about me. I'm Rebecca Cranston for Senate District 15 and I will fight for you just as I have fought for years for others. Including, yes, children.
Colorado and Larimer County deserve better, not more of the same.