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Statement on the Separation of Children from Parents at US Borders

The Mt Shasta Goddess Temple is an interfaith organization that promotes women's spirituality and devotion to the Goddess. Our recognition of the Goddess nature present in all beings transcends borders and nationalities.

We are especially cognizant of the sacred relationship between mothers and children as the primary foundation, or ground of being, for human life. This sacred relationship is a vulnerable one, with both mothers and children worldwide frequently subjects of male violence, commercial trafficking, lack of rights in the eyes of the law, and a high risk of poverty. Parents, especially mothers, and children deserve to have a global network of safety and support due to the universality of the experience of human birth and the fragility of human life, rather than experiencing an all-too-common level of trauma and cruelty.

The government of the United States of America is currently enforcing a piece of legislation that separates children from their parents when they attempt to cross the border into this country to seek asylum or a better life. Although issues related border regulation can be delicate, there is absolutely no justifiable reason to separate children from their parents during attempted border crossings, especially when they are seeking asylum and especially when children are under the age of 12.

The children, housed apart from their parents and in many cases separated from their siblings in uncomfortable, overcrowded, and unsanitary conditions, will suffer trauma and anguish for years to come as a result of this experience which they cannot possibly comprehend and which is not their fault. Lawmakers, social justice advocates, and media representatives who have visited the child detention facilities report an unacceptable, prison-like environment for children who have committed no crime.

Child welfare professionals worldwide, from pediatricians to teachers to human rights advocates, have spoken out against this cruel and unnecessary practice. Solutions could be found to keep families together while still abiding by reasonable immigration laws and procedures, but this is not happening.

The parents, detained as criminals, are reported as being overcome with fear and grief. Under this level of stress they will have a greater risk of trauma than is acceptable, especially those seeking asylum from already-dangerous conditions or state-sanctioned abuses. This results in the parents having less focus, acuity, and capacity to deal with the elaborate requirements of the immigration process. In some cases, parents are being immediately deported but their children remain in custody here. This disorganized, unhealthy situation is the result of an abuse of the power of the United States government.

The Mt Shasta Goddess Temple, in solidarity with faith organizations across America representing a diverse variety of beliefs, denounces the practice of separating children from their parents during attempted border crossings, and calls upon lawmakers to end this practice, to dismantle legislation that results in this level of dehumanization, to reunite all children with their parents immediately, and to seek and create better solutions that honor the sacred bond between parents and children, especially mothers and young children, during border negotiations.

We encourage Temple members and supporters to call the number for the congressional switchboard (202) 224-3121 and register your complaint against this inhumane policy, and further, we will have form letters that you will be welcome to customize and sign at our Women in White for Peace event on June 30, which we will then send in on your behalf.

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.
-William Makepeace Thackeray