Here’s a question to ponder.
If you were stopped right now and asked to prove your citizenship, could you? (I couldn't. And I shouldn't have to. And neither should people who don't look like me.)
The question comes from a Howard County parent who has an adopted child from another country. A child who does not look like her parents. A child who, by virtue of physical appearance alone, might stand out to ICE as “not American.”
More and more we are reading stories of ICE taking minor children into custody purely because they don’t “look right”. In some cases they are disregarding the fact that the children are, in fact, American citizens. What that looks like in Howard County is anxious parents afraid to send their children to school or into public spaces without “papers”. Fearful that papers won’t be enough.
ICE has been permitted to extend its reach far from border areas. And they have shown that they will spring into action if they think a person looks “suspicious”. In what way? Suspicious by being in America while brown.
This is horrific. There is no excuse for this. You should not have to live in fear that you could be pulled off the street for your physical appearance alone. Essentially, this puts an entire section of humanity under scrutiny as “brown and undesirable.” Parents should not have to worry about allowing their children to leave the house for school or play.
This is a very tangible sign of our democracy being stolen from us. I remember when some in Howard County thought that the CB-9 (Sanctuary) legislation was laughable. They thought that fears of governmental overreach were made up, concocted by politicians for some sort of dramatic effect. They were wrong.
The signs were apparent to those who were paying attention. Those secure in the invisibility of their own whiteness saw nothing but their own reflections.
And now we are well on our way to living in a land where little children may worry about being whisked away on the street. Where, if you are not granted the invisibility of whiteness, you worry if having your papers will be enough.