Division has become the norm in the US. Belonging to different political parties is nothing new, but it isn’t only adults who are frightened about their futures.
Most recently, people have able to see the perspective of a 13-year-old heartbroken girl who captured footage of her undocumented Mexican father being taken away by ICE.
But even those who haven’t experienced this trauma have been impacted, including elementary school children in Austin, Texas.
President Donald Trump’s latest immigration policies have caused an increase in ICE raids to deport undocumented immigrants with or without criminal records. This has caused confusion amongst young Texans.
Fear, sadness, and anger were the main emotions drawn by students, whose teachers asked them to express their feelings.
“I am angry and sad because I thinck [sic] I am going to Mexico,” wrote one student. “I don’t speak Spanish. I know English. I am frum Austin.”
The exercise came about after the children asked their teachers for an explanation of recent events, but were given no answer because political stances in the classroom aren’t allowed.
“I’m scared they’ll take my mother or father. I hate you dunel trump [sic],” wrote another student in Spanish.
Trump’s controversial immigration tactics no longer just concern adults, but American children who don’t understand the purpose of discrimination.
“He dunt have to mak fun of peoples skin because we are still people [sic],” wrote a child who called for Trump to give everyone equal respect.
There are 5.7 million US children who live in a home with at least one undocumented parent or close family member, according to the Center for Migration Studies of New York.
For others, words weren’t enough to show their feelings. One student simply drew a sad, crying face.
Children who are suddenly separated from their parents experience severe psychological symptoms. “It’s difficult to think of a crueler fate for a child than to see their parent deported. It’s like their world turns upside down on them,” Donald Kerwin, the executive director of the Center for Migration Studies of New York, told The Huffington Post.
“Studies show they mourn, have trouble sleeping, their eating patterns change. Some cannot concentrate in school, they’re fearful and some withdraw, while others act out in anger. Beyond losing a parent, they’re often dealing with the sorrow and distress of another adult, typically a second parent.”
Texan teachers will continue creating a safe environment for the anxious students but it’s clear that Trump has already negatively impacted them.
For a closer look at the
notes and drawings, visit The Huffington Post.