Imagine during the pandemic there is a total collapse in our economy and criminal gangs start roaming the streets, breaking into homes, robbing and killing people. Imagine that your wife or your husband gets killed, and that you are left to take care of your 13-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter by yourself. And that after your spouse’s death, your son is told that unless he joins one of the gangs he will be killed, and that the gang leader wants his help in selling his sister for sex.

Afraid for your children’s safety, you decide then and there to leave America and drive up to Canada for refuge. You heard that Canadians have a long history of being compassionate people, and so you take a chance. At the border, Canadian officials tell you that Americans are not welcome in Canada. You're told that their newly elected prime minister says that Americans are uneducated people who have disease, and would be a burden on Canada’s healthcare system if they were allowed to immigrate.

Undeterred, you and your family cross over the border into Canada and you ask for asylum. You are immediately arrested, and your son and daughter are taken from you and put in cages. After being fingerprinted and photographed, you're put on a bus and deported back to America. You're told that your children will stay in Canada.

After your deportation, you try to find your children, but are told that there is no record of your kids ever being in Canadian custody, and no one knows who they are or where they might be.

In despair, you lower your head and cry and pray.

For thousands of Central American migrants that are desperately trying to escape the terror, crime and violence in their home countries, this story is real. The only fiction is the countries named.

Canada would never be callous toward Americans, as America has been toward Central American migrants over the last four years. We can and we must do better.

Let’s make America good again.

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp besides the golden door!”

FREDERICK LEHR

Grays River

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