Elisa Batista

    My Kids Participated in “A Wish for the Holidays” – Here’s How Yours Can, Too

    Posted November 12th, 2013 by

    Like every other parent out there, the winter holidays are crazy for my husband and me. Holiday shopping, the squirreling away of gifts, meals and decorations occur on top of full-time jobs and a household that includes two children.

    But the holidays are also a time of sit-down meals and moments of family togetherness, a time that we can savor what we have and think of those who are less fortunate. As an associate campaign director on MomsRising’s immigration team, I often think about the 5.5 million children in the United States who run the risk of being separated from one or both parents. Their parents are like you and me, working day in and day out to keep our kids healthy and safe. But because they weren’t born in this country and did not have a reasonable path to citizenship when they first came here, they are undocumented. And as such, they could be taken away from their children. And many are.

    This past weekend, I showed my 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter a video by the We Belong Together women’s coalition explaining all of this.

    “Is this true?” my son asked me, his eyes wide with fear.

    “Yes, it is.”

    “What can we do to stop it?” he asked me.

    “You can do what the video said. You can write to Congress and ask them to stop separating families like this.”

    And so they did. My two children pulled out their art supplies and drew cards for Congress. They signed them with their first names and ages.

    My kids are bilingual as they attend a Spanish immersion school. I got a chuckle seeing my daughter use the inverted exclamation point for ¡Home!

    I mailed the kids’ letters to the address listed on the We Belong Together website. But letters can be scanned as well. Here are the guidelines. We Belong Together is collecting letters until December 2nd and plans to deliver them to Congress on December 11th.

    I know that this experience will leave a lasting impression on my children. While they rip through presents surrounded by family that they securely know aren’t going anywhere, they know this isn’t the case for all children in the United States. Their eyes and their hearts have been opened.

    I hope you will join me and encourage your children to write letters of their own. Please pass this along to anyone else who may be interested. ¡Thank you!

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    Posted Under: Immigration

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