To the Editor:
Jakelin Caal Maquin, age 7, died on Dec. 8 while being detained by our Border Patrol. We failed her, her family and friends, and the thousands of others fleeing violence, severe poverty and corruption in their home countries.
Why are thousands and thousands of people, many with small children, walking for weeks, sometimes months, to seek asylum in the United States? Do we really believe parents who set off on this perilous journey are bad parents? Can we understand that parents take these risks because they have no future in their home countries?
At Christmas, believers focus on one child. For some, this baby symbolizes the children of the world. Some say the Christmas Child’s parents were refugees, fleeing certain violence.
His mother was very pregnant. Certainly this was a risky time to set off on a difficult journey. Arriving at their destination, they sought shelter. Christians know the story: the family was turned away because there was no room at the inn.
Jakelin Caal Maquin is my Christmas child. Our government policies killed her. Why didn’t we treat her, and all the other suffering children, the way we want our child treated? Maybe the Christmas story will help us examine our hearts for an answer. Maybe we will be motivated to fight for a welcoming nation.
Susan Covino Buell