With the current news, there is a lot of talk about the Ukraine and Russia war. A lot of destruction and devastation has occurred in the last few weeks. Families have been separated especially with the new law in which men of 18 years and older have to stay in the country to join the army. People in Ukraine are fleeing to nearby countries to find refugees away from the destruction of the land.
This is new to the people of Ukraine and Europe considering there have not been a lot of wars they had to flee from or one in which their country was invaded. By all means, they need these surrounding countries to help them and provide supplies. There is something so devastating when it comes to providing help to refugees. While we should not criticize them for this as they are under attack. But there is a double standard when it comes to the Latino Community.
Many Latinos in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and many other countries are fleeing their countries because of violence from gangs, economic and political instabilities. While they are fleeing to America to receive help and asylum, they are rejected or sent to Detention Centers, especially children. Though children seeking refugee from Ukraine are being praised for traveling alone while Latino children are treated in rough conditions by being sent to Detention Centers. No way to contact their families or even receive help while being in an unknown country.
There was even a time in which they put 2-year-old migrant children on a stand in court to defend their case. The child, Fernanda Jacqueline Davila, was sent to court alone with just her caseworker as she was separated from her grandmother. She could barely sit on the chair, much less feel comfortable around strangers. She cried until she saw her caseworker alone. Judges soon began to have a common occurrence of seeing young children in their courts. This became the new norm where it should have never happened.
Yet a child in Ukraine fleeing from war is praised for crossing alone.
There was a post on Instagram by @dreamersroadmap in which an 11-year-old Ukrainian boy travels more than 700 miles all alone to the Slovakian Border. He is being praised for traveling alone as his parents had to stay behind. He only traveled with a plastic bag, passport, and a phone number written on his hand. People on Twitter brought a spark to this conversation as many have realized the double standard between the difference of this child to a Central American Boy.
A Latino boy on the other hand was locked up in a Detention Center for traveling 700 miles alone to the United States. Instead of receiving the same praise and support, he is being treated indifferently when they too are being persecuted in their own country.
While children in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, and other countries are not being faced with a war. They are still suffering from the violence which they have to leave as well. Many families can not afford to leave together so while they might not like it, they have to send their children alone to have a better future but they come to the United States, a country with hope only to be faced with discrimination and a lack of support.
Of course, the Ukrainian boy should not face hate or be disregarded because he is also a kid who is innocent to society. As many have praised him, people should have the same attitude towards the children from Latin American countries crossing the border alone.
DREAMer’s Roadmap puts it in a simple term, “All unaccompanied minors should be treated this way.”
While this should not be happening in the world, it can not be helped but the one thing we can do is support all children and give them the hope and love they need for doing something so dangerous and scary.
Hananel Director, S., Hananel, S., Director, Montecinos Director, C., Montecinos, C.,
Gordon Director, P., Gordon, P., Director, J. P. D., Parshall, J., Director, D., Shepherd Director, M., Shepherd, M., Manager, L. O. S., Oduyeru, L., Manager, S., President, L. R. V., Rodriguez, L., President, V., Gruberg, S., … Ndumele, N. L. (2017, March 13). They are (still) refugees: People continue to flee violence in Latin American countries. Center for American Progress. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.americanprogress.org/article/still-refugees-people-continue-flee-violence-latin-american-countries/
Yee, V., & Jordan, M. (2018, October 8). Migrant children in search of justice: A
2-year-old’s Day in immigration court. The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/us/migrant-children-family-separation-court.html