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Opinion >  Letters

Imagine the nightmare

Imagine you and your family are on an outing to Canada. When you arrive, Canadian Customs is closed but you drive into town for dinner anyway.

Suddenly, you are arrested for illegal entry. Your children are taken here, your spouse there; you find yourself in a room full of people, some of whom have been there many days.

Eventually someone calls your name. “Spouse? Children? Names, Ages.” He tells you your children are safe (how?) and in a facility in Quebec (where?). “You will be deported in a few days (when?) and here is a form to find your children, goodbye.”

There is an 800 number. Panicking, you call. The operator answers in French. She despises the English language and is suspicious of all who speak it. She asks for the name and age of your child. But I have three, you stammer. “Oh” she says. “Let me put you on hold.”

Wake up. It was a nightmare, but it’s really happening. Not to you, but to the people whose children were taken away and shipped to “facilities” for the misdemeanor of illegal entry into the United States. It goes on today for some 500 children still in custody.

Terry Sawyer



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