Monday, May 28, 2018

Lost children

My daughter was ripped from me in Barcelona by the border guards.
She was an adult. I can only imagine the terror of those
going into the US. This is the land crossing,
not the airport where it happened.

The US government has lost 1,500 children taken from illegal immigrants. Ages vary. One was as young as 53 weeks.

I can only imagine the horror of their mothers.

About five years ago my daughter over stayed the Schengen agreement in Switzerland. I did not realise the she was only allowed to be in Switzerland for 90 days then had to leave for 90 days. There were many reasons...
  • She had finished her masters and was hoping for a job
  • I fell and broke my face and she was there for the surgery
  • My partner and I were having a commitment ceremony and it seemed silly for her to cross the Atlantic a second time.
She was fined 500 CHF which we paid. What they didn't tell us was she was banned from all Schengen countries until Sept. 2016.

Thus when we met up in Dublin, flew to Barcelona to go to France for Christmas we were not prepared for her to be arrested and put in a cell which was to be her home for the next 48 hours.

The U.S. consulates and embassies are not known for being helpful to Americans in trouble despite claims, but I did find one sympathetic woman on skeleton duty for the holiday, who located her and told me where she was, or so she thought. Beyond that she could do nothing.

Only because one guard loved Collioure (next to Argèles) did I get to see her for five minutes. I was not allowed to give her anything from her suitcase. Fortunately she had her phone and laptop when arrested.

They booked her on a flight back to Dublin using my husband's credit card but failed to put her on the plane, so they did it again. They did find an English-speaking attorney for her. Being fluent in German and English does not go far when the languages are Spanish/Catalan.

Finally they flew her to London, again at my husband's expense (he would have done anything to end the nightmare). She was able to make it back to the US for Christmas.

I was able to explain to the Swiss government and they lifted the ban but not for several months.

My daughter is in her late 40s. Both of us are highly educated. We had broken the law by lack of knowledge and had the ability to solve the problem.

That does not negate the panic I felt not knowing where my adult child had been taken by a government.

I understand the terror or the mothers who come into the US, supposedly the land of justice, hope and freedom (yeah, right!) who have their young children ripped from them and not be able to have the knowledge or the skill to work around the system. And although my circumstances were better not fleeing to what I suspected was safety from a desperate situation, the fear was the same.

I do not understand how anyone can inflict this terror on another human being.

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