As I see the heart-wrenching images of children at the southern border with their Mylar blankets wrapped around them, staring out from the enclosures of steel fencing in which they are contained, my soul cracks with the immense human suffering that is taking place within this nation that I call home.

No amount of fireworks or flag-themed confections can deafen the cry of those little ones who are fighting against a system that has no regard for their human dignity and that uses the optics of their detention as a pointed warning to others to not undertake such a dangerous journey with such a difficult culmination.

Surely, these children are paying an incalculable price in heart and soul because of the treatment they are receiving, led here by loved ones who only wanted their highest good and in most cases have genuine claims to the legal process of asylum.

But our nation is also paying dearly for a spectacle that bespeaks cruelty and injustice.

How many fellow humans wishing for a little safety for themselves and their children, a universal desire, must perish in the Rio Grande or in the desert heat or in the detention centers before we will find lawmakers having enough pressure applied that comprehensive immigration reform with plenty of heart and humanity as well as sound legal and logistical planning takes shape?

Such a perilous journey is only taken on because the conditions one hopes to escape are much worse.

In my air-conditioned comfort, that is impossible to comprehend, but because such a level of fear and suffering is almost incomprehensible, that is the very reason that we as a nation must act to bring the philosophy of open arms back to the tarnished promise of the American dream in this land that is truly a nation of immigrants.

Pressure must be applied to those in power, but this is also an opportunity for us as moral individuals to bring more light than darkness, more illumination than ignorance, more compassion and love than judgment and fear to the spaces we inhabit.

The power of such a collective presence should not be underestimated, and it is a presence our national conscience and the soul of our democracy need now as much as ever.

Jenny Kuderer, Goodview

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