One winter afternoon, as we stood at the corner waiting to cross the street, my friend turned to me and said he wished he’d get run over by a car. It would make everything he worried about go away.
It was 2017, less than a month into the new Trump administration, yet it had already signed executive orders to increase border security, empower ruthless Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, and ban millions of people in Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the United States.
Immigrant families, and especially undocumented immigrants like my friend, were suddenly living with more fear and uncertainty than ever.
Things have hardly gotten any better since then. More than 5,400 children have been separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border since July 2017. And every day seems to bring out heartbreaking stories of people who’ve lived here for years or decades being torn from their families and communities.