I May Be Moving to Germany

I wrote my best letter to the editor EVER last week to the Gorgonian.? Turns out they wanted to publish it as the lead in a group, along with a picture AND I NEVER GOT THE MESSAGE.? Their email was languishing in my junk drawer with about a hundred porn solicitaions.

So here’s the letter I wrote, concerning the fate of foster child Gabriel Allred.? He was ordered to be removed from his foster family and sent to live with his biological grandmother in Mexico.

I May Be Moving to Germany

One of the things seemingly forgotten in the hoopla surrounding the attempted deportation (let’s call it what it is) of Gabriel Allred to Mexico by DHS is that the child is a U.S. citizen.? The biggest problem in the whole mess, and the one nobody wants to talk about, is that the policy which Children’s Services uses to make these decisions is–and always has been–fundamentally flawed.? The policy–like that of many other equivalent agencies in other states–is to “preserve the biological family.”? That’s like their Prime Directive.

Somehow, the assumption that that is somehow automatically in the child’s best interest goes unspoken and unchallenged; and, until it is challenged successfully, we will have an unending number of cases where children are ripped from the only homes they have ever known, or reunited with parents under whose “care” they are likely to die or be killed.? As they are bureaucrats and not starship captains, they will never break the rules because it was the right thing to do.? Following the policy is always the right thing to do, or it wouldn’t be the policy. Duh!

The equivalent metaphor, here, is if Oregon decided it was policy to send random people with last names starting in B back to countries where they have ancestors.? Suddenly, I find myself in Germany, where I know no one, do not speak the language, know nothing of the culture, but someone has been found there who shares my name.

It sounds so absurd on its face, that we want to deny that this is what is happening to Gabriel; but the whimsical cruelty and pure arbitrariness are exactly the same.? It is like so many other social policies:? the ones with no power have no say. Let the wheels of bureaucracy crush all in their path.

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