Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Family Separation 

Family Separation 
An Executive Order or Another Source for Human Trafficking?
Hao Nguyen, MBA student

As an accountant having experiences in both for and not-for-profit organizations, I have spent my last ten years after college to focus on the bottom line of the companies where I work. Before attending the AGI-Rome trip, my understanding of refugees, migrants, and the humanitarian crisis was at a bare minimum. Thanks to meeting with the representatives from JRS, Centro Astalli, Caritas Roma, MSF, Invisible Guides, etc. they not only helped me understand the current refugee crisis in Italy but also shared their solutions, which inspired me a lot. In my opinion, the most highlight and touching moment during our organization visits was to hear Susie’s testimony and her journey to Italy without her newborn daughter. Even though Susie set an example as a strong, smart, determined migrant, in her eyes, the emotional trauma of separation from her daughter to come to Italy was not at ease.

In Vietnamese culture, we consider that out of all love and relationship in life, mother and child love has no boundaries and is the most inspiring and inexhaustible. Growing up and respecting the Asian culture until now, I felt removing someone’s child away from his mother is inhuman and callous. Making a connection between Susie and her daughter and thousands of families in the southern border of the US, our lawmakers need to fix the holes in the immigration laws to save children and their families from this over-complicated and dangerous society, where these people at some point will face human trafficking. These children who are as young as five months, as old as 18 years, after being locked up, will be sent to shelters in different parts of the country. I am entirely worried about their safety and that their records are not currently well maintained and revealed for later used in the family reunion.

There are issues that I could see with those children. First, at the young age, they have to face separation from parents, which is undoubtedly a traumatic event in their life and a high chance that it would lead to severe and often permanent emotional and psychological harm, such as: anxiety, depression and developmental delays, etc. Later in life, these children will end up on the street after their childhoods being taken away in shelters. With no doubt, some of these children are trafficking victims, who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.

In the end, traffickers play a significant and profitable role in moving many children not only across the globe but also within the US. However, as a USF student, there are many ways we can help children at the border. One of them could be through a non-profit organization, such as