It seems as if overnight the world has been consumed with a new movement calling for an end to the separation of immigrant children from their mothers at the border, but have we forgotten our own children?
Every year thousands of American women, U.S. citizens, born and raised on this land, have been forcefully separated from their children and sent off to various prisons throughout the nation while their children fall under the jurisdiction of government agencies like the Department of Family and Children Services.
You might think that those American mothers being sent to jail have committed crimes and should be sent to prison. And you would be right. But just as it would be wrong to discard the crimes being committed by American women simply to keep them with their children, it is equally misguided to advocate discarding the crimes of those breaking the law to come into this country illegally just so families can be kept together. Tossing the law aside is not the answer. The answer lies in reform; reform of the immigration system and reform of the prison system.
Example: Before Angela Stanton found her recent success she spent time in and out of Georgia prisons, involved in a life of crime with defamed reality TV star Phaedra Parks of Bravo's "Real Housewives of Atlanta."
On her last stint in lockup, Angela found herself handcuffed to a bed while giving birth to her fifth child, all while a sheriff's deputy stood nearby, watching in amazement. The experience of being separated from her child at birth left Angela depressed and suicidal.
There are even more children whom those outraged over immigrant children have kept silent about for decades - those who are ripped from their mother's wombs in abortion. Where is the outrage over these children?
It would be good to see us as a nation that welcomes children across the border of the womb, rather than demanding the right to deny that child the rights he or she is entitled to as a member of the human family.
Today is Juneteenth and is a great opportunity to begin to fight for the freedom of all those enslaved by unjust laws. Let's work together to save all children. Their lives matter. Pray for America's children too!
Dr. Alveda King is a human rights activist who is the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.