A Poem on Family Separation and Detention

Jun 27, 2018
10:21 AM

(Photo via U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Too many politicians and other institutions
perpetuating atrocities
implementing policies
fueled by rhetoric dehumanizing

Hiding the realities of why people are migrating
Masking decades of U.S. policies
funding repressive regimes
and military trainings
 in Central American countries

Revealing the depths of U.S. imperialism and white supremacy
Money making entities
Backed by federal agencies
Separating families
Benefiting from policies destroying communities

What’s happening in these facilities?
Who’s monitoring these entities?
These growing tent-cities
Not designed for residency

We see the latest studies
The drugging of babies
People dying
Many more isolating
No plans for reuniting

Calls for civility at a time of inhumanity
Seems like gas lighting
Linked to centuries of silencing
Challenging our collective memories
About power and inequality

What are our responsibilities in the midst of these realities?
As more people realize the historical and institutional ties
Perpetuating these state-sanctioned crimes

Don’t you hear the cries?
They can’t be drowned out by continual lies


Gilda L. Ochoa teaches Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies at Pomona College. Her latest book is Academic Profiling: Latinos, Asian Americans and the Achievement Gap.