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Anderson: What would you do?

Anderson: What would you do?

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Anderson: What would you do?

Susan Anderson

You love your children, but you rarely must make difficult decisions about their welfare or their safety. Parents in other countries are making tough choices which we cannot fathom.

The other evening in a news report, we watched a video of a woman dropping two children over the border wall. The film was grainy; it was nighttime.

Then the woman climbed back over the wall and left her two noticeably young children in the U.S. It is suspected the woman was their mother, though it could not be confirmed.

We understand families are fleeing violence and other dire circumstances in countries south of the U.S. During the previous administration, federal agents were often separating children from their parents.

If you thought you would be separated from your son and/or daughter, would you rather make it to this country as a complete family? Or would you prefer to send your children over the wall alone, knowing you’d likely be separated from them anyway? Is one “safe” scenario better than another?

Hard questions that Americans, thankfully, don’t have to answer.

It’s difficult to imagine being a mom or dad from South America or Mexico, living in desperate conditions. They not only are prepared to make an arduous journey with their little ones, but some are also willing to send their children on alone.

Perhaps some of the children are sent in groups of friends and relatives. Others are deposited over the wall in the presence of U.S. agents. Parents may sense a level of safety for their offspring in those situations.

Some groups of young people appear to be older, but are age 18 or less to qualify as minors in the immigration program. Many youths as well as families can be seen crossing the Rio Grande, right into the arms of Customs and Border Protection Agents. A safe way to end the journey, but the beginning of the unknown for many. Yet it would be an unknown they might perceive as being out of harm’s way.

Watching news videos and still shots, you see most of the immigrants with only the clothes on their backs. Some with children might carry a backpack. Would you leave nearly all your belongings behind?

Some situations are heartbreaking, like the story of a 10-year-old migrant child found by immigration authorities. He was crying, wandering down a road in a Texas prairie alone. He told the officers he had not come with his family, but with a group which had abandoned him. It is unconscionable that anyone would desert a child. The patrol agent surmised that a smuggler had been responsible.

Would you send your 10 year old to a foreign country with strangers? What life situation would drive you to decide?


There may not be a sensible and equitable resolution to this complicated problem. I hope, though, for the sake of the children they find an answer soon.

Susan Anderson lives in Opelika with her husband. Contact her at

Susan Anderson lives in Opelika with her husband. Contact her at


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