Immigration is a hot topic these days. A big question is what to do with the young children crossing the borders into the United States. It’s a problem which I am not trying to solve, but I considered it a great deal as I was writing my father’s story.
When my Russian-born grandparents decided to return to their homeland with their six New Jersey-born children, none of them could refuse to go. Like all children whose parents relocate to a new town or different state, they had to live with their parents’ decision.
Years later, when the family decided to leave the Soviet Union, much of the world was already involved in the Second World War. My father was the first to leave, and once German forces invaded the country, the rest of the family was stuck there.
My aunts begged the American Embassy for shelter and financial assistance to leave but got little help. The attitude was that they chose to move there, so they were on their own.
As I read the correspondences between the State Department and my father’s family, I could not help but think how wrong this was. They were children when they left New Jersey. It was not their decision to make.
Reading about all the battles occurring at the state and federal level regarding what to do with the children, both those born here of non-citizen immigrant parents and those children living here who were brought to the United States, I always think, “It was not their decision to make.”