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Teen Talk Tuesday: The Migrant Caravan

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This week’s #teentalktuesday is a tough one. Over the weekend, the the migrant caravan reached the Tiajuana border. When members of the caravan rushed the fencing, the border authority fired tear gas to keep people from trying to cross the border into the US.

Image via The Washington Post

This is SUCH an incredibly difficult situation that offers a lot of opportunity for discussion and introspection. So much to think about when you are pitting humanitarian goodness against real time reality. I think it is so important to look at every side. I wish there were easy and right answers, but it is so complicated that it offers a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the following points.

  • Many of these people have walked 2,700 miles, that is from Los Angeles to New York City, most with very little food and few supplies. Just think about that.
  • What type of life do you think they had if they were willing to do this? Single mothers, entire families with young children, pregnant women all left their homes. Why would they leave? What are they hoping for?
  • Why tear gas? Were there other options?
  • Why have they decided to travel in a caravan? What protection does that offer?
  • What do you think is the right answer? Should the US let them in? If not, what should they do with these people who have left their homes and traveled so far?
  • There are over 14,000 people in the caravan. If the US welcomes them all, how will they do it? Where will they live? Who will feed them? How will we pay for it? Where will they go permanently?
  • If they let them in, what type of precedent does this set? What will continue to happen in the future? Do you think there are rules and processes for a reason? What would happen without them?
  • What about those who have been trying to come into the country in a more orderly fashion through legal channels? What happens to them?
  • If you had escaped your home and were hoping for a better life with your children, how would you feel if you were turned away?
  • Is there anything the US can do besides open its borders?
  • You may not be able to solve this crisis, but how can you help now? (Check @serverefugees for some great ideas).
  • How does knowing about this make you feel for the life you have?

I believe giving our kids knowledge and allowing them to think about real issues will create a much better, smarter, kinder, and more innovative generation to come. I would love to hear what your kids think too! 

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