The Name Game: Migrant Children


When I was in the Master’s Leadership program, the professor asked: What’s the most important thing about a person?

Though I loved this professor, I knew he was wily.  Two brave students attempted an answer, only to be told they were incorrect.  The professor walked to podium, cleared his throat, and we knew we were about to learn a very important lesson.  Ladies and Gentleman the MOST important thing about a person is his/her name!  A name that distinguishes him/her from “you,” “kid,” “son,” or “ma’am.”  As an educator you must value people’s names, whether they be teachers, students, and parents.  You’ll be surprised by how much they respect you. A lesson I’ve not forgotten.  

Know I have the utmost respect for migrant workers and am most grateful for their service.  I’m certainly not going to pick lettuce, avocados, nor apples as my career.  Even at my grandparents’ farm years ago, men wandered up the lane to help with haying season and combining wheat and oats.

I am appalled at the separation of children from their migrant families.  I am appalled the US government is spending millions to house these children.  But I am most appalled we do not know these children’s names.  Really?  WTF?  And now, the government is going to spend millions to identify them via DNA testing.  Hmm.  In this technological age, it was not considered to identify them first–through photograph, finger print, or number?  These are children–some toddlers.  I can’t imagine their terror.


people-id-solutionsUnfortunately, this is just another example of mbsp–management by the seat of the pants. No one seems to understand the consequences of a decision until they’re faced with reality.  Decisions are whimsical, often retaliatory to garner votes.  Certainly, none of the recent decisions can be viewed as thoughtful.  (Just wait.  The tariff position is about to decimate American farmers.)

Yes, I’m a teacher. Yes, I’m a child advocate.  Yes, I would gladly open my home, my extra beds, and my kitchen to six children.  And yes, I would know each of them by name.

A view of inside US CBP detention facility shows children at Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center in Texas

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