The ICE raids carried out in Mississippi last week are an unconscionable stain on our country. How many children have been violently separated from their parents with no reassurances of being reunited with their families? This is an escalation of the already inhumane practice of family separations at the border.

I have two young children of my own, and I cannot begin to imagine the terror they would feel if I were to be taken from them in such a manner. How many more families will be destroyed while we stand by and watch? These people were taken from their jobs. They are here to provide a better life for their children and themselves. How can we let the Statue of Liberty stand with her words of “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”?

We must reform our immigration process and hold officials responsible for these atrocities accountable for the lives destroyed by these policies.

I implore my elected officials to not fall into the trap of tying gun reform to immigration policy. Immigrants are not responsible for the recent shootings in Dayton and El Paso. U.S. citizens are, spurred on by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the current administration.

History will not look kindly on this portion of American history, and rightly so. Which side will my elected officials be on?