Shakira opened up about a sensitive subject and also something she is passionate about. The singer wrote a heartfelt op-ed for Time magazine for the hundreds of children who were separated from their families at the US/ Mexico border.
The artist who herself is an immigrant wrote about the pain she feels by seeing what is happening in the “land of the tree” Shakira is also a mother to two boys.
She wrote a heartfelt letter and questioned how can a nation built on the shoulder of immigrants who have such immigration policies. The singer wrote, “How could a nation built on the shoulders of immigrants, one that purports to hold family values in such high regard, have such unimaginably cruel immigration policies?”
The Waka Waka singer asked what rationale would justify separating children from families. She added that with no intention of reuniting them, the US has always been proud of itself for being a beacon of hope. But the singer stresses how the people who come here have come from places where basic needs or safety were also not a guarantee.
Shakira explained how 545 children stuck here with the risk of growing up without their parents. She further explained, “545 children who have to go to sleep without someone to reassure them that they aren’t in danger at any given moment, 545 children who can’t hug, laugh or have any contact with the people they love most.”
The singer also wrote as a mother who has a son as young as 5 and shared how the child cries for her when his knees get skinned and the pain she feels when she is not around to comfort him. She questions, “Who answers the cries of the children left without their parents?”
“The Decision To Leave Home Is Not An Easy One”
The artist adds how she cannot imagine the pain their parents might feel for not knowing where the children are. She explained how families coming to the US are running away from violence, poverty, persecution, and not putting their children in such a situation intentionally. Shakira explains, “Some might argue that the parents put their children in this situation, but many families coming to the U.S. are fleeing violence, poverty, persecution, or climate catastrophes in their home countries.”
The singer further adds that the decision to leave home is not easy. She explained, “The decision to leave home is not an easy one, as anyone who has left home can attest. It’s telling that some of the parents who have been located made the near-impossible choice to keep their children with friends or family members in the U.S. ‘due to fear of what will happen to their children’ if they return home.”
The artist added that people involved need to be held responsible for the separation policy. She stated that this is not about politics and there is no justification for the harm caused to innocent children. The ‘Whenever Wherever’ singer further adds that the people responsible for the cruel policy must be held accountable.
Shakira explained, “Every effort should be put toward finding and reuniting the families that have been ripped apart.” The singer added that she is grateful for the ACLU lawyers who have been working tirelessly to locate the parents. She explained that to avoid this from happening, they need a just and humane immigration system.
The singer wrote, “To prevent this from happening again, we need a just and humane immigration system that honors the commitment to asylum seekers and recognizes the basic humanity of each and every one of us.”
“Now is not the time to be silent,” she concludes.