Joel Arrona was a father of four on Wednesday, about to be a father of five. His wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, was scheduled for a c-section and was looking forward to having her husband by her side as their child was born. On the drive to the hospital, Joel and Maria pulled into a gas station. Within moments, two SUVs surrounded the vehicle and both Maria and Joel were confronted by ICE agents. Both were asked for their ID - Maria had hers, but Joel didn't. Both said they lived nearby and could go get the ID for the agents. That's when the ICA agents asked Joel to step out of his vehicle.
Joel never made it to the birth of his fifth child, a son. Maria is recovering from a c-section without the help of her husband while also rearing their other four children. This is not okay, people.
Let's assume that Joel had done anything to deserve being stopped and detained (though the family claims there is no such reason). ICE Agents are humans, I assume? Not robots? Because if they were robots, I would understand them looking at a man whose wife is about to have a baby and telling him to turn around and put his hands behind his head. But humans? I don't think I want to imagine a human that could do that.
You, Mr. ICE Agent, have to arrest him then and there? You couldn't accompany him to the hospital, help him at least get his wife settled - if not wait until the baby was born? That would take an hour, max, if they have an open operating room - travel included.
It's not as though I am under the impression that every birth is some sort of idyllic moment of bliss. Or, that life is always fair or perfect. I still remember 10-year-old me screaming at my parents: "Life isn't fair but you can try to make it fair!" When you're the authority figure over a situation, you have a choice. You can try to make the situation as calm and peaceable as possible - or you can be antagonistic. You can be the guy who arrests the dad on the way to his child's birth - or you can be the next "hero cop" story that gets paraded around Facebook. It's your choice.
This isn't about immigration. Honestly, even if I did want to get political, we simply don't have enough facts to understand the complete context of the situation. What I do know is this:
Birth is sacred.
A child's entry into this world indelibly etches its memory onto a mother's soul. In later stages of Alzheimer's, where mothers have forgotten their kids' names - they can still remember their birth experiences.
Combine this with the concept of epigenetics - basically, the heritability of trauma and stress - and my heart is breaking for this mother. For this child. For this father, who spent those 40 weeks waiting impatiently alongside his wife. You know, it just rubs me the wrong way. This was a choice - it was unnecessarily cruel in an already-cruel world.
If you'd like to donate to this family, donate via GoFundMe here. Tweet at me @pi3sugarpi3