Gage Skidmore / Flickr John Cornyn...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

I did a stupid thing.  I replied in the heat of anger.  Here it is, the whole documented record:

I started it, I freely admit that.  I wrote to one of my Senators, John Cornyn of Texas.

My letter to John Cornyn on May 26:


I am deeply saddened and shocked by the policy and practice of separating children from their parents at the border and I can only affirm that I agree with what Chris Hayes said on Twitter:

“I am reading these first-hand accounts of mothers who had their children taken from them, with no word of where they were going or how to contact them, and I’m thinking about someone doing that to me and my kids and I feel a rage so powerful I think I’m gonna pass out.”

I won’t forget what this administration is perpetrating and I hold you and your party responsible.  Please act or speak out for morality and decency and real family values by opposing this unnecessary cruelty.

Thank you for your time and attention.

I don’t know what I expecting to get back from the Senator’s office and then this showed up in the old inbox about a half-hour ago:

Dear Rik:

Thank you for contacting me regarding immigration reform. The need to fix our broken immigration system is clear, and I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

Immigration reform is ultimately about securing our nation’s borders, enforcing current immigration laws, and improving our system for legal immigration. We are a nation of laws and if policymakers will agree that all immigrants must abide by the rule of law, then we can reach consensus on ways to improve the immigration system in order to ensure national security and meet the needs of our society and economy.

On August 3, 2017, I introduced the Building America’s Trust Act (S. 1757) which contains a long-term strategic plan for border security and interior enforcement. This legislation includes enhanced legal tools and authorizations to strengthen the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ability to enforce the law and increase public safety. S. 1757 requires DHS to work together with the communities they serve and helps boost the flow of commerce through our ports of entry so trade will continue to flourish. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues in Congress and the President to advance this bill. Once we secure our borders, we can then focus on addressing other reforms to our broken immigration system.

I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


United States Senator

I had no idea we were on a first name basis.  Wow, I’m touched . . . with a burning hot anger that just wouldn’t submit to be cooled off or set aside for the moment.  So, about ten minutes later My reply to his reply was out there in the intertubes.

Dear Senator:

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I wish to point out, however, that I did not contact your office regarding “immigration reform.”  I contacted you about the very specific “policy and practice of separating children from their parents at the border.”  I called to your attention a practice that is an affront to basic human rights and to common decency.

Your reply did not even address that practice.  Instead, you offered platitudes and a vague assurance that “once our borders are secured” (without, I might add, any indication of what constitutes “secure”) we could then, and only then, address other reforms.  From that, I must conclude that you are comfortable with the current practice of taking children from their parents, even when those parents have followed the law regarding refugee applications at ports of entry. I conclude that since you seem willing to tolerate it until the  future condition of “secure borders” has somehow come about.  Only then you would you be willing to “focus” on it.

Thank you letting me see your true colors and, as always, thank you for your time and attention.

Rik Snow

For me, that is a full-throated blood on the floor diatribe (yeah, I know I’m a wuss.)  But I am just so very angry.

I spent most of the day yesterday with the grandkids and I can’t imagine the pain we are inflicting on those who come to us seeing refuge, seeking a safer place, seeking a new home.

O my country.  I see again that we are always what we were: the ones who seized a continent through bloodshed, the ones who built a nation on slavery, the ones who take without compunction, the ones who leave our fellow citizens to face disaster on their own, those who fund the dictators and those who have dropped more and deadlier bombs than the rest of the world combined.

I need a break.

We need a way out, sisters and brothers, a way out.

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  1. We’ll prevail. Keep thinking and discerning. Your letter deserved a real answer. Your comments are helpful. Thank you!


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