School of Nursing

June 29, 2018

Families belong together

There is enormous power and hope when people come together for a purpose. That’s why I encourage everyone to take part in the Families Belong Together rally that will be held tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Federal Detention Center, 2425 S. 200th St., SeaTac.

The UW School of Nursing is dedicated to improving physical and mental health for people—all people, everywhere. We have watched with sadness, anger, frustration and concern in recent weeks as children have been literally torn from their parents’ arms and made pawns in an adult political game about immigration.

As nurses, we know the mental health consequences that will ensue. We know the terror that a child feels being roughly separated from his or her sole emotional anchor point, in an unfamiliar place. We know the fear these children feel that the separation will be permanent. We know, in our hearts and from our scientific research, that this is wrong.

What has happened is the polar opposite of what we as nurses know and teach about the importance of the parent-child bond. It was a strategy lacking in the compassion and dignity for which this country has always stood.

As is often the case, amidst bad there is good. Governor Jay Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson have been bold and brave in favoring fair and compassionate handling of immigrants and in seeing that Washington state policies and actions reflected those values. Many others at all levels of public service have stood together in favor of care and compassion.

There is power in solidarity. It is important that we, the people, express our will. Come together. Be together. Stay together. You will always find nurses standing with you.