Swear you love us

God, that’s a fiendish detail.

The children have been through hell. They are babies who were carried across rivers and toddlers who rode for hours in trucks and buses and older kids who were told that a better place was just beyond the horizon.

And now they live and wait in unfamiliar places: big American suburban houses where no one speaks their language; a locked shelter on a dusty road where they spend little time outside; a converted Walmart where each morning they are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, in English, to the country that holds them apart from their parents.

They are required to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in English. What the hell is that??! The whole point is that they’re likely to be expelled from the country where their parents tried to find refuge, yet in their horrible prison they’re forced to stand and swear a loyalty oath to the place that’s treating them like criminals before throwing them out? Why not just make them kneel on the floor and kiss the boots of their captors? It would at least be less hypocritical.

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