“I Live in the Constant Fear of Losing My Mom”: 12-Year-Old Girl Delivers Passionate Speech at Families Belong Together Rally

"We are children!"
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12-year-old Leah from Miami delivered a powerful speech at a Families Belong Together rally in Washington on Saturday. It’s nothing short of inspiring to watch this young woman talk about her love for her mother and nothing short of heartbreaking to watch her talk through tears about the fear she lives with knowing that the government could take her away at any point.

No child should have to deal with that kind of fear. No child should have to fight for their right to peacefully stay with their family.

Leah’s speech, in full:

“Dear community, my name is Leah. I am twelve years old and I am from Miami, Florida. I am the proud daughter of a domestic worker who loves me very much. My mom’s job is very important, unlike our government. She takes care of children as a nanny and makes sure they are healthy and safe. Our government instead harms children and deports children everyday.

I am here today because the government is separating and detaining refugee parents and children at the border who are looking for safety. Our government also continues to separate U.S. citizen children like me from their parents every day. This is evil! It needs to stop! It makes me sad to know that children can’t be with their parents. I don’t understand why they are being so mean to us children. Don’t they know how much we love our families? Don’t they have a family too? Why don’t they care about us children?

Why do they hurt us like this? It is unfair that they get to spend time with their families today while there are children in detention centers and in cages all around missing their parents who are thrown in jail.

I live in the constant fear of losing my mom to deportation. My mom is strong, beautiful, and brave. She is also a person who taught me how to speak up when I see things that aren’t fair. ICE wants to take away my mom from me. I don’t want to live with this fear. It’s scary. I can’t sleep. I can’t study. I am stressed. I am afraid that they will take my mom away while she is at work, out driving or at home. I don’t understand why this administration won’t support mothers who just want a better life for their children. This needs to change!

We cannot allow them to keep hurting families, communities, and children. I know that together, we can make things better for families and kids. I want to be an example to other kids who are going through the same problems as me. I want to tell kids at the border and all over the country not to give up and fight for their families. We are all human! And deserve to be loved and cared for! We are children! Our government has to do the right thing and stop separating us from our parents. And stop locking us up. I won’t give up fighting for the right to stay with my mom. I am not asking for a favor! It is my right to stay as a child! To live in peace with my mother and the rest of my family!

Mamá, te quiero mucho y siempre lucharé por ti. [Mom, I love you very much and I will always fight for you.]”

Leah is now on social media as Leah the Activist.

(via Jezebel, image: CNN, screencap)

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