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Inhumane Treatment of Prospective Immigrants Is Unacceptable

March 30, 2018

U.S. immigration policy as projected by the Trump Administration is often equivalent to a hate crime where treatment of those wishing to come and live in this country is concerned. Perhaps application of the Golden Rule, or at least a more humane approximation thereof than currently is all too prevalent, would be a good place to start in making our treatment of immigrants more closely mirror our professed values as a society.

That current immigration law needs reform is widely accepted. Merely claiming that the Administration is simply doing its best to enforce the laws in place may help to explain why mass deportations are taking place says nothing of the morality of doing so on the scale it is being conducted or the apparent blindness to the circumstances behind what is causing so many to risk so much in attempting to come here to live and work. The Trump Administration inherited much of this mess, as did previous administrations. The Obama Administration deported more individuals and families than did its predecessor. The issue has been allowed to fester for decades without clear and decisive legislative changes being agreed to which could facilitate improvement.

The demagoguery which has come to the fore of late has done more to heighten tensions between those who see, rightly or wrongly, problems being caused by a large influx of people looking to come to this country on a permanent basis – with the ability to participate fully in this society as citizens. Opponents of allowing more liberal immigration to take place vary in the reasons for their opposition. Some feel the newcomers are flooding the economy with too many new workers – resulted in higher unemployment among those who were here before, lower wages, or both. This was a major thread to Trump’s campaign rhetoric, including his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep foreign nationals from crossing over and entering the country unimpeded. Others (Trump included) point to national security, terrorism and drug trafficking as being problems exacerbated by lax immigration policy.

While there are calls in some quarters to reduce legal immigration for the reasons stated above, there are others – including many employers – who have traditionally gained economically by importing foreign labor to work in unskilled or low skilled jobs for low wages. Some have even used such ruses to subvert labor laws by using the fact that such workers do not have legal status to work here in order to scare them into working for extremely low wages with few if any benefits. Overall, there is a concerted effort involved to pit US born workers against immigrant workers to the ultimate benefit of their bosses. Trump played this card better than just about any politician in recent history, helping ultimately to win him the Presidency.

The longtime GOP position advocating family values somehow seems contradictory when compared to an immigration policy which leads to the splitting up of families some members of which are allowed to stay here while others are prevented from doing so. Mothers and fathers separated from children. Dependent children brought here to grow up as Americans in every way except for the geographic location of their birth. Parents of children who are born here and hence allowed to stay, but who themselves are subject to deportation because they were born elsewhere. Indefinite detention separating family members from each other. Remember here – we’re often talking about individuals whose only crime is often overstaying a visa, crossing into this country without legal documentation permitting them to do so, not violent crimes, smuggling of drugs or other illicit acts that would make American citizens criminals as well.

Humanitarian concerns that also need to be taken into account are the circumstances under which people are fleeing their homes to come here. Often, natural disasters make the homes and even the cities and towns the people come from uninhabitable for indeterminate time periods. Wars leave innocent men, women and children homeless and with little or no means to provide themselves with food, clothing, shelter or personal safety from the ravages of war. Past waves of immigration to this country have been caused by famines devastating entire countries or regions. While there is often pushback against the newcomers from those already here, these groups have eventually assimilated and become valued parts of a society that becomes greater by becoming welcoming rather than exclusive in nature.

The vast majority of people who come to this country and want to stay do not come here to destroy us, spy on us, commit terrorist acts, commit violent acts and deprive us of our human and civil rights in order to steal our hard-earned wealth and live off the fruits of our labor. Indeed, it’s often the case that our society takes more from them than it gives back to them in return. The current Administration, and particularly its chief executive, while truthfully pointing out that Congress needs to come up with acceptable legislative solutions to the problems which plague our current immigration laws, has chosen to deal with its enforcement role in a manner which causes unnecessarily cruel treatment which is deserved by none of the people subjected to it.

An end must come to the racial, religious, ethnic and sexual bigotry and scapegoating that has become all too prevalent in dealing with real human beings who have already been traumatized beyond belief by the tyrannies of war, repressive governments, harsh economic conditions, extreme weather or other environmental dangers. Our government creates many of these situations directly either by bombing their countries to smithereens, providing others with the means for doing so and/or supporting repressive regimes under which they suffer. We have a responsibility to stop our government from contributing to the harming of other people. Likewise, we have a responsibility to fix what we break ourselves. Congress needs to actually do something to fix the immigration mess and the Trump Administration needs to not treat victims of the current world situation as horrid criminals deserving of imprisonment, indefinite limbo when it comes to their living situations and/or being forcibly returned to the untenable living conditions they fled to begin with.

Congress needs to work on a long-term solution to the immigration problems that have gone untended for far too long and President Trump needs to stop referring to human beings as subhuman creatures undeserving of simple human decency. The bully needs to stop being a bully.

Further Suggest Readings:

The U.S. separates a mother and daughter fleeing violence in Congo

ACLU Sues Trump Administration to Stop Family Separation

It Has Been 210 Days Since Amanda Morales Last Saw the Sun

For Trump, Cruelty Is the Point

‘You have to be more careful than the rest’: A day in the life of a teenage DACA recipient

Using Fake Facts to Make Us Afraid

Children’s Advocacy Organizations File Amicus Brief In Support Of Asylum-Seeker Separated From Daughter

‘It is a death sentence’: ICE to deport dad with incurable heart condition today

Democrats Have Reportedly Decided That DACA Recipients Can Wait

‘Dreamers’ angry as Trump blames Democrats over immigration

‘You can hug your wife, you can hug your kids’: Dad back home after months in immigration detention

US Army veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan has been deported to Mexico

Immigration Enforcement: Just as Bad for Americans as it is for Immigrants

Further ‘Exposing Cruelty of Trump,’ ICE Ends Policy Limiting Detention of Pregnant Women

From → Uncategorized

6 Comments
  1. Margie G. Martinez permalink

    You covered it very well. I wonder if politicians ever take the time to analyze the immigration issue in relation to their responsibility as legislators! I doubt it! The system is broken and until each and every Legislator makes a conscious decision to carry out his/her job nothing changes! As long as money and power is their main goal in life, the Citizens of this Country are the losers! God help us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The US immigration policy under Trump has caused up to 45,000 to 100,000 illegal immigrants to find Canada. Number is on the high side due to the Auditor-General losing count. All have walked to Canada from the US many during the winter months in freezing cold temperatures near border crossings in Quebec and Manitoba. Other than the native peoples, everyone is in fact, an immigrant to both our countries.Another good article Rick.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, Dennis. Are you aware of a major movement in Canada to try to curb the increased influx of immigrants arriving from the US? Perhaps a call from your Prime Minister for the US to pay for a border wall at the border between our countries ( which is considerably longer than the US/Mexico border, not even counting the Alaskan portion of that border) would be appropriate, using our President’s logic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are likely aware there are many border roads other than the often mentioned popular ones. Canadian border security and the RCMP are now monitoring the dirt road border crossings and turning people back. Due to the long cold winter some of the immigrants were given medical help for frost bite etc. It’s a tough decision to let a person die of exposure in -30 temperatures and snow.

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  5. I’ve crossed the border many times while growing up in eastern and western NY, as well as VT. Always seemed to be more pleasant exiting the US than re-entering it. I’ve never been west of Ontario, but there were plenty of places to cross – including ones off-road and via water on the great lakes. I even know of Americans who used such places to smuggle in narcotics (not all come in through Mexico, though you wouldn’t know it from listening to Trump and his Hispanic-bashing crones).

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  6. Do you recall some of the towns where Main Street is the border? The US on one side of the street and Canada the other side. No problem for anyone since it’s been that way forever. I too lived in the east and moved west. The place where 1000s of immigrants crossed is literally a dirt road in southern Manitoba from Minnesota. There are many of these crossings marked with a small wooden post “US/Canada Border” from Manitoba to Alberta. People farming along the western border often call the RCMP/US Highway Patrol due to 28 wheel trucks crossing on a dirt road through their wheat fields into Canada. You are right in saying Trump would say they are Hispanic though none have ever been found.

    Liked by 1 person

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