Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Raids on Common Sense

When all you have is fear, then that's how you live. The president has set today as the day that I.C.E. raids on undocumented immigrants will begin. As policy, this is terrible. As an expression of a governing philosophy, it is unconscionable. But it makes sense when you consider that the president sees no difference between undocumented people and those from immigrant families who serve in Congress. They are both threats, illegitimate, the "other."

I will not go as far as some of the Democrats running for president and say that crossing the border should be decriminalized, or even say that undocumented immigrants who cross the border and don't abide by the laws or skip their hearings or commit crimes should be allowed to stay in this country. After all, Barack Obama's administration deported more people than any other president in our history. What I am saying is that we need laws and procedures to make sure that people who have contributed to this country are treated with some respect, and that their children, whether they are citizens or not, should be given every opportunity to stay in the United States rather than to be sent back to a country that is dysfunctional and/or dangerous.

The key, though, is to reform the immigration system. It is interesting to note that the most hostile, anti-immigrant, xenophobic president we've had in a long time is the one who presides over a border that is in chaos. In large part that's because he is all talk and precious little action, and he has no idea how to garner the public and political support he needs from all segments of the country in order to get Congress to act. This is obviously a shortcoming that spans all issues, but since this is the one that got him elected, you'd think that he'd work more assiduously on it. He seems to think that executive orders and heated racist rhetoric will solve the problem.

It's made it worse.

Therefore, the raids. When in doubt, use the power of the militia. That's the manner in which he's run the country as president. It's made us more rigid, more divided, less compassionate, and decidedly not great.

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