It Has Come to This – And They Are Not Done Yet


If What You Are About to Read Doesn’t Enrage You, Relook Who You Are

Immigration – Big Scale, Human Scale

We will be talking in the coming days about immigration writ large. Not just current issues, but the broader and deeper nature of this part of humanity and how we might think about it. That should be a conversation that is balanced and reflective.

But before we get to that, we need to call out the worst of what is going on now in our name. There is not a lot of room for balance and reason for what we will discuss today.

Three things come to the forefront. One we have known for some time. The other two are new, and so abhorrent as to seem unbelievable, even for this Administration. But here we are. It is hard to imagine policies and decisions worse than what I am about to address. But no doubt Trump and company have more to come.

Refugee Camps

The first is the abominable conditions in refugee camps on both sides of the US Southern border. It is true that large numbers of migrants have come to the border. But no one believes that the United States of America lacks the resources to deal with this. The government chooses not to deal with this as a deliberate policy of cruelty and neglect. It shames us as Americans.

Conditions continue with severe overcrowding. There is a lack of food, water, bedding, and hygiene. Medical care is inadequate to say the least. More children have died in our custody in the last two years than in decades prior.

Yes, in our custody. You and I are paying for this. Our government is doing this in our name. Families are still being torn apart with no effort to track or reunite them. The government stated they will not give flu shots to these people. Even in these settings that are ripe for disease spread, no shots.

What kind of people do this?

Americans in Service Overseas

The second thing was uncovered this week. It was not announced, just uncovered. This one seems truly unbelievable. Imagine that you deploy overseas in service to the United States. Perhaps as a soldier or a diplomat, a spy or a medical specialist. Henceforth, if you give birth to a child during that deployment, that child is not a US citizen. You must apply for it to be naturalized. That should go OK, right? What could possibly go wrong? What mindset decided that was a good and just idea? Why would anyone ever volunteer to serve overseas again?

What kind of people do this?

Sick Children? Tough!

It gets worse. Third, here is a little-known policy. People with expired visas or with other undocumented status can stay awhile under certain conditions. They have deportation waived if family members are undergoing major, lifesaving medical care. This usually applies to children. Deportation is not eliminated. It is just deferred from consideration while a child’s life hangs in the balance. A sane and humane policy, of course.

Not anymore. This week, with no announcements, families received letters saying the waivers were cancelled. They had about 30 days to unhook their children from lifesaving medical care, pick up, and get out of America. In about 30 days. Children will die from this.

When word got out, spokesmen said there was a misunderstanding. The policy had not changed, it was just moved to another agency. Said agency then noted the first they heard of this was that very day. They also said they emphatically were not taking up this policy. Meanwhile, families are at hospitals trying to figure out what they can do to keep their children alive.

You could not make up something this awful. Truly twisted minds even thought about this. We are now at the point where civil servants need to refuse to process government actions.

What kind of people do this?

Justice, Please

My fervent hope is that the courts will step in on all these and call a halt. My further hope is that the Congress will finally begin impeachment processes. This cannot go on.

My expectation? Someone will eventually bring charges in the International Criminal Court. The charges will be for crimes against humanity. It will not be a hard case to make. The US is not a participant in this court and its rulings would not be honored here.

But a long list of people who are doing this will know the effect. Anytime they set foot outside the US, they could be arrested under international warrants. For the rest of their lives.

To borrow a phrase: Lock Them Up. Oh – and throw away the key. We don’t want them back.

         Bill Clontz

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3 replies to It Has Come to This – And They Are Not Done Yet

  1. Great job bringing clear attention to this , Bill. It’s unbelievable. How can we keep letting this happen? This news is so bad it’s paralyzing. Got suggestions of what we can do, in addition to voting….

    • Thanks, Joanne. The people doing this are hoping we will feel paralyzed and numb.So much like this going on, one can feel overwhelmed. Surely voting counts, as does letting members of Congress know we hold them individually liable too short of real action by them to cut this kind of atrocity out. Never thought I would ever say this, but looking like the time is coming for large scale civil disobedience and government employees refusing to process such actions. Easy to say….

  2. I grew up overseas, and so my idea of the USA was based on idealized projections of fairness, equality, rule of law, and caring. Once I lived here, I realized that there are things we do which are contrary to those ideals. Those examples you listed above are far worse than I ever imagined we could stoop down to. How can we go on treating others in this way? I don’t believe that Americans in general are of this nature, but there is something very wrong with the way we allow our elected representatives to make these kinds of decisions. I am appalled and horrified that their actions speak for and represent me. I was born of American parents, but born overseas. Would today’s laws not make me a lawful American? We are now deporting sick children who will die if they have to leave. Where is our compassion? Where are the voices in Congress? And….here?

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