What Does the Immigration Fight Say About Us, America?

Sometimes Events Call Out Who We Are. This is One of Those.


Framing the Issue

Reasonable people can disagree on a lot of important issues. There are many components to what is happening on our Southern border. People can argue about them, with good points all around.

To be clear up front, I am not an open borders fan. The slogan “no person is illegal” has always struck me as naïve at best. I find it inaccurate from both a practical and moral perspective. Should we not be concerned about terrorists or criminals who wish to cross the border? The former seems a small number threat, but we would be foolish to ignore it. Are coyotes, who smuggle and endanger the innocent, welcome? No.

Having a reasonable level of control over borders is a basic function of government. Wishing that away because of abuses will only loose votes and put people at risk.

Calling Out Right from Wrong

But what we see going on today is wrong. It is immoral, impractical, and counter-productive. It is as Un-American as anything I could imagine. Want to indulge in tribalism? Want to make people trying to come here seen as unwelcome threats? Let us have those arguments. But if you wish to endorse the humanitarian abuses going on, you should be ashamed.

We know the abuses by now. The list is long and well documented, in spite of Administration efforts to keep them secret. Congresspersons, reporters, human rights workers are denied access to camps and detention centers. Yet the word gets out, often with recordings and videos.

The worst of it is that the inhumanity is focused specifically on children. Children and infants. Just think about that for a moment. What kind of a government does that? What kind of people stand by and let that happen?

People who know me can vouch for my tempermant to avoid over dramatization and excessive language. So, note please that now I can no longer look at a picture of Stephen Miller and not see the ghost of Joseph Goebbels. It is that bad. The comparison is feasible.

This week I heard an official say that children in these places don’t need beds, blankets, soap, or toothpaste. I have watched this Administration deliberately separate infants and children from their families. They did so with no intent of ever reuniting them or even keeping records of them. Even the Nazis kept careful records.

This is so clearly a strategy of trying to deter all forms of immigration by fear and cruelty. It is the most morally deficient policy I have seen any administration implement, on any subject. This is wrong and so beneath us.

 Can You Hear Me Now? Have We Looked in the Mirror Lately?

Someone posted a note on social media the other day with the following question:“Ever wonder how ordinary Germans just went about their lives in the midst of what was going on? Now you know.”

Moral complicity is a charged term and should be used carefully. Ordinary people get caught up and unsure how to make corrections. But we are coming up on that boundary as a people. We might already be there.

Where is the Congress? Where are local governments (some are working to right this, but not enough)? Where are the courts? Where are all those evangelicals?

Where are you and I?

Bill Clontz, Founder, Agents of Reason       Bill Clontz

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