Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Wall

For those who pay attention to the latest cause and effect of government policies, the proposed border wall is the topic of conversation. To some who live in border states on the border between Mexico and the United States, a wall would be an answer to a dream, that dream being the keeping out of illegal immigrants that flock to their communities needing food, shelter, medical care, and education for their children. Others who look at the cost of a wall that would stretch across the total border (an estimated $50 to 60 billion dollars in all) see it as a foolish exercise because a wall can so easily be breached by tunneling under it, climbing over it, or (in the instance of steel slats) cutting through it.

We have to ask ourselves what would be the goal of the wall. It is clear that it could keep some immigrants out. As far as controlling drug traffic, it would be ineffectual as most drugs come through legal ports of entry, by land, sea and even by air. Most of the fentanyl is being flown in by China, for example.

The president is portraying asylum seekers from Central America as murderous thugs, rapists, terrorists, and other lawbreakers. In reality, crime by illegal immigrants is statistically much, much lower than the general population. For the most part, the individuals coming to the border are arriving with their children and it is true than many of the women have been assaulted or raped on the perilous journey north, seeking the promise of a better life only to find no such "promise" in place.

Many on the left have said that the Statue of Liberty is "weeping" over current immigration policies such as the inhumane separation of children from their parents. In essence, the tent cities are making a lot of money for those who administer them. Word is that in some cases caretakers are abusing the small children in their charge. I am wondering if those caretakers even speak a modicum of Spanish? In two instances, sadly, two children have died of causes potentially linked to lack of water and nutrition and care when they suddenly got very sick.

The president says that he is all for immigration but the policies of his administration say something entirely different. He has also made the remark of not wanting immigrants from "sh*thole countries" and only wanting new citizens who are "smart" and can contribute to fields like technology. So, I guess he is for selective immigration or what he calls "merit" immigration.

This is all part of his "America First" policy, a thought that had its roots in the 1880s Republican party and led to isolationism which just about kept us out of World War I. Isolationism is based on fear of "the other." Some have called the president a "racist" because the people being targeted are non-Caucasians.

Whether one agrees with the president's thoughts or not, it is clear to me that a wall across the entire southern border is not a feasible answer. With steel slats that can easily be cut with tools from Home Depot, it does not seem like such a bright idea after all. And then, there is the question of eminent domain:  the usurpation of lands that are privately-owned along the border. Some people do not want to sell, at any cost, and have their land divided permanently by an obstructive wall.

There is a lot to think about. Immigration and "the Wall" are thorny subjects and both have now indirectly affected hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are not being paid during this government shutdown. The president has threatened to declare a National Emergency. The problem is that while there is a humanitarian crisis involving people, there is no real "emergency." If anything, immigration numbers are way down from even 10 years ago. This is a manufactured crisis!

I hope that the politicians can figure out what to do. Meanwhile, while all this is in limbo, many people are being hurt while the president tries to bully others just so he can complete his ill-founded campaign promise. The result is chaos and disruption to the lives of many. It is a sad day when people who are mandated to work without pay have to resort to getting their food from soup kitchens and charitable pantries. Let's hope this mayhem can be resolved soon. May God bless America!

No comments: