Thursday, 21 June 2018

Breaking Badly

No, this is not about the TV show.  It's about how the Republic of the United States is slowly destroying the lives of its people. Particularly those who are fleeing violence in their home countries only to be detained and have their children torn from them.  I could write pages about this, but my friend Norm Duguid beat me to it and posted the following on Facebook yesterday:


"Those who continue to claim that it's the parents' fault because they are breaking the law by entering the country between ports of call should pay heed to this case."

And let's be clear about the "illegal" immigrant side of things too. Someone had the audacity to tell me, "The children are not responsible for their parents' bad choices."

Which bad choices? Would that be the choice to get out of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, away from the gangs and violence? The choice to not let their children be killed by said gangs? The choice to not have their sons be forced into the gangs, or their daughters used as sex slaves by the gangs? The choice not to pay a "war tax" to the "maras" (gangs) which roam with impunity down there? Oh, wait, perhaps you're referring to the chronic malnutrition children suffer? Which "bad choices" might you be referring to?

Once again, my bile and disgust rise when people seem to think refugees and immigrants just suddenly decided to pack up one day and say, "what the hell, let's go leach off the United States, Canada, or Europe".

These are families and individuals faced with untenable choices. And people condescend with "They should come through legally."

No. These are not people accepting a research assignment contract for a couple of years and then moving back to their politically stable country. These are people in fear of their lives and the lives of their children. People who have seen families murdered, unspeakable atrocities committed, and have run out of any other options. There is no government agency who can help them. I would guarantee they would love to stay in their birth country, but to do so, would mean death.

Or people say, "Why should we take them, other countries don't. It just costs us money."

I say: "Who gives a steaming s*** what other countries do?"

If you can, without blinking, tell a family fleeing from a war zone, gang violence, government dictatorship, or certain death, to go back there and accept their fate - congratulations, you are not part of the human race and need to develop empathy, compassion, and sympathy. It must be nice to treat suffering as an abstract, because it is not happening to you, or your family, personally.

Yes, it costs money. Millions, maybe billions, to take in these people. You want to increase my taxes by 100 bucks a year to do it? Go for it. 200 bucks? Have at it. I'm not wealthy, but at least I will sleep knowing we did the right thing, not the politically expedient thing, not the popular thing, but the morally correct course of action in protecting fellow human beings from those who would prey upon them.

Or hearing yet again, "Bunch of Liberal bleeding hearts."

Far from being a "bleeding heart blah blah blah" thing to do, it's the strong thing to do. To protect those who cannot fight for themselves. You want weak willed? That would be people who simply turn them away without a second thought, NIMBY in action. People who hide behind, or invoke policies that are isolationist. People without the guts or toughness to say "We will spend the money, time, and resources to welcome you to a country where you are safe, where you and your children can thrive and grow."

Remember, by twist of fate, luck, or (ironically) immigration from a stable country, that is why we have the lives we have here. Our parents were lucky enough to be in a country where democracy resides, financial stability can be earned, opinions can be expressed and your religion can be practiced. All without the fear that doing any one of those things will get you tortured, or killed. Don't tell me you had a say in it. We all got incredibly lucky. And if you are the first generation born in a country with parents who came from that kind of terror, I would expect you would be at the front lines in all this. To do any less is moral duplicity. We should be extending hands, NOT closing doors.

What do we get in return? Nothing. This is not a sum total game. No one ever explained to Trump that sometimes you do things with absolutely no benefit to yourself. Things that might actually cost you, because for no other single reason, not to do so is to abdicate your humanity.

Actually, we do get something. We have saved lives. Kept families together. Given them the rare gift of hope and compassion. And statistically, these "immigrants" will contribute more, work harder, and actually engage in less crime than the average citizen.

So if you want to proselytize that Trump is being tough, I'm being naive, politics doesn't work that way...

Go f*** yourself and whatever ideology that lets you think ripping families apart is a viable option.