Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Banging all our heads against the wall

January 4th, 2019

As the nation, or at least the media, obsesses over the president’s insistence that spending $5.6 billion on a physical barrier along the southern border is more important than nearly everything else the executive branch does, along comes Francisco Cantu in the January 17, 2019 issue of the New York Review of Books to remind us of the context to which the phrase “government shutdown” currently refers.  Mr. Cantu points out that since the 1990s our government’s policy regarding immigration along the southern border has been known officially as “Prevention Through Deterrence,” that is, reliance upon the forbidding geography and climate of those regions to make migration prohibitively difficult and dangerous and to channel migrants who persevere into areas that can be blocked by patrols and barriers.  The predictable result is that people die trying to cross the border.  You may be interested to know how many.  No accurate count exists, because, according to Mr. Cantu, the death tolls do not include thousands of people “who have been reported as missing and never found, not to mention those whose disappearances are never reported in the first place.”  The official tally, says Cantu, is more than 6,000 between 2000 and 2016.  “When the Border Patrol demands recognition for saving lives,” says Cantu, “it’s as if firefighters were asking to be thanked for putting out a blaze started by their own chief.”

Take a moment to let that sink in.  Our government’s official policy since the Clinton administration has been to create a state of affairs leading to the deaths of at least 6,000 people, nearly all of whom wanted nothing more than to become productive members of our society; and our current political imbroglio centers upon the president’s insistence on taking measures which could be relied upon to up the death rate.   Building a wall along the border will not stop desperate people from trying to go over, under, or through it, or die in the attempt.  When you hear or read a reporter or commentator tossing off the phrase “government shutdown,” that’s what they’re talking about.

Thousands of people are dead by design already, pursuant to official policy of the government of the United States.  The so-called “debate” over the wall is little more than a disagreement over how best to run the death machine.  I say, good for Nancy Pelosi and her colleagues for standing firm against the president’s horribly wasteful and monstrous demands.  But that’s a far cry from moving towards a humane, sensible, reality-based immigration policy.

Black Friday

November 28th, 2018

Suppose you are the manager of the biggest department store in town.  Black Friday is approaching.  From various sources, you hear that thousands of shoppers are going to converge on your doors at 8:00 that morning, drawn by the attractiveness of your wares and their inability to obtain similar merchandise in their home towns. Even now they are gathering in the suburbs and parks, hiring buses to come to your city, planning their approach and their strategies to take maximum advantage of the bargains on display in your windows.  What do you do?

Although you might hire some additional security to maintain order in the aisles, I am pretty sure that you will not employ armed forces to beat the shoppers away from your doors.  More likely, you will beef up your staff of checkout clerks and floor walkers to handle the increased traffic.

I have been watching our government’s response to the so-called “immigrant caravan” with horror and disgust.  A sane and humane government, confronted with the approach over weeks of a few thousand people fleeing terror and desperate for the benefits of life in our jurisdiction, would not greet them with tear gas and thousands of military personnel. These are not ravening hordes bent on pillage, rapine, and destruction.  These are people who, for the most part, want nothing better than to contribute to our society by giving it their labor, their intelligence, their imagination, their children, and themselves.  How sad that our response to people who want to give us precious gifts is to beat the shit out of them.  I am perfectly aware of the need to protect our borders and to maintain legal order with respect to immigration.  The way to do so, in this situation, was not to rush military units to the border. What our government should have done, and still could do if it were not headed by a psychopathic narcissistic sadist, would have been to send thousand of bureaucrats to the border, each with a briefcase, a computer terminal, a stack of forms, and the training to process asylum and other immigration claims in an accurate and expeditious manner.

ICE Evil

July 6th, 2018

It has been reported recently, by credible sources, that ICE is forcing toddlers – yes, children as young as three years old! – to appear in immigration hearings alone and unrepresented. (See https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/27/immigrant-toddlers-ordered-appear-court-alone/). It seems incredible that our system of justice, in any of its branches, would lend itself to such a barbarous perversion, but that apparently is precisely what this administration is doing. Talk about kangaroo courts! I want whoever is responsible for this shameful practice to be exposed and punished. I want every “judge” or “magistrate” who allowed his or her courtroom to be degraded in this manner to be stripped of his or her position and cast into the gutter. I want every government attorney who colluded in such a sham proceeding to be disbarred. I am so utterly disgusted! The so-called ‘family separation” policy was bad enough, but this stinks in another way; it is a fundamental corruption and perversion of the law and the legal system. The Trump administration is not merely another ideological faction with whom we happen to disagree. It is radically evil and must be opposed and fought until it is uprooted and destroyed root and branch.