Guest editorial: As outrage at border continues, U.S. must adopt a more humane immigration system
June 24, 2018
The disturbing escalation of events at our southern border, whereby young children are separated from their parent(s), has rightfully called for outrage from all corners of our society, even from those who support our current administration in many other aspects.
Reflecting on the sharp distinction in how illegal immigration is viewed, I suggest the opposing views are not a function of different views on how children should be treated and cared for, but rather the premise that leads to profoundly different conclusions. If one views the role of Northern European descendants is to assume a dominant role in the United States, and if one considered people coming across the border from the countries south of the U.S. to be criminals, looking for benefits to which they are not entitled, taking jobs from Americans or using their children to gain undeserved entrance into the U.S., it would follow that depriving them of their children might be viewed as a deterrent to others contemplating crossing the borders. Subjecting those attempting to come here illegally to a harsh judicial process, interpreted in the most extreme rendition, would certainly seem consistent with such views.
Alternatively, if one embraces the full spectrum of humanity and remembers that all of us, regardless of country of origin, were immigrants and took away the lives and livelihood of native Americans and, if one considers that the majority of migrants, attempting to cross illegally, are escaping from countries where their lives and that of their children was routinely threatened and/or their ability to provide the basic safety net for their families was unimaginable, then taking the risk of the arduous journey to the border and suffering the cruelty and inhumanity at the border, while utterly deplorable, is still better than the lives left behind.
To adopt and implement a humane immigration and asylum seeker program is absolutely necessary and should include careful consideration to preserve the safety of all Americans and prevent costly impact on our systems. However, those who come to do harm or peddle illegal commodities will always find ways to conduct their nefarious activities and we should laser focus of the cause and prevention of this problem, existing on both sides of our borders.
And, finally imagine if we took the enormous resources spent on keeping people out of the U.S. could be redirected to helping countries lift themselves out of poverty, crime and corruption so that there is less need for people to leave their homeland. … One can dream, can't one?