Display of hate towards these refugees may come back to haunt us
The border crisis is not what most Americans believe it is. There are three types of traffic hitting our border today. There is the illegal drug smuggling. There is the standard undocumented migration of people that naturally occurs along borders between countries. Lastly there is the migration of refugees.
Drug smuggling will not stop as there is an insatiable appetite for drugs in the United States. There is a demand for drugs. As free enterprise capitalists, American leaders are cognizant that unless society changes or drug policy changes, the demand will be met. In fact the drug smuggling across our borders is that demand being met.
Migration between adjacent or close borders is not uncommon. It is not uncommon especially if the countries have large economic or socio-political disparities that engender others to seek relief. The economic catastrophe that afflicted America in 2008 caused by a fraudulent financial sector brought migration between the US and other countries to net zero.
The explosion however from those coming to America from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador is not a border security issue. It is not a drug smuggling issue. It is not an economic migration issue in the normal sense. It is a survival issue. These children and adults migrating are refugees. They are escaping violent gangs and the inability to survive economically because of an imposed environment.
What many Americans seem to ignore is that we are measurably responsible for much of the pains of these refugees. Many Americans are unaware that these countries are the conduits used to feed our drug dependence. Cure America’s drug addiction, legalize drugs, or both, and the conduit is useless. These countries can then return to a more stable footing. Stop supporting the Oligarchs and ensure a more equitable distribution of these countries’ resources and there is no reason for these people to leave their countries. The problem is our businesses love supporting Oligarchs as it isolates them from the job of enforcing economic fairness to the masses.
A few weeks ago I wrote the following in a blog post titled ‘Angry shameful display of American disdain for those other immigrants’ in which I said the following.
Before forcefully and angrily throwing immigrants out, they should remember that the many founders of this nation themselves were immigrants. They should remember as well that they came here as well to make a better life for themselves.
The big difference is that in the process of migrating to this land the ‘first’ immigrants violently took the land and enslaved a people to profit from the land. The intrinsic benevolence of many fought to make this country not what it was but what it was to become, a more inclusive country attempting to widen democracy.
Immigrants coming to America today do not have conquest on their minds. They just want a better life. They just want access to success.
Today I received an article titled ‘Strangers at Our Door: Refugees, a Crisis of Conscience for American Christians’ from one of my favorite Conservative writers and author of ‘An Upward Calling’, Michael Stafford. It was exactly the piece I was looking for to conclude this article. Michael Stafford has many important quotes in his piece but the piece is best read in its entirety. Michael Stafford said the following.
As children often travelling alone, these refugees are uniquely vulnerable. And yet their arrival has been met, in many instances, with ugly scenes including displays of rank nativism, cruelty and hatred. Instead of finding sanctuary and protection, they are the targets of abuse. As CNN has reported regarding one shameful incident in Murrieta, California, "busloads of babies in their mothers' laps, teens, 'tweens and toddlers ... were met by screaming protesters waving and wearing American flags and bearing signs that read such things as 'Return to Sender.'" These reactions communicate a brutally simple message: you are not welcome here. …
Migration has been a constant throughout human history. As a species, humanity has always been on the move. This will undoubtedly be the case in the future as well. Indeed, we can expect even more people to take to the roads and seas in search of safe harbour in the days ahead, as societies become increasingly insecure and brittle under the stress of social, economic and environmental degradation, and the political instability and violence they engender. …
But these problems are not unique to the developing world. Only our own arrogance prevents us from recognizing that we may one day be numbered among the world's masses of displaced persons ourselves. We have thus picked a very poor time to harden our hearts to the plight of refugees and other migrants. …
Strangers, in desperate need, are arriving at our door. As Christians, we cannot respond with cold hearts and locked gates. We must minister to their suffering by offering them shelter and a share of our own abundance. As Christians, we must welcome them in.
Michael Stafford is absolutely correct. Those four paragraphs have a very important message every American should heed. We must be careful for we may be judged for how we treated those that needed refuge. Our time will come when our people may have to migrate northward and southward, eastward and westward. Will the response be reflective of those of us that displayed an un-American evil?