The Sickening Policy of Zero Tolerance and the President’s Wall
Who have we, as a nation, become? Immigrants crossing the border are having their children separated from them, and these children are used as political footballs to force congress to pay for a wall!
President Trump is holding these families hostage, at any cost, until he gets his way – the wall! – by enacting a cruel zero-tolerance policy for any person who crosses the border illegally, resulting in thousands of children being taken away from their parents. This is inhumane and immoral.
This administration has demonstrated a bigotry against many races, nationalities and creeds. First it was the Muslims when Trump signed an order (January 27, 2017, Executive Order, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States) temporarily halting admission of refugees from predominantly Muslim countries. Soon thereafter he refused Syrian refuges who were escaping a civil war that has been going on for more than 5 years.
Then the cancellation of DACA in September 2017, where Trump ended the program, thereby putting into jeopardy the fate of hundreds of thousands of young Americans who were brought here as young children. These are young men and women who are now working in our country, going to school, and even fighting in our armed forces. Again, if Congress agreed to a wall, Trump would have signed a bill to accept these people. The lives of these young people remain in limbo.
Continuing with the administration’s expulsion of all people, other than white Christians, and keeping his xenophobic campaign promises, the administration began the assault on people who came here because of war, anarchy, murderous drug cartels, hurricanes, or other disasters in their home countries – their TPS (Temporary Protected Status) was revoked.
I wrote about this earlier this year. This status extended to Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, and many others from troubled central American countries. Many of these people have been here for decades, raised families here, work here, and pay taxes here. Their legal status is being revoked and they face the horror of losing everything – and everyone – and being sent back to their country of origin.
Now what? Children are taken away from their parents under the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, and parents have been arrested. Is this the art of negotiation?
But a wall is not the answer. Secure boarders are needed along with a good immigration policy that is not forced upon Congress by keeping young Americans from citizenship and tearing children from their parents. “America is Great” because of the diversity in our population, not because of its inhumanity.
What is needed is aid to countries in trouble. But instead of giving aid, we threaten to cut aid, and this happened in the beginning of the year when Nikki Halley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, scolded the countries that didn’t vote with the U.S. concerning Palestinian Aid. She touted the administration’s position of “America-first” without considering the consequences of extreme poverty, war, and strife in these countries. Instead of help, we withheld help. This makes no sense.
What is needed are safe refugee camps and safe zones in Mexico, and the Central American countries – and yes, in our country – to keep these people who are fleeing from harm’s way while they wait to be processed.
What is needed are more border patrols, immigration lawyers, immigration judges, and officials who can process asylum cases.
What is needed is decriminalization of drugs. This will stop the flow of illegal drugs into our country and cut funding of the drug cartels that have killed so many people on both sides of the border.
What is needed are good trade agreements that help the workers on both sides of the border – and not only corporations.
What is needed are working permits for the millions of undocumented workers who are currently working in the United States paying taxes, raising families, buying houses. These are people who have been here for decades. They need a legal status to bring them out of underground economy that only benefits the companies that exploit them.
What is needed is to accept our role in the world, and to understand that all nations on earth must work together for all of mankind. America sent aid to many of those countries after two devastating World Wars, and that policy truly made “America Great.”