Immigration and Child Separation-A Discussion

We, as a nation, may need to take a step back and consider adjusting our morals. The people of the United States claim to consider all human life as precious, but that only seems to be true when it’s applicable to our circumstances or is convenient for us to do. Blinded by our need for self-preservation–to preserve our beliefs, our values, our money, our possessions, and our lives–many have forgotten their sense of humanity in this society.

By now, many of our readers have probably heard about migrant children from Mexico being separated from their parents. The adults crossing the border with their children were being detained by our Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers while the children were sent to holding centers until their parent’s legal cases are processed. Immigration has always been an issue in this country, but we find the current administration’s policy to be morally unjustified, if not cruel.

The government’s policies on this issue are troublesome, to say the least, but what has caused us equal concern are the lengths to which many have gone to defend the actions of our leaders. Some people out there are determined to avoid admitting fault in the leaders they support, their individual beliefs and perspectives, and often become defensive when labeled the ‘bad guy.’ Winning an argument and twisting information to justify their perspectives seems to be far more important than protecting what’s left of their humanity.

Some news outlets, in order to deflect blame, stated former President Barrack Obama also separated children from their parents. While this is true in some isolated incidents (when there were drug smuggling and human trafficking concerns), numerous fact-checking sites labeled this statement as misleading and mostly false. Whether Obama did or did not separate children is a moot point. Let’s say he actually did authorize such a policy (he didn’t, but the current administration did), that does not justify the current administration’s decision. Just because someone did something, does not mean it’s acceptable for someone else to do it. If a person gets away with murder and we decide to take a human life, we cannot justify our actions or be exempt from repercussions because so-and-so did it.

These same news outlets tend to find ways to demonize immigrants by labeling them as “illegals,” “rapists,” and “lazy moochers,” among other things. Many label immigrants these names in order to dehumanize them or make them seem lesser than the general population. Immigrants are nothing more than human beings trying to find a better life for themselves. We were born here so many of our opportunities have been handed to us on a platter–whether we realize it or not–but the immigrants have not been so lucky. Many are entering this country, risking death, to escape the life-threatening environment that is their homeland. If any of us were in the same situations, we would risk our lives for a sliver of hope to obtain a safe, opportunistic future for ourselves and loved ones. Are there bad people entering the U.S.? Of course. But there are plenty of bad people that were born here as well…

The “moochers” argument has always perplexed us here at ShortLifeLongRoad. People often label the poor and immigrants as lazy, unmotivated bums who suckle at the taxpayer’s teat by utilizing government programs or evading paying their share in taxes. The people who argue this seem to be under the impression that the poor or immigrants live on easy street because they “don’t work” and have a free ride to housing, food, et cetera. Let us ask the people who make these arguments this: if it’s so easy and glamorous, why don’t you quit your job and live like that?

People’s perceptions of immigrants and the poor come from stigmas that have been in politics and social commentary since humans began separating themselves by their worth, or class (some people are somehow less important, or more important, depending on how much they own–ridiculous). We also hear about how our taxes are paying for these immigrants to live here. To us, it doesn’t matter in the slightest if that’s true because we do not need all that we have. If paying more in taxes ensures people a decent life for these people then it is worth the cost. Think of it this way–I don’t have children but still pay taxes for education funding. It doesn’t mean my money is being used inappropriately or that the kids are lazy or are mooching from me. It means my money is going to a cause/need that will help create a better world in the long run. We as a society need to examine what value our money and stuff have over the value of human life.

Our favorite characteristic of several major news outlets (sarcasm) is how often they flip-flop their coverage and opinions to appeal to their base and adhere to their political following (similar to our President). A lot of them went through great lengths to defend and support the current administration by repeating the topics mentioned above. When our president was pressured into taking action against his own administration’s policy, the news outlets defending the original policy suddenly had a change of heart and were acting like he was the leader of a human rights organization. Need we remind them that the first policy was in place because of him? Is it so hard to admit that wrong is wrong every now and then?

The last argument we’ll discuss is a post we saw on our social media accounts. It argued that we shouldn’t be outraged over the caging of Hispanic children because there are children in the United States that need help. This person said we should help “ours” first then help the rest. First of all, just because you aren’t aware of something happening doesn’t mean it isn’t. There are countless organizations working to fix our poverty problem and is one of the many reasons why people get angry or outraged when they learn the government cuts funding for social programs that assist our nation’s youth. Secondly, the poster’s argument is beside the point…can’t we try to help all people regardless of where they’re from? Why do our lives matter more than theirs?

The arguments above only plague us with more questions: is coming into a country seeking safety cause to separate families? Is the so-called ‘crime’ for crossing an imaginary line really that bad? Does our money cause us to be entirely selfish…do we need all we have? Would we be as concerned if wealth was distributed fairly from rich to poor? Has society created too many negative perceptions of others to cause us to lose our ability to feel empathy? What would you do if you were in the immigrant’s shoes and what if the kids taken away yours?

Our stance is that we have an obligation, as world citizens and people of prosperity, to help those who naturally have less. We are obligated to help because we have the means to…we shouldn’t when it’s just convenient. Preserving the lives others will create a better world which can improve our chances for self-preservation.

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