On Immigration, Hypocrisy and the Need to Change
Senator Bernie Sanders recently wrote the following concerning the proposal by President Donald Trump to create a new government office with the very specific purpose of serving American victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants (VOICE—Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement, under the US Department of Homeland Security):
The murder of anyone is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to all families who lose a loved one to violence. But let’s be clear about what Donald Trump is doing tonight in inviting family members who saw a loved one murdered by an undocumented immigrant. He is stirring up fear and hatred against immigrants and trying to divide our nation. That is his political strategy and we must not allow him to get away with it. Why didn’t Trump invite the family of Srinvas Kuchibhotla, the immigrant from India, who was recently shot down in cold blood by a white, native born American? Didn’t his life count? Why didn’t he invite the families of the black parishioners shot down in a church in South Carolina by racist Dylan Roof? Weren’t their lives important? President Trump, any murder is a tragedy. Don’t use these tragedies to stir up divisions by race and nationality?
I have my differences with Senator Sanders who I feel joined the massive Hypocrite Party (an inclusive group that includes leaders from both major parties and most of the mainstream media); odd as it had apparently stolen the presidency from him. Perhaps he never wanted it. But I agree with his observations above.
All victims of crime deserve our support, regardless of the cultural background of the perpetrator, and all perpetrators deserve our outrage, regardless of their cultural background. However, in light of the fact that crime by undocumented immigrants is below the national crime rate by citizens, the President’s argument and proposal lack coherence. And it is not needed as an argument in favor of enforcing “all” laws.
If laws are not enforced, they ought to be repealed and it should be a constitutional premise under the concept of “common law” that any law not enforced over a reasonable period of time should be considered automatically invalidated. However, in the case of immigration, our duty to enforce the law needs to be tempered with our moral responsibility for the consequences of our actions in other countries which have led their citizens to feel the need to abandon them, whether for economic reasons because we’ve looted their natural resources or because we’ve destroyed their countries militarily. Still, even then, it’s hard to argue that the United States should not provide a haven for those who engage in antisocial behavior violative of our penal laws.
There are reasonable answers and reasonable solutions to the immigration dilemma as there are for all of our problems and all of our conflicts. Unfortunately, as with so much else, Democrats and Republicans both see us as mere tools, to be emotionally manipulated for their own purposes, and those purposes invariably involve abuse of power for the enrichment of the few at our expense.
It is we who let them do so, who enable them. Senator Sanders, had he not elected to sell out, could have done a great deal to change the foregoing. But he bailed as so many of us do, falling victim to plays on words and lesser evil terror campaigns. We are not a very politically courageous People, but, even so, …
Isn’t it time to consider other alternatives?
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved