As an immigrant, albeit a legal immigrant now a citizen, I watch with disgust how immigrant and refugee issues are politicized but never resolved and while I oppose as ignorant and xenophobic the policies of many Republicans on the complex of issues involved, I reserve my most critical disdain and disgust for the Democratic Party and its leaders, as well as for many of its members, especially those in the Clinton – Obama wing.
The politicized topic of the day is the Trump administration’s decision to end the “temporary protected status” granted to what are now 260,000 Salvadorian nationals, temporary status granted nearly 17 years ago after two devastating earthquakes. As expressed in a barrage of emails requesting political donations and insisting that all Republican legislators be thrown out during the 2018 elections, Democratic Party activists and their mainstream-media-echoes are allegedly livid and morally outraged at the decision. Apparently, however, no one thought to ponder on the meaning of “temporary” when a “Republican” administration granted the status, or now ponders why, if “temporary” was not the solution, the issue was not resolved during the eight years of the Obama administration, and especially during the two years when the Democratic Party also controlled both houses of Congress.
As a real immigrant’s advocate, one who believes that an open immigration policy is not only morally correct but also productive in a society where our social safety net (e.g., social security) requires many more contributors, I am appalled and disgusted by the condescending hypocrisy of would be benefactors who, like purportedly kindly Southern slaveholders immediately prior to our first Civil War (an appropriate “adjectivation” now that a second one seems possible), deign to notice the subjects of the discourse involved without any idea of what is really involved, a combination of condescension and self-delusion, albeit, of course, politically profitable: chips of all colors for the Identity Politics game. Immigrants, useful pieces from time to time; generally during even numbered years for some reason.
Of course, for our would be Democratic Party benefactors, the underlying issues are better left unresolved, more politically useful; for everyone but the immigrants and refugees directly involved. It bears recalling that those would be Democratic Party benefactors are the same people who created the refugee crisis in Central America through participation in coups and economic blockades (remember Secretary Clinton and Honduras), who, during the first part of the Obama administration, sent back thousands of Central American refugee children, but who suddenly find that they in fact have a conscience, albeit a politically convenient one.
For some reason this morning I seem to hear echoes of a madwoman cackling “we came, we saw, he died” to the cheers of our “would be” saviors.
Resolution of the issues involved, as with almost all governance related matters, should involve simple premises. Laws should be enforced. If they are inadequate, they must be changed. Laws that are not enforced ought to be considered constitutionally deficient. Selective enforcement, what we have with respect to most immigration related matters, is the worst of all options, the most unfair, and also the most cruel.
I can understand and respect opposing viewpoints based on divergent premises. Hypocrisy, blatant, unadulterated, distilled hypocrisy is something else. Something real progressives should flee from.
And that is what we are being served today.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.