By the time October of last year rolled around I had already stopped commenting on immigration stories anymore. It was just too painful, too hard to follow and pretend that any of this shit was normal, should be considered normal. I have long considered myself the brother of my hispanic friends. My father’s service station in our hometown in the middle of the great plains was staffed with hispanics, men with brown skin and Spanish surnames. Their children were my friends. They occupied the same social status that I had in school. Not athletic and not masculine in the traditional sense, I was never going to be first class when it came to social standing. I was always a misfit; and as a misfit, I tended to group with the minorities who were generally outcast everywhere I went.
Watching hispanics tormented as the other among us is something that makes me physically ill. I can’t do it, tolerate the inhumanity of tormentors, and I don’t understand people who can, much less the people committing the inhumanities that I’ve been forced to witness these last four years.
The Wife’s foster mother is a Tejano. She married a police officer in the small Texas town where they lived, and she considers herself a part of his social standing as a white law enforcement official in their small town. Being from a small Texas town it is almost a given that the two of them supported Donald Trump when he declared himself for office. The Wife and I tried to talk sense into both of them the few times we’ve visited with them over the last four years, but that effort was fruitless. The signed color photo with the bulbous orange face and fake hair hangs in a location of pride in their living room.
She supported Donald Trump even after she had to avoid detention and deportation from the country, when it was discovered that her birth certificate came from a hospital where it was known that birth certificates were forged. There was no doubt she was born in the country because her parents were not immigrants. They were Tejanos.
Her parents and their parents before them had simply lived in a Spanish speaking area of the state that had never acknowledged the United States absorbing their Mexican state after it was severed from the mother country, and that area had remained a backwater that eventually dried up and blew away because of its disconnection from the current reality in Texas, like a lot of places have done in different states over the years, as fortunes changed and trade changed and people changed or didn’t change.
But then Donald Trump and his White Nationalist agenda came along, and suddenly a person with brown skin who never had a reason to worry about being deported because she had never been out of the country had to face that reality even when she didn’t think of herself as Tejano anymore. She was a Texan and an American and why are you treating me like I was ever a Mexican? That was the reality that Stephen Miller created through the vehicle of Donald Trump and his accidental presidency.
…and that has been the United States that we have lived in for the last four years under Donald Trump’s almost dictatorship. The Wife’s foster mother supports the former president to this day as far as I know, and the immigration nightmare continues.
Through putting children in cages, pointing fingers at Barack Obama for putting children in cages (he didn’t. But he didn’t do enough, either) Letting these poor people languish and die from lack of care along the border. The lies about the border figured largely in the 2018 recapturing of the House of Representatives by the Democrats. Trump had gone too far and it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that he was lying his ass off about immigrants. Then COVID happened and everything went to shit:
COVID spelled doom for Donald Trump. Anyone who follows politics should have understood this fact, but apparently a lot of people didn’t, including a lot of his supporters. Joe Biden won because he wasn’t Donald Trump and the United States wanted Joe Biden back in the White House, like it was when everything was better than it has been for the last four years.
Over the last year of COVID the immigration problem has just gotten worse. Now we have people trying to escape from disease as well as trying to escape from terrorism and poverty in their home countries. We have a different president but largely the same government, and everyone expects miracles right now. They expect miracles even when Texas has torpedoed Joe Biden’s lukewarm migration agenda that simply reverts to the Obama White House status quo of four years ago:
Texas thinks that’s going too far. We Texans apparently like being able to rough up anyone we don’t think belongs here and then send them back across the Mexican border whether they even immigrated from there or not. We push people back across the border and then say “What? His legs were fine when we dropped him off:”
So let me get this straight, CPB. You are saying they broke their own legs after you dropped them off across the border? Are you sure that is the story you want to stick with? What, exactly, are you trying to say?
This is the atmosphere that heralds the return of the god-king Donald Trump and his head White Nationalist Stephen Miller to the evangelical tent circus that Donald Trump has been fleecing suckers with since 2016:
When Beau says that Biden isn’t going to propose anything remotely close to being up to his standards, I’m right there with him. There isn’t any way that what I think justice for these people will look like legislatively will ever be proposed or make it through congress because congress doesn’t understand what its job is. That is the first point that needs addressing.
I don’t understand why the representatives who stood up and said “Biden didn’t win fairly” were even seated in Congress. Their credentials should have been rejected and their states should have been sanctioned until they managed to send representatives that were willing to work within the system as it has been created. If the 117th legislature had done this, policed their own bodies as they have the right to do, then the policies that Biden wants to pursue would be achievable because the states that don’t want to be part of the process would have no voice in the process.
Saying that immigrants can’t come here is an unenforceable position unless the people who want to keep the immigrants out are willing to kill them themselves; and if they do kill them then we have some nice murder charges that will fit them perfectly. Please step over here now, sir. The immigration issue is just the most visible of the festering sores on the body politic. Unless we get a Congress that is willing to do the work that needs to be done, there will not be an end to the sickness that is killing our country.
What would justice look like? Green cards for everyone with a clean background that wants to work. Let’s start there. Citizenship for every person who works here and doesn’t have citizenship anywhere else. If you work here, pay taxes here, have children here, you are an American. It is time we accepted this fact.
But justice goes deeper than just being humane to our immigrants. We need to acknowledge that poor people have the right to continue to live, not just the immigrants but every single American. We can’t very well expect Americans to care about immigrants when their country demonstrably doesn’t care about them, either. Those festering sores will kill our country sooner than the immigration problem will, and will sabotage any attempt to reform the immigration system if they aren’t dealt with at the same time.
Here is a baseline position to start from when it comes to immigration. How about we not let the White Nationalists that run Texas today set the terminology for the people they want to put in concentration camps or kick out of the country? The unaccompanied children who are the majority of immigrants who are showing up at the border; or if they aren’t the majority they are the ones that are causing the most trouble. Those are not migrants. They are refugees. They are asylum seekers. They are not drug smugglers or disease carriers or any one of the dozens of demonizing labels that are thrown out by the hateful governor of our state. They are children who have no one to turn to, and they are looking for family in the United States:
…even that hotbed of socialist dogma, NPR, can’t seem to stop parroting the hateful labels applied by people who want these children treated as criminals. Not migrants. Refugees. Asylum seekers. Children. The solution to the problem at the Southern border is going to take some actual thinking, some actual investment, and some actual work to enact. Work that the Republican leadership in Texas will not do correctly if it is left to them. They will fuck it up and the problem will get worse.
Here’s hoping that Biden’s goal of setting up intake locations in these asylum seekers home countries will work out the way we all want it to. That is probably the best way to short-circuit the wave of unaccompanied minors showing up at the Southern border, give them another way to get to their relatives already inside the United States.
The crisis at the Southern border has been all over the news this week (March 22-26) There is just one or two problems inside the narrative that the Trumpists want to overwrite the actual problem at the border with. There is no crisis at the border at the same time as there has been a crisis at the border for as long as we have tried to stop migrants from moving back and forth across the United States / Mexican border. It is a crisis that we created, like so many of the crisis that we have artificially created:
The annual migration trend is completely within the bounds of prediction to anyone who is paying attention to the seasonal migration across the border. The only part of the increase that isn’t predicted is the increase in unaccompanied minors at the border, a challenge that was going to be presented to any president that succeeded Donald Trump. There is nothing that an administration that has only been in office for three months could have done to address the influx of children. Nothing.
The only people who could have addressed this problem are the Republican Senators who are currently, ridiculously, pretending to tour the border areas out of concern for the children that their president would have shamelessly sold to US families at a profit. They failed to do the job that existed for them then because their way to fix the problem was to let Trump do whatever horrible thing he wanted to do next in order to make us look more ruthless than the criminal gangs destroying Central American countries. Go back to Cancun, Ted. You can put on your creepy speedo and cruise the resort pool looking for children to abuse. Leave the suffering people at the border alone. They’ve already suffered enough.
Listen to this episode of Vox Conversations to get a real feel for the problem we are facing:
That Aarti Shahani feels betrayed by his father and the United States now is completely understandable. I would feel the same way were I to be walking in his shoes. El Paso relies on the metro area across the border just as certainly as those communities rely on El Paso. The way to solve the border problem is to let those people who live on the border tell us what they want done to make them feel more secure. It won’t be better, taller walls, that much is certain.
Nations that do not change, stagnate and die. Those that welcome new life and embrace new ideas, thrive.facebook.com/Stonekettle