Thursday

21 June 2018

You’re driving down Main Street with your two under-10 kids in the back seat. They’re fighting, because of course they are, that’s what bored kids do, and it’s just distracting enough that you roll through a stop sign. Luckily, there’s no cross traffic, so no one gets hurt. Unluckily, there’s a cop behind you. At the sound of whoop-whoop and a flash of lights, you pull over.

And you can’t find your license.

Now, you have a driver’s license, you just can’t find it. The officer is understanding; you get your ticket for blowing the stop sign and a chance to later prove you do, in fact, have an unexpired, valid license.

It’s an everyday kind of exchange. You broke a law, but no one got hurt, so you go on your merry way, yelling at your kids in the back seat to not tell the other parent.

Of course they’ll tell. Because they’re kids.

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You’re driving down Main Street with your two under-10 kids in the back seat. They’re fighting, because of course they are, that’s what bored kids do, and it’s just distracting enough that you roll through a stop sign. Luckily, there’s no cross traffic, so no one gets hurt. Unluckily, there’s a cop behind you. At the sound of whoop-whoop and a flash of lights, you pull over.

Problem? You don’t have a license. For whatever reason, you don’t have one. It expired. You just never bothered. Whatever.

You get your ticket, one for blowing the stop sign, one for driving without a license. You’re gonna have to appear in court, but overall, it’s not horrible.

You broke a law, no one got hurt, your crime is a misdemeanor. You can be pretty sure you’ll get a slap on the wrist and a fine. It sucks, but life goes on, so you go on your merry way, yelling at your kids in the back seat to not tell the other parent.

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You’re driving down Main Street with your two under-10 kids in the back seat. They’re fighting, because of course they are, that’s what bored kids do, and it’s just distracting enough that you roll through a stop sign. Luckily, there’s no cross traffic, so no one gets hurt. Unluckily, there’s a cop behind you. At the sound of whoop-whoop and a flash of lights, you pull over.

Problem? You don’t have a license. For whatever reason, you don’t have one. It expired. You just never bothered. Whatever.

The officer asks for your license and insurance, which you don’t have. You’re asked to get out of the car, made to step away. Another cop shows up. Your kids are forcibly removed from the back seat of your car. You’re not allowed to explain anything to them. They’re frantic, crying, screaming for you. They get shoved into the back seat of the other cop car, and you’re not told where they’ll be taken or when you’ll get to see them again.

You’re shoved into the back of the first cop car, taken to jail, with no guarantee of when you’ll be given a hearing.

Your crime is a misdemeanor, but you’re treated like a felon. You have no representation.

And you may never see your kids again.

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Here’s the thing.

There is nothing illegal about crossing the border to seek asylum.

Crossing the border without a visa and not asking for asylum is a misdemeanor.

By law, it’s no worse than driving without a license, an offense for which rendering your children from your arms is unthinkable. An offense for which going to prison is unthinkable. An offense for which your children being held in a prison-like institution is unthinkable.

A misdemeanor is a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor.

Yet, that's what we're doing.

Supporting the current zero-tolerance policy that rips families apart (and don’t let the newly signed executive ordering ending that fool you; it’s only good for 20 days and does nothing for the families already affected, and has the neato clause that allows apprehended families be held indefinitely) supports the idea that the disaffected in this world don’t deserve to be have access to the same legal protections as everyone else. It’s about as un-American as it gets.

It does nothing to protect our borders.

It does nothing to make you more safe.

It does nothing to save American jobs for American citizens.

It will destroy these children; even if they’re reunited with their parents, the mental and emotional damage is done.

It will result in hundreds, if not thousands, of these kids remaining in the U.S., never to see their parents again. Guess who foots the bill for that?

It will cost the U.S. far more to continue to implement this zero-tolerance policy than if things had been left alone.

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BUT OBAMA…

No. This was not a policy started by Obama. Families were not ripped apart, and the kids were not held like animals in cages. Yes, there were detention facilities in which kids were and are held, but those were largely occupied by teen boys who crossed the border *without their parents* and that doesn't mean they were the right thing to do.

And those kids? With the influx of children being taken from their parents for the misdemeanor crime of seeking a better life, those kids are being taken to a tent city.

A tent city.

In the Texas heat.

You know, like prisoners in Arizona. Prisoners who probably have more rights.

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It’s simple, really. The current administration had no difficulty with the idea of holding children hostage to getting funding for a border wall that will do absolutely nothing to curb illegal immigration.

And really, if the administration ever gets it, the net effect will be null.

Don’t kid yourself.

Most illegal aliens in the U.S. didn’t sneak over the border with Mexico. Most of them came into this county legally, on Visas, which they overstayed.

But that doesn’t count, does it?

Where’s the fun in having moral outrage about that?

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Illegal aliens are not taking your jobs. You wouldn’t do the jobs they’re taking. The jobs you’re losing are more likely taken by corporate greed; that rich white guy sitting at the CEOs desk who would rather make another million or two rather than bolster the work force that earns him the big bucks. The jobs lost went overseas, where the work can be done for a fraction of the pay.

Illegal aliens are not grabbing food stamps. They’re not eligible.

Illegal aliens are not sucking up welfare dollars. Most people are welfare are, surprise, white and born right here in the U.S.

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Continued support of this administration blows me away.

I basically understood when people voted for him; they wanted to take a wrecking ball to everything. They were tired of the way things were going.

The problem is in still supporting this administration. That wrecking ball is swinging, and if left unchecked is going to demolish everything. Was that the point? Because if it was, you’re forgetting something major: when you tear something beyond its foundation, there’s a good chance it can’t be rebuilt.

When the Boy was in 8th grade or thereabouts, he told me about what they were studying in history; the U.S. had carried this particular form of government long past its expected expiration. Looking ahead, we were poised to endure a fundamental shift that might end this form of republic in a generation, maybe two.

He thought it might happen sooner.

Twenty to thirty years.

That’s stuck with me all this time. And now I worry he was right.

We’re throwing babies in jail because someone else committed a misdemeanor.

We’re throwing babies in jail.

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You can’t support that. You can’t.

If you can?

God help you, and I mean that sincerely.

3 comments:

las794 said...

Thank you for stating the facts so clearly. You totally rock.

Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

I suspected where you were going after the 2nd repetition. I agree. I sometimnes write about politics at caveber.blogspot.com. And have you ever read https://herecomesnoodle.blogspot.com/? Its a cat blog that often writes about political issues you and I would likely agree with. I encourage you to visit both sites.

I think the US is going rther insane. Not because Trump is the President, he is just a symbol of it. It is that he was chosen (yes through the Electoral College, not popular vote). And it is worse. The Congress is supposed to be a balance on the President and they are not.

Things have gotten so bad that even obvious solutions to problems are beyond the ability of a fractured Congress to deal with. The Republicans adopted an internal rule that no law can be passed without a majority of Republicans supporting it a decade or more ago.

Here's the problem... Republicans are tactically brilliant and Democrats are tactically inept. I was a Republican when I was young, I understand how they think. It's not pretty, fair, or nice. They play chess; Democrats play Candyland.

I don't want to post too long. But when Trumpian Republicans scream to separate children from their parents (and some of those children may never be returned to their parents) and the non-Trumpian Republicans just hide and surrender, and Democrats don't present a simple united front refusing to allow it, something is very very wrong.

What an I supposed to do? Storm the White House Gates and throw rocks? We need a rational leader to drg us out of this mess. Someone to organize reactions...

Jane2 said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Everyone should take a trip to south Texas to see the lack of civil rights within a 25 or so mile perimeter along the border; the scary Inspection stations; snakes being burned out of cane so migrants can pick them; the extreme poverty of Nuevo Progreso, a town that caters to Americans; colonias; undocumented people cleaning, building, watering, and picking.

And using words like "vermin", "infest" - and reclassifying kids as unaccompanied and turning them over to private facilities - it's all several steps down a very dark path.