By Michael d’Oliveira
While racism and bigotry do underpin a lot of the rhetoric of some people who are anti-illegal immigration, not everyone against illegal immigration is a racist or a bigot.
There is nothing immoral or cruel about someone wanting to control the flow of immigration into their country. The morality and humanity, or lack thereof, of an immigration policy comes in how people and families are treated. Preventing someone from entering the country illegally is not automatically cruel and inhumane. Ripping families apart is.
A lot of people who come here illegally do so because they’re desperate to provide for themselves and their families. They only want to find work and they aren’t here to steal, smuggle drugs, or worse. We should treat these people with compassion and humanity.
Unfortunately, some of the people who come here illegally are not here for innocent reasons. Having a system where everyone comes here legally is the only way to distinguish between the two groups and keep out as many gang and drug cartel members as possible. Can any system prevent every problem or avoid mistakes? No. No system is perfect. Will people still come here illegally? Yes. People who are desperate and destitute don’t have time to wait for paperwork. No one in their right mind would let their family be exposed to a dangerous situation longer than they had to just to wait on some paperwork. Human beings are not like that. They take action to protect themselves as soon as possible. Everyone should be able to empathize with that.
No one should get mad at desperate people just because they couldn’t wait to fill out form I-140. They certainly shouldn’t use racist or derogatory language to describe them either. But no one should get mad at someone who just wants to implement a humane, fair, immigration and border policy.
Stop the hyperbole surrounding illegal immigration
No, the Democrats don’t want illegal immigrants to come here and vote, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee wrote on Twitter today. “Nancy Pelosi introduces her campaign committee for the take back of the House,” he wrote above a picture of what appears to be Mexican gang members.
Wanting an increase in legal immigration or a decrease in children being separated from their families does not mean you want to see illegal immigrants getting in line at polling places on election day.
And, as horrible and immoral as separating families is, comparing ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to the Nazis is not accurate. “No more pussyfooting around any more. ICE = NAZIS,” wrote the Americans for Bernie Sanders Facebook page.
There are many atrocious acts committed in this world. The scale goes from cheating at golf all the way up to rounding up human beings and putting them in gas chambers. The Nazis occupied the farthest end of the spectrum. ICE ripping children from their parents’ arms is terrible, but it’s still not comparable to the Nazis.
Speaking in hyperbole does nothing to advance the conversation. You can speak out against horrible policy decisions without resorting to hyperbole.