Sunday, August 3, 2014

Immigration--Will We flunk the Morals Test?

Headlines are funny. Sometimes not so funny.  They only deal with the news-of-the week which raises eyebrows, making us shake our heads or clap our hands. Mostly the former, which forces people to yell: “Did you read that?”

So this week we are hearing about the sad state of affairs in Israel and Palestine. We are hearing threats by mostly Republican legislators to sue the President. Some accuse him of trying to be King—while others say he is doing nothing. Can we have it both ways? We read where the Congress-Senate has taken their five-week holiday. For $9.95 a month you can follow Sarah Palin’s rants about trying to impeach President Obama. Huh?

Whatever happened to those close to 60,000 children who have fled danger from their homeland to find a safe place in America? Did we send them all back home? Did we scatter them around the country? Have we locked them up? Where are they and are they scared of this new land that they thought would be entirely different. I have a feeling that though we don’t have room in our papers or nightly news for them anymore—they are still with us and we still have decided to do with them.

photo by southwest key programs / flickr
 Most of them never heard of the Stature of Liberty thank God! They did hear this was a safe place and so they came. Parents who paid thousands of dollars they could not afford just to make sure their children were finally safe—must be disheartened when they realize many of their children will come back home to an unsafe place once more.

I have been appalled at those who claim these children that come bring lice and tuberculosis and all sorts of diseases when they come to our shores. Seems to me once upon a time people in Germany (and other countries) claimed that the Jews were dirty, lice-infested and a threat to their nation. Does this thinking have a familiar ring? It is just about as un-American—not to speak of un-Christian--as one could get.

One of the darkest days in our history of World War II was when we sent back to Germany a whole boatload of Jewish people who tried to escape the Nazis by coming to America. We turned the ship around and sent back to their deaths. Ours is not the only time in our country when politics triumphed reason. Looks like we are more concerned with approval ratings than we are human beings.

I wonder if many of those Congressmen and Senators who are back home glad-handing,  hugging their own kids and sleeping in their own beds realize that in a place called Texas there are a whole cadre of kids frightened and wondering about their future.

photo by mlangsam 2004 / flickr

This is not a simple issue anymore than the tragedy between Israel and Palestine and the troubled, troubled Mid-east and a multitude of other problems. But still whatever decisions we make on this immigration issue, especially with the children, and other issues really does determine the kind of people we really are. And if we are becoming mean and cruel and selfish only--it is high time we dismantled the Stature of Liberty and send it back to France.

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