“Long you live and high you fly
Smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.” — Roger Waters
This weekend I did one of those things I always promised myself I wouldn’t do. Facebook is a place for silos. People form groups of likeminded individuals where they can complain about how stupid other people are. Occasionally, I make statements on my public wall. I always live to regret this. People jump in and comment. Others come in and retort to those comments and a whole war of words begins.
In this case, I published an modern adaptation of the story of the good Samaritan. One of the things I love about Jesus’ parables is how they challenge our sensibilities. When they are modernized or fully explained through historical context they throw everything on its ear. They punch you right in the gut which is what they were precisely designed to do.
The adaptation addressed immigration generally and the collective stunts by Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis more specifically. The answers to the screed demonstrated both the mental gymnastics we subscribe to make ourselves feel better and the misinformation we see put forth on a regular basis. As a general nod to my regular readers, I thought I’d recap some of those.
- Liberals are for open borders
I should point out here that one of my friends (and a regular reader here) pointed out that leftists are for open borders. Liberals are not leftists. It would be similar to the difference between moderate Republicans and libertarians. It’s a pure form of ideology most of us do not possess. All that being said, most Democrats are not for open borders as any reasonable person would define them.
More migrants have been arrested under Joe Biden than ever under Donald Trump. The same was true under Barack Obama than Trump. Trump has always employed a “speak loudly and do little” approach to key issues. Now, whether these record arrests are a good thing or not is open to debate. I respect leftists even if I don’t always agree with them. So, we will leave that debate for another day.
2. Those coming are illegal and it amounts to an invasion
Someone actually used the invasion term in their response. Both terms are inflammatory. However, this is one of those areas where I get the backlash. Those that are sympathetic to the cause of migrants insist on calling them undocumented saying that a human being cannot be illegal. It can’t be illegal to exist. Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where the politically correct term probably triggers conservatives more than it helps the conversation.
However, this is where the truth needs to repeated. If I want to claim asylum I have to do so in person. That’s the law. Once I claim asylum then I am officially an asylum seeker until my case is adjudicated. Therefore, whether you prefer undocumented or illegal is irrelevant because neither apply. As one helpful commenter pointed out, the vast majority of asylum seekers actually appear at all of their hearings. That of course goes against the popular narrative that they just skip them.
3. They are criminals that come here to commit crimes and steal essential services
This didn’t come out in this particular discussion, but it undoubtedly is in most people’s minds. Let’s consider this logically. Most people that come want a better life for themselves and their family. Maybe they get a temporary visa, are seeking asylum, or maybe they skip that part of the process.
Let’s even assume the last one is true. What would it benefit them to participate in activities that would get them deported? They don’t want to call attention to themselves. Most just want to work hard, save as much as they can, and improve their situation long-term for their families. Are there bad actors? Sure, but they commit far fewer crimes per capita than those that were born here.
They aren’t invading our country. As a general rule they aren’t bringing drugs, terrorizing citizens, or invading your home with pitchforks, weapons of war, or any other such nonsense. They are people. They love their families and want what is best for them. They want to work hard and follow the rules. It is fair to question how many of them we should allow in. It is fair to determine if their fear is credible if they are seeking asylum. It isn’t fair to treat them inhumanely or to use them to score political points. It also isn’t fair to lie about them or characterize them as something they are not. They are human beings. They deserve better than that.