Hot Mess Molly is not a political blog. I’m not a huge fan of politics in general, so please know that if I’m bringing up a political issue – it’s because I feel too strongly about it to hold my tongue.
I will always, always be open to respectfully discussing differences in perspective; and while I identify as a fairly far-left liberal, I have conservative friends whom I greatly respect. We may disagree on certain fundamentals, but we listen to each other. Instead of immediately jumping to the defensive and trying to disprove the opposing view, we ask questions and attempt to open our minds to things we haven’t yet considered. In my opinion, disagreement does not have to equal disrespect.
Having said that, I’m absolutely disgusted at the attitude directed towards the current immigration and refugee crises. The main arguments I’m hearing are: A.) We have plenty of people struggling in the good old U.S. of A., and we don’t need to be exhausting resources and housing refugees when there are starving, abused, desperate people right here; and B.) Immigrants are entering the country illegally, and it cheats the people who are going about the process the “right” way.
I hear this, I understand it, I appreciate it. I also, respectfully, cannot agree. If the consensus is that we, as a nation, need to solve every problem we have before opening our proverbial doors to those who are struggling outside U.S. boundaries, we will NEVER be prepared to help. We will never be problem free, ever. It’s sad, but it’s human nature.
Of course I wish that every single person – every child, every veteran, every elderly individual, every survivor of any kind who is of American descent, had everything they needed in order to live comfortably and safely. I’m an individual with a college education, who is drowning in student loan debt; but I would give the clothes on my body and the food on my table to anyone who needed them more than I do, without hesitation. However, if you were to place two suffering individuals in front of me, one of them American, the other from literally anywhere else – I will not see a difference. I want to help them both, equally.
What if these immigrants and refugees were Jews who had escaped the Holocaust? What if they were escapees from Apartheid? Would you honestly care how they’d managed to get here, illegal or otherwise? Do you think God, or whomever your higher power happens to be, cares what country any of us are from? Of course not. God cares about our compassion. Our humanity. Our willingness to say, “I refuse to turn my back on a fellow human being in need, regardless of where they were born.”
God did not define nationality, and is not on the side of the American people, simply because we’re American. To infer as much is just blatant arrogance. God will always be on the side of love. And there should be enough love in our hearts to share between a suffering individual who was born here, verses a suffering individual who was born elsewhere. It should not be Americans first, then everyone else, but only when it’s convenient. It should be everyone who has a beating heart and blood in their veins. Now.
I completely understand that there are people who have been going through the immigration process the legal way, and that the illegal immigrants are, in short, trying to cheat the system. Is this somehow different than Americans who cheat the welfare system, cheat the medical system, cheat on their taxes, and engage in any manner of cheating, lying, stealing, or anything else that makes life harder for the rest of us? Unfortunately, there will always be those who take advantage. Much like the impossibility of us being a nation without internal conflict, this is not going to change.
Also, if you truly want to talk about the illegality of how these immigrants are arriving here, let’s take a trip back to 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Let’s revisit the Pilgrims staking their claim at Plymouth Rock in the 1620’s. Let’s stroll down Memory Lane to the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.
Need I say more? Just in case I do, these people basically invaded North America and said, “This is ours because we say so,” and (to say the LEAST) they wreaked havoc on the indigenous people. Was that legal? Yes, I suppose it was, because we hadn’t created those laws yet.
Unless you have Native American ancestry, you are descended from immigrants – potentially illegal immigrants. We are a NATION of immigrants, and it baffles me to hear so-called politicians boasting about deporting desperate people by the boatload and building taller walls around our borders.
I also can’t wrap my mind around denying asylum to refugees, when thousands of innocent people are dying in frantic efforts to flee their homeland.
There was a haunting, heartbreaking photograph of a beautiful, Syrian child, whose body washed up on the Turkish shore. He was 3 years old. Imagine the terror he must have felt, especially since his innocent mind most likely had no real concept of what was happening, or why. Imagine the desperation his parents felt, to knowingly place themselves and their children into such a perilous situation, with full awareness of the risks they were taking with their lives. The threat these people were facing in their homeland was so severe – so unimaginable – that the more appealing option was braving the open ocean for days, with no guarantee of survival.
Would you honestly have denied that precious child, and his family, a place here? If so, shame on you.
Again, I respect that we all have the right to our own views and perspectives. This is mine. I am speaking for me – no one else. I am not expecting anyone to agree with me, nor am I claiming that you’re wrong if you happen to believe otherwise. To infer as much would be to say that there is only black and white in this world; and I am a person who wants to see every color, every shade, every layer, every angle, every glimmer of every possibility. And when it comes to a matter of what’s legally defined as “right,” verses humanitarian efforts for people in need, I will side with the latter – every single time.
What angers me, is that I should not have to choose between the two.