Families Belong Together –a Rant Against this Administration’s Inhumane detention policies

Imagine that you arrive at the immigration or customs checkpoint for let’s say –Aruba.  You are traveling with your child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or any other small human you care about and an agent comes up to you, under the guise of giving them refreshment after a long journey –and the child is NEVER given back to you. What would you do?  If your answer is “Well that’s just how it is?  It’s the law or policy.” I am calling you a liar (probably with a few expletives in front of the word liar). I do not know any parent, grandparent, or person entrusted with the care of a child that wouldn’t be devastated, infuriated, angered, desperate, panicked, traumatized, among many other numerous emotions.   If you can say this and mean it –then unfriend me right now, I don’t want to or need to know you.

Over the last few days, I’ve read and listened to every imaginable ‘rationalization’ that the White House, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security has given for separating 2000 children from their parents when they arrived at the US/Mexico Border over the past six weeks.  Let’s be clear, this is racist policy that is being enacted by the Trump Administration. If 2000 white children had been separated from their parents at the arrival of a border ANYWHERE in this world in a period of 6 weeks, we would be threatening military action.  Perhaps in another post, I will go into great detail highlight every LIE this administration has used to justify their heinous acts –but know that if you do just a little bit of research you will find that there is absolutely no policy or law on the books that upholds the claim that “This is the law.[1]

Choosing to separate families, regardless of their immigrant status, is inhumane, callous, and cruel.  I don’t expect everyone to share my politics regarding immigration –but I do believe that regardless of your political affiliation you should be offended that this administration thinks that it is ok to not only separate these families, but to also ‘house’ them in subpar and inhumane conditions. Children sleeping in cages and on the floors of old warehouses is not right[2]!   Keep in mind numerous private corporations are PROFITING off this pain and suffering of others .[3]

What can we do:

  1. Write or call your representatives –we need to continue to put pressure on all of our elected to ensure that this policy does not continue. https://whoismyrepresentative.com/
  2. Donate, volunteer, write the media and make sure that this issue doesn’t just disappear. https://www.thecut.com/2018/06/how-to-help-fight-family-separation-policy-immigration-trump.html
  3. Participate in local and/or virtual protests: http://map.familiesbelong.org/search.php
  4. Stay outraged and stay engaged!!

 

[1] See: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-us-policy-separating-migrant-families-law/story?id=55943925 or

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/18/how-to-mislead-with-statistics-dhs-secretary-nielsen-edition/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.076f7812c723

[2] See https://www.apnews.com/9794de32d39d4c6f89fbefaea3780769

[3] See: https://www.npr.org/2017/11/21/565318778/big-money-as-private-immigrant-jails-boom

Or  https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/profiting-enforcement-role-private-prisons-us-immigration-detention

 

Things that drive a Professor of Race Relations and Immigration Mad

Over the past few days, I found myself wondering about the “New Class Warfare,” Troy Davis, the “Diversity Bake Sale” at UC Berkley, and a recent invitation I received to participate in a “No Che Day” sponsored by the Young Americans for Freedom and the College Republicans.  Although at a personal level, I find myself angered and at times offended by the type of vitriol, racism, and xenophobia being spewed in relationship to minorities, what concerns me more is the lack of open and informed discussion about race, immigration, the death penalty, and class –particularly with college aged adults.  Teaching moments present themselves all the time, but amidst the concern of creating a media maelstrom, we sweep these important discussions under the rug.  Bigotry remains unchallenged when we can use these moments to create real dialogue.  I was  really moved when I saw this picture in the SF Examiner, because it reminded me that we need to make “isms” visible.

UC Us Now (click link to see full picture)

As much as I disagree with some of the perspectives being advocated for by some of the aforementioned groups, I firmly believe that free speech is important.  I believe that the cornerstone of democracy is the ability to share your views without fear of persecution.  It’s at these moments at the crossroads that I believe it is most important to have real, difficult, uncomfortable, and even angry discussions in hopes of learning and finding new truths.  Yet, it is these very discussions we shy away (or perhaps it’s run away) from.  At these moments, we can actually share empirical facts and confront and challenge the fallacies that fuel so many of these movements.  Just as importantly, I think it is important to ask people why they feel the way they feel.

For example, I am really proud that faculty in the Theology and Religious Study Department at USD signed a public statement challenging the death penalty .  I believe that our community would be enriched if we heard why they felt making this public statement was important.   These statements are not easy to make, but they are important to be heard.

So what really makes me mad as a Professor that teaches about immigration and race relations is not that racism, xenophobia, and bigotry of any kind exists. What makes me mad is the unwillingness to talk openly and honestly, regardless of one’s political persuasion, about finding common ground without promoting and growing bigotry and hate.