PLEASANT HILL, JUNE 20, 2018 – Yesterday, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece headlined by “Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ border policy is immoral, un-American — and ineffective” and I fundamentally disagree with the headline.
A family, in any country, has the need for safety. It is one of Maslow’s fundamental hierarchy of human needs. We all evaluate our current situation, as my parents did in the 60’s, and at some point the decision is reached that the current condition is untenable. Into that decision come many bits of information, each has to be carefully evaluated. Rash decisions lead to dangerous and damaging consequences.
Current Condition: It is quick for one to say, “my life is in danger. “ However, one must check the validity of such a claim. I have met wonderful people from Venezuela in the past few years, that have come to Kansas City and gone back home. One can easily say that conditions are harsh. One can make the statement, that if you espouse the wrong philosophy, travel the wrong paths, or simply are unlucky limb or life may be in danger. Many are fleeing to Columbia and into Brazil. Many are deciding to stay.
Support Structure: Where will we have a support structure. Coming to the US at the end of the 1960’s presented our family with no support structure. We would either make it or not, based on our own abilities.
Ability to Enter & Stay: The US has always had the largest immigration quota of any other country, as it does today. However, illegal immigration in the 60’s as it is today, is not allowed by the law. If you were here illegally, had an issue, you were sent back where you came from. Period. End of sentence.
If in looking at the above three issues, current condition, support structure and the ability to enter the new location and stay, one finds that it is better to leave than to stay; the consequences of such a decision fall upon their shoulders. They took a chance, for what they thought were good reasons.
The United States media, and many groups within, falsely encourage immigrants to come. Letting them know that they ‘should’ be welcome, and helping them take full advantage of the system currently in place. If a bureaucracy is in place, then there are loopholes and advocates that can – typically for a price, and with great risk – be utilized to various degrees of success.
It is disingenuous (read a terrible lie) to tell immigrants that nothing bad can happen if they come to the US border and attempt to cross illegally.
The Trump Administration, Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the Border Patrol, all have stated in completely clear terms: Come here illegally, we’ll deport you back to your country. Further, they have said, bring your minor children and you’ll be separated, because we’re not going to put minor children in deportation cells (lets call them what they are: prisons).
Clear message: When you evaluate your “ability to enter and stay” factor the new rules into your plans. Countries have borders. Borders are held sacrosanct (ask Mexico, ask Canada).
If an immigrant starts their journey to the United States with their family, and plans to enter illegally, they have made the personal choice, that separation at the border is a personal price they are willing to pay; because, it is better than their country.
Let me say it a bit differently. If at the end of the personal choice, the family decides, it is better to be separated and in jail in the US than to remain in their country, they understand and accept the consequence for their action.
Personal responsibility is understanding the actions we are about to take, give them appropriate thought, evaluate the knowns and the unknowns, and make the decision that the consequences are worth it.
No illegal immigrant has the moral right to say they did not know that the Trump Administration did not explain the consequences in clear terms, and in their language. No illegal immigrant has a good reason to blame Homeland Security for enforcing the laws congress has passed.
The executive branch does not have the right, nor the constitutional authority to pass laws. They are to enforce the laws, that they can not veto out of existence. The veto is the President’s tool to force congress to either re-think, or to gather strength.
Do not blame President Trump for the laws passed by congress and not vetoed by previous administrations over the last forty years.
Fairness is subjective. Truth, whether good, bad or indifferent, gives you the tools to make decisions with the facts in front of you. No one born into poverty thinks it is fair. They are right it is not. No one born into a malevolent dictatorship thinks it is fair. They are right, it is not. No one struggling to improve themselves in an ever-changing system of bribes and manipulation thinks it is fair because it is not.
The United States provides a system that is predictable, that allows people to rise from poverty through to middle class and beyond, based on their willingness to work hard. It is not a fair system. It requires very hard work. It requires you to keep getting up every single time you are knocked down. It requires a relentless self-discipline to stay focused on the objective and never give up.
You are correct if you say it is not ‘fair’. But, I ask you: Is there a fairer system? If so, go there and send me a post card. If not, put your shoulder to the wheel, and let’s push this up the hill one more time.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative