I believe that it’s time for us to look at the GOP for what it is, a political party that is cynically waging a war on children. They are fighting to keep undocumented children out of this country and treating them like criminals once they’re here. They are systematically undermining public education. Their economic policies exacerbate economic and social inequality, setting many children up for failure before they’re even born. This ideology is clearly sinister through and through, but I want to start with immigration.
Immigration is good for our economy. There is consensus among economists that immigration, especially with the second generation of immigrants, has a net positive effect on the US economy in terms of innovation, workforce education, and overall economic productivity. Federal, state, and local budgets all benefit from immigrants. The UPenn Wharton School of economics has a nice summary about how immigration affects the economy for anyone interested. Furthermore, studies by the National Bureau of Economic Statistics, The Sentencing Project, and the Cato Institute among others have consistently demonstrated that immigrants have decreased criminality when compared to native born Americans.
In regards to the validity of the scientific method and the quality of academic studies, it’s absolutely true that they’re imperfect. However, they’re also the backbone of the medicine that will save your life if you ever find yourself in the emergency room, need any kind of medication, want to operate a vehicle, or require any kind of surgical procedure, etc etc. In the gendered words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Everyone’s entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
We are spending millions of dollars deporting men, women, and children who have risked everything to come to America to work hard and make a better life. I’ll spell out this insanity: We are spending money we don’t have in order to keep people out who would help generate more money. How the hell did losing money to appease fearful racists become conservative?
We native born Americans did nothing to be born in this country. Let me repeat that, we did nothing in order to be born in this country. By any kind of moral and philosophical ideology, especially libertarian and personal freedom systems of thought, we are not born into the right to own land that supersedes our fellow world citizens right to that same land. Of the many reasons that the United States was founded, an escape from a class based monarchical system was paramount. As was the commitment to immigration that is etched on our Statue of Liberty:
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” she wrote. “Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” From The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
Even if immigration weren’t supported by economics and the very philosophy that our nation was founded on, the morality of the issue would be enough. We are spending millions of dollars to deport and turn away children who arrive at our doorstep fleeing violence, poverty, and destitution. Since so much of this hatred finds twisted justification in Christianity, I thought that I’d see what the bible says about this issue. It’s not subtle.
I, the Lord, command you to do what is just and right… Do not ill-treat or oppress foreigners, orphans, or widows…(Jeremiah 22:3)
Rich people who see a brother or sister in need, yet close their hearts against them, cannot claim that they love God. (1 John 3:17)
Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don’t have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” – if you don’t give them the necessities of life? (James 2:15-16)
What kind of a sick joke is it that we don’t open our arms and care for children who have suffered hell to make their way here instead of locking them in a detention facility called “The Icebox,” forcing them to find their own legal representation, and then deporting many of them back to countries from which they have just fled for their lives. These. Are. Children.
We must be better. We must all fight to push our nation to do what’s right. What we’re doing now is clearly wrong and the people behind these policies as well as those who are enforcing them are miserable excuses for human beings acting from the grimiest part of whatever is left of their moldy souls: