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Since when?

November 19, 2014

This post doesn’t have much to do with travel, poetry, or the general theme of wanderlust that this blog is devoted to. But I feel these words need to be said.

Listening to NPR this morning, there was a special on the immigration debacle, also known as the immigration “debate”. I would like to call it a debacle. There has been a lot of press about the shift in power back to the GOP during this last round of elections in America, and what that means for our future. I want to use the immigration conundrum as a case study. There are, right now, tens of thousands of children cramped in atrocious holding pens along the U.S.’s southern border. During the debate on NPR, a point was raised several times that the fight over immigration reform was less about what has to be done, and more about who gets the credit.

This egotism is abhorrent. In fact, it’s despicable. Since when has public service morphed into a race for headlines and credit for solving a crisis with real-live children at the center as victims? It is not only despicable that both side of the aisle behave in this manner, but it disgusts me that the average American has actually voted and often times re-elected these narcissists.

Are we, as a society, really so busy that we don’t have time to pay attention to things that directly affect our lives? I can almost guarantee that every person in America knows, directly, at least one individual who is living and working here without the proper paperwork. There is widespread support for addressing shortcomings in immigration legislation, with some of the most vocal and consistent pressure coming from those within the immigration system and border patrol (ICE). Large overhauls will obviously include debate and not everyone will get a perfect solution, but the way things stand right now, nothing is being done, because no one wants to do it until they are guaranteed to get recognition.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of children, fleeing violence, rape, drugs, political and systemic persecution are held on our soil without any horizon for recompense. This is not only unacceptable it borders on violations of international laws and treaties, to which the U.S. is a signatory. Not to mention the millions of other undocumented people living and working alongside us every day. Here is what I ask of elected officials: stop being so selfish. Read some Mother Theresa and Ghandi and ask yourselves if you really are behaving as public servants. And my fellow civilian Americans- wake up and smell the greed; stop passively allowing these violators of democracy into our system. If they truly represent us, make them prove it.

Perhaps the scariest part of all of this is that, in a way, their egotism and lack of integrity do reflect us and our new society. We are too distracted to vote, too apathetic to care about the suffering of children, who by a simple trick of fate are not our own. It’s time we all start to step up and take responsibility and start making some real changes. While the immigration debate focuses on what is wrong in other countries, for us, right now, the first place to look for solutions is within.

The story from NPR:

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