Another Effort to Understand


Reading time – 1:47; Viewing time – 3:13  .  .  .

I sent out a notification to about 50 of my neighbors to alert them to the opportunity to make a statement with Lights for Liberty this Friday evening. This is in protest of the treatment of detainees in horrible conditions in ICE/CBP camps. (Scan to the bottom of their website to find a location near you.) Aware that I was taking a chance because I don’t know the political views of most of my neighbors, I invited all recipients of my email to advise me if my outreach was unwelcome and I’d send them nothing further. I received one response to my invitation.

The email read,

Sorry, I guess I’m on the other side. The parents/adults should not be using them [children] as pawns for illegal immigration moves. It is a sad situation, but the legal US residents should not have to pay and fix this. They should be stopped at the border and turned away unless they go through the current legal process. Unfortunately, we do not have a Congress that will address this and open borders is not the way to go. This was easy to see coming and obvious who does not want to address it.

Slow down any urge to “yeah, but” this and instead give an effort to understand.

In fact, we have been told that hapless children are being used as pawns to enter the U.S. and it is unsurprising that some believe that to be true. In fact, while I see such claims as just another Trump lie, I have no data to support that, any more than the author of that email has data to support their view.

The writer acknowledges that the situation is sad, but like millions of Americans doesn’t think we should be paying to fix the situation. I’m pretty sure that’s a common conservative view and in line with believing that we shouldn’t be footing the bill for everything that needs fixing around the world.

The writer is correct in claiming that we don’t have a Congress that will address this issue. That’s been true at least since the early days of George W. Bush’s first administration in 2001. And I agree that open borders is not the way to go.

The current legal process truly is a mess. Seeing it as “obvious who does not want to address it” makes sense in the context of the polarizing name calling and unending propaganda we’re subjected to.* The price of propaganda is very, very high. Look for more on that in this Sunday’s post.

All of this is to say that it’s not that difficult to understand a contrary view of the border mess or, really, any of the messes we have on our hands. In part, at least, we’re dealing with different realities – mutually exclusive “facts” – which makes it easy for honest people to both disagree and fail to understand one another.

Plus, everybody’s talking and pretty much nobody is listening.

Many thanks to my neighbor who “put it out there” to help me understand.



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Ed. Note: I don’t want money or your signature on a petition. I want you to spread the word so that we make a critical difference. So,

YOUR ACTION STEPS:

  1. Pass this along to three people, encouraging them to subscribe (IT’S A FREEBIE!).
  2. Engage in the Comments section below to help us all to be better informed.

Thanks!


Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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One Response to Another Effort to Understand
  1. Dan Wallace Reply

    Jack, I appreciate your effort to communicate understanding on all sides. That said, I would offer the following:

    1) The “current legal process” allows for people to present themselves at the border and request asylum.
    2) When people, especially the vulnerable, and therefore especially children, appear in front of us in a state of need, a decent set of moral values suggests that we should care for them and deal with the underlying issues later. I am particularly appalled that, according to recent headlines, most white Evangelicals don’t think we are obligated to take in refugees. In the spirit of WWJD, it seems abundantly clear from any reading of the bible EXACTLY what J would do.
    3) There may be parents who are using their children as “pawns.” But my understanding of conditions in the “Northern Triangle” countries is that they are pretty appalling. Almost by definition, those countries don’t have the resources to make those conditions better. Expecting them to react to those conditions as we would is [trying to think of a non-insulting word to use here]. I can’t imagine how bad things in my neighborhood would have to be in order for me to take, let alone send, my children on a 1500 mile trail of non-stop hazards. I don’t think “because I want to use them as immigration pawns” would do it. Of course, I’m just one parent. I suppose it’s possible that Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan parents are much more callous about their children.