Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me....."(?)

I was way out of date in my understanding of the current crop of news on the immigration situation in the USA. I was still of the mindset that the immigration problems the President, Rick Perry and some of our Oklahoma politicians have been talking about were the usual problems concerned with Mexican nationals crossing the US border illegally, then finding work and remaining, undocumented, in the USA. I was wrong on this. That's what comes of not watching TV news, ever, and eschewing local newspapers due to their heavily Republican leanings - blood pressure can only stand so much!

I'm up to date now. Husband read aloud a few lines from a piece in a local newspaper yesterday, about the facility recently set up to house around 1,100 young illegal immigrants at Fort Sill, Lawton (a half hour's drive from where we live). My response - "But I thought the flow of Mexicans coming into the US to find work had declined a lot recently - so what's happening?"

It turns out that the recent influx, of thousands of mainly young to teenage children, and some with their mothers, from South American countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador are fleeing dangerous and inhumane conditions in their homelands, and are hoping for some kind of asylum in the USA.

Reading around the net I was sickened by some commentary on this issue. It seems a good proportion of our God-fearing, church-going, US-loving citizens would rather kick out these kids, no questions asked, no aid provided. Yeah, these Americans love the unborn fetus so much it hurts, yet once a child is out in the wide and unkind world they don't give a damn about 'em or their needs.

There are at least three large government facilities set up to temporarily house this new influx of immigrant youngsters: one in California, one in Texas and that at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, much to the chagrin of Governor Mary Fallin, Sen. James Inhofe, and Rep. Tom Cole. Compassion is, of course, an unknown emotion to Oklahoma's ruling body.

I realise that there will have to be limits to what can be done for these young would-be immigrants, but a compassionate approach to investigating possibilities costs little or nothing - and money spent on this issue trumps any amount spent on sending drones to attack suspected would-be terrorists, while in the process murdering many innocents abroad - including women and children

It's quite hard to find a fair and sane assessment of the situation as a whole. I eventually found a piece by a lawyer in California, where there has been a two-fold reaction to the new immigration situation there, half in favour of giving all help possible, half in favour of immediate deportation.

Here is the opening paragraph from his piece at Andrew Nietor's Blog

First, Remember Why They Came
There are many reasons people have come to this country over the centuries. Sometimes it is the pull of what our nation has to offer, and sometimes it is the push of war or violence or famine in the home country. Make no mistake about the current crisis: it is not just a quantitative increase in the number of undocumented aliens coming to this country for work or for "a better life." The unspeakable horrors of violence sweeping Central America recently, including widespread violence against women and children, is unlike anything that has been seen there in decades. When the capital of Honduras is second only to Aleppo, Syria in the list of most murders, and when our own State Department declares that violence against women in Guatemala and across Central America has reached war-time levels, you can understand why people are fleeing, or sending their children abroad. Would you do less for your child if she were statistically more likely to be sexually assaulted than find employment? We can at least be aware of what conditions are behind the crisis as we formulate a response. And we can remember that our own law compels us to listen to a refugee's plight before a decision is made as to whether to allow her to remain here or return.
Mr Nietor goes on to contrast, in detail, the differing reactions of California residents.

“I take issue with many people's description of people being "Illegal" Immigrants. There aren't any illegal Human Beings as far as I'm concerned.”
― Dennis Kucinich


mike said...

It's a deplorable situation, isn't it?! The underlying cause of this immigration is reputedly due to historic failed US policies starting in the 1970s that have led to cartels leveraging power, corruption, and governmental control. The USA is very adept at destabilizing small governments in the name of freedom and liberty.

Concomitantly, the USA's stance on "just say no to drugs" has devastated Mexico for years and taken South America along for the ride. Ironic that Americans induced a problem for other countries, but takes no responsibility and acts aggrieved toward the victims. Drug use in the USA is a huge and costly problem internally, with devastating consequences externally.

As always, most Americans have an oblique view of these problems. Mexico in the 1990s had an economic depression more severe than the USA's Great Depression. This led to massive illegal immigration into the USA, which was the cause of the USA's 1993 amnesty program . 99.9% of Americans thought Mexico was a great place to vacation as the Peso plummeted in value and inflation went through the roof, but few realized that it was a life-and-death scenario for the populace of Mexico. From the Mexican perspective, there was nothing to lose by trying to immigrate. To what extent would a parent go in order to feed their family and provide medical assistance, if your child is truly starving or dying?

Perhaps most Americans are afraid that they will eventually be treated by the new arrivals as the European immigrants treated the Native Americans...LOL.

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Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for your thoughts on this. Yes, there have to be various strands leading into to this sad story, none of which reflect particularly well on the USA.

By the way - Robert Phoenix (link in sidebar) has a good piece on the situation and astrological implications - I've just left a comment there.

mike (again) said...

Yes, Robert Phoenix' essay is very interesting. Obviously, his writing regards Jupiter's entrance to Leo and he mentions the next seven days as critical.

I think this next week is critical, too, but I would extend that by a week, due to the added full Moon, with Sun-Moon square Mars conjunct north node...the Sun remains square to Mars for at least a week. Saturn and Uranus are in their stationary degrees and inconjunct. There will be a Sun-Moon (new Moon) conjunct Jupiter in Leo (ruled by Sun), with all three squaring Mars (ruler of Scorpio) in Scorpio the following week. August 8 & 9 offer the Sun conjunct Mercury, both square Saturn. A period of confrontation, tumult, and discord.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I know you wont stone me even if I state a different opinion here..
I guess my Cappie is showing more on this issue:)

We are FULL past capasity where beds to lay and mouths to feed are concerned.

We have no problem invading other countries without being asked and the countries in todays post are closer and far easier taken care of. Plus the fact that now that we've pulled a lot of troops out of Iraq we have folks who need something to do.. Lets send a few thousand there- mexico , gautamala and such to clean up the drug mess and keep the women children and heck the men too, safe.
here's the deal in 1776 we gave all those flowery speeches and wrote the heart tingling memos about send us your"whatever"..
We dont do anything else the same way we did it 300 years ago and that needs to include taking in every other person from other countries.

I think you know I'm not one of the christian community folks ,lol.
But this time, enough is way more than enough.
Just a few years ago I spent a lot of time in courtrooms and learned first hand and in explicit ::shudder, cringe:: detail just how lax we are at defending the helpless, the weak, the hungry, the abused, the homeless, the sick and the defenseless.

I have said for many years that the very people who demand babies be born will not lift a finger nor give a dime towards their life's welfare or support. I think I've made the same comment here many times.
We dont take care of our own and we dont have the resources to take on anymore. someone needs to change our countries byline to- we are no longer taking what the rest of the world want to TOSS us.. our own tempest is far over crowded.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmmm - well we'd best gird our loins and stay watchful..
thank you for your additional astro-wisdom here. :-)

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ No stoning here. :-) I have Cappy Mercury myself and am co-ruled by Saturn (being Aquarius Sun), so I respect your views and understand them to some extent, but simply hold a different opinion.

We do agree in part though, and who's to say you're not right in your assessment? You do suggest a way of helping - which may or may not be practical, but it's a possible route worth exploring, I guess.

It's good to have differing views on show on issues such as this.

This is an issue that is only going to grow in years to come too. Once climate change really begins to bite, people will migrate, emigrate, immigrate - there's going to a whole lot worse problems than this to solve. For now, although it seems like a huge problem, it's of a size that isn't completely unmanageable, if someone only has the will to find a viable solution, and if We The People don't undermine any attempts that are made in good faith.

mike (again) said...

"By the late 70's and early 80's most of the military regimes in South America had fallen due to several economic and social reasons including changes in the foreign policy of the United States. In many ways the United States role in this highly Authoritarian time period seems odd due to Washington's espoused ideas of liberty and democracy.

... Another myth about the United States interference in South America during the Cold War was that the United States was attempting to protect those countries from communism. In reality it is a much safer claim to make that the United States was actually taking steps to protect it's interests and hegemony in the region from communism. It would be ludicrous to claim that Washington's concern and interest in the region had anything to do with benevolence considering the lack of respect for basic human rights found in the countries that received aid. The United states has had a long history of hegemony over South America going as far back as 1823 and the Monroe Doctrine.

... The United States have never been afraid to use a heavy hand when dealing with South American countries. ... Many American business have outposts in South America and the United States have political interests to look after such as the Panama Canal. From an economic viewpoint Washington's support of right wing military dictatorships makes perfect sense.

... Another reason that it makes economic sense for the United States to Support right wing military governments in South America is that it is hard to have a successful business venture in an unstable environment. Many of the countries were unstable before the dictators came to power. Of course this stability came at a rather high price, democracy as a political system leaves a lot of room for instability and fighting between different factions. Authoritarianism takes care of that nasty little problem by doing away with the competition. As an American business you obviously would feel much more secure with a powerful Authoritarian government then a democratic one where those nasty communists could come to power at any time and just ruin everything, in fact it might just be preferable if all those confused communist just disappeared somehow.

... Unfortunately for the native populations in these countries these special deals for American firms often proved disastrous for the domestic economy. Even while in some countries the GNP increased under the military dictators, the conditions in the country were not as promising. One thing that shows how the native population suffered was the drastic decline of real wages in countries in military rulers.

...The United States aid to other countries in the name of the Drug War is a contreversial issue, and many people think that the United States have other motives in the war than just their stated one of stopping the drug trade. Many noted scholars hold this view, among them is Noam Chomsky who wrote that 'US drug policy contributes effectively to the control of an ethnically distinct and economically deprived underclass at home and serves US economic and security issues abroad.'"

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, there's a lot more to this than meets the eye. Thanks for the excerpt.

It reminds me a bit of the immigration, years ago - and still - into the UK of people from countries in the former British Empire, such as Pakistan, India, West Indies, etc. There used to be very mixed feelings about it. Lots of problems. But British rule had caused problems and made great profit from their countries in the past, so the price had to be paid - those people had a right to emigrate to Britain. I think things have settled down on that side of the immigration issue now, but another influx has happened more recently, of people from Eastern Europe (European Union result) which seems to be causing some of the same fears among Brits as some people in the USA feel on this latest influx here.