I have always been clear on the basic human instinct for immigration law but never really understood the application. We are tribal peoples in our cores, that old insider/outsider behavior pretty much kicking in during threatening times.
"That's mine!" we cry on the playground.
"That's mine," we cry on the border.
We are still protecting our ground, wanting to claim something we can't really own. We forget that on this particular patch of ground, no one actually emerged from the sludge. We had to walk here. So why is it a bunch of Johnny-Come-Latelys get to decide who can live here or not?
My idea of the border is sort of a free flow thing. People come and go from either or any direction, and the same for me wanting to go to, say, France. I want to live in Normandy, so I go, rent a little stone house, and write until I go insane and start talking to the cow in the pasture next door. Okay, my choice, and who would I be hurting but the cow? Yeah, maybe I use up some resources, but I'll give back given some time. I'll pay taxes and sign up to vote and spend money in the local town.
People just want to live. Sometimes living seems easier elsewhere. Sometimes that is true, sometimes it's just a dream. But let people have a go at it.
Yesterday a young man I know was handcuffed and put on a plane headed to either Argentina or Italy. He'd been here, working, living, being a basically decent human being. And then because he was other, not us, he was sent off. This, as you can imagine, caused great consternation among his friends and family. Where is "Rafael"? Gone. Not here any more.
We are guarding our end of the playground. We are building a ginormous fence. We arm people to guard the giant fence. We put chips in our own passports, for our own citizens. We detain people we don't think look right. We send back ones we've rejected.
I guess I'm lucky I am here. Different parts of me came over on many different boats. My boys are lucky--their father's family drove up in a big ass car in 1963. Someone let us all in. We all became not other.
Anyway, this ramble goes no where. I just hope Rafael is okay.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org