Another letter writer “supports” the ICE 287(g) jailhouse that we’re running in Frederick County, against the overwhelming protest of citizens who support civil rights and international law. Your letter writer (Sept. 2) seems to think that the issue is a sort of popularity contest for Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. It is not.
Denying refugee status to asylum-seekers at our borders is illegal under international law that we (the USA) promulgated in 1948, fresh from the Allied victory over the Nazis. We are now breaking laws that we enjoined on the rest of the world. It is typical of the extra-legal presidency of Donald Trump to break laws at whim, having ginned up fear of the “outsider” or the “foreigner” to cover up deficiencies in his own leadership and having whipped up a frenzy of supporters who, clearly, have drunk his poisonous Kool-Aid. When he runs out of one controversy, he starts another to distract.
Trump has closed our borders (illegally) and fomented racial division to the detriment of victims of war, poverty and violence who have come to us at their own peril in dangerous and health-threatening conditions. Some have died trying to get here, some have died here thanks to ICE, some have been raped here thanks to ICE, some have been heated out of their life savings in trying to get here. Trump’s latest moves have been to order indefinite detention of asylum-seekers, to deny access to a judge to hear their cases, and to re-jail children with their families for their gall at having sought a lifeline in a foreign country. They come prepared to work and to work hard, as their fellow seekers have done for a long, long time in this country and which they are doing now.
Decide whose America you want to have — the one that jails asylum-seekers or the one that gives them a chance. Your own ancestors got the chance. We happen to need workers right now (in agricultural, home care and child care, hospital, and commercial food industries). American bosses have been crying out for years for some sort of regularization of this workforce’s immigration status, only to have it blocked by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Then ask yourself who gains by having a dysfunctional American federal government. Is it the fat cats running the for-profit prisons that hide their record of civil rights abuses and dodge government regulation by a weak and corrupt administration? Is it the fat cats who hire illegals in big-box parking lots and then stiff the workers for their wages and get away with it because “they’re illegals and have no rights”? Is it the children of yesterday’s immigrants who are sitting on their hands rather than doing anything about it? Or is it Russia, China, North Korea, etc., that benefit from a U.S. government steadily losing whatever foreign support it had abroad? Or all of the above?