The immorality of Trumpist immigration enforcement


Dear Rebecca:

I’ve suggested before that Trumpist immigration enforcement might be an act of injustice far worse than the offense of illegal immigration. We have two more examples this week of why it might be so.

First, we have the story of Jorge Garcia, a Detroit man being deported after 30 years in the United States. He was brought to the United States when he was 10; his deportation separates him from his wife and two children, all of them U.S. citizens. Please, read his story.

Second, we have this atrocity:

US border patrol agents are routinely sabotaging water supplies left for migrants in the Arizona desert, condemning them to death, humanitarian groups have said.

Travellers attempting to cross into the US from Mexico regularly die of dehydration, as well as exposure to extreme heat or cold, so aid groups leave water bottles and emergency stocks such as blankets at points throughout the Sonoran desert.

A video released by the groups showed border patrol agents kicking over water bottles and pouring away their contents. A statement from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it was aware of the footage and that it was filmed around six years ago.

In the first case, a family is destroyed and disrupted — no doubt causing ripple effects in the community — because a man was born on one side of the border but, through circumstances not of his making, lived on this side of the border. As best I can tell, his actual presence in the country was doing nobody harm. Which means the greater harm is done by deporting him.

In the second case, people are being condemned to death and suffering to thwart the possibility of them being on the wrong side of the line.

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My friends in favor of immigration restrictions believe that a country has a right to make rules about who gets to come in and who doesn’t. They are correct. But that doesn’t make these kinds of enforcement actions moral. We’re condemning people to death for, in essence, not following bureaucratic rules. We’re destroying families whose only offense was actually committed by an older generation — unless, of course, you want to start making the case that 10-year-olds are in control of where older relatives take them.

That is wrong. It is a sin. It is a sin being carried out in our name.


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