Photo by francesca de michele via Flickr Creative Commons

A Nightmare from Immigration to Tariffs

By Ruth Gadebusch

Who would have thought the immigration fiasco would still be festering. And fiasco is the mildest name we could designate! Congress has had ample time to fix it but continues to let this president run amok. At least, would-be immigrants can be glad he is concentrating on tariffs at the moment while his wife’s parents become citizens under the family program he opposes for others!

This period will go down in history as one of our nation’s most shameful times. The treatment of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiaries was disgraceful enough, but this current president managed to top that with the separation of families on our southern border. Disgraceful is the mildest word we can apply to the treatment of those who have long contributed to our society. Language fails me in describing the way children were snatched from parents and sent to who knew where in the dastardly deed.

With parents being sent to one part of the nation while their children to another and, worse yet, inadequate records being kept, it is near impossible to consider the action as anything other than malice aforethought. At this writing, despite court orders, some families are yet to be reunited. It appears parents have been willfully misinformed as to the disposition of their own claims and totally misled as to the fate of their children.

Flimsy excuses are being made regarding reasons for continued separation. There does not even seem to be knowledge of where the children or the parents are located—making reuniting them impossible. It appears that little or no records were kept in the first place, convincing me there was never any intention of anything but punishment.

Punishment for what? Decided by whom? There was not any legal process, much less moral. It is outrageous. It is disgraceful, immoral, mean, beyond the pale, unworthy of this nation—unworthy of any nation—to say nothing of the lifelong damage done to children so treated. It is inhumane in a way that we have long chastised other nations for perpetrating.

Nor is it as if we had not contributed to developing the conditions from which these people are attempting to escape. For some, it is domestic violence but almost all live in constant fear under the thumbs of drug lords. And how do those drug lords get their power? It is this nation that furnishes the market that allows the horrible conditions to exist.

Prosecutor, judge and jury all rolled into one is not supposed to be the American way. It is what these refugees are fleeing only to find it their fate here. Citizen organizations are working frantically to deliver justice through the court system, but at best that only reaches some and is an effort to rectify after the damage has been done. What has happened to this haven for the down and out of the planet? We can’t solve all the planet’s ills, but that does not mean we should become the problem.

There is no wall, be it physical or symbolic, that could ever be impenetrable. No matter how many National Guard or ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents or whatever the president orders, we cannot deter the fear-driven desperate folk seeking refuge. And yes, the criminals will come too, but that does not give us an excuse for what has happened on our southern border as directed by our president.

As for tariffs, no one but a fool would expect other nations not to retaliate. Need more be said?

We know this president does not understand our constitution, but what has happened to the Congressional leadership and other responsible authorities? We are not a dictatorship. At least not yet, but we have reason for concern if we continue down the path of this president. It is not as if he was so morally pure himself, be it in personal behavior or political life. He and, unfortunately, others who should know better are searching high and low to find ways to discredit the current investigation into possible election fraud and treasonous collaboration with a foreign power.

If they are so innocent, so pure, then let the investigation take its course proving innocence. Son Eric has proclaimed  his father is the epitome of the American dream. I’m glad he loves his father, but for me his father is the American nightmare. We must work as we have never worked before in the coming elections this fall and beyond. Let’s not succumb to this man’s strange vision. It is our opportunity to make America as great as it was before he came along. Using our vote to tell him goodbye, we can embrace the standards for which we have long been known.

*****

Ruth Gadebusch, a community activist and emeritus member of the Board of the Center for Civic Education, is a former naval officer, trustee of the Fresno Unified School District and vice-chair of the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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