Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Who Cares About Walls?

NOTE: I don't take this issue lightly. I have been sitting on this blog for a couple weeks now, trying to figure out where I fit...because I don't seem to fit anywhere.

I don’t really care if they build a wall. I really wish I cared more: but it seems almost too exhausting to care much either one way or the other.What has bothered me the most about the wall issue and all it has led to is seeing how people I love treat other people I love based on their political views. I have the privilege to not be (financially or physically) bothered much by government shutdowns or illegal immigration: but to see and feel hate because of opinions on Facebook is very disturbing and saddening. Seeing good people hate on immigrants (I am one...and by the way, so are all missionaries) is awful. Seeing other good people openly disgusted or wishing death on someone because they wear a red hat...well, that too is horrible. Thinking we don't need borders can be dangers. Thinking that immigrants are coming to kill us is also dangerous.

There is already quite a bit of existing wall, and this isn’t how most illegal immigrants are coming to the USA. There are many other ways how much more money is getting wasted, so I won't even get into that. I think we can all agree that currently, immigration is a mess, and needs to be fixed (and of course that requires money). A wall could be part of one of the many solutions needed.
This is more of a power struggle and fight for how things look, and the motive behind the actions: a wall gives the impression to others that we do not want them and will enforce the rules. I can see how this could deter some people from trying to cross, for their own safety. I detest the "We don't want you" attitude.
I agree that we should have a border and that laws should be enforced and that we should have laws for immigration. But I disagree that a wall is the best (and especially only) way to do that, and think it is often playing into fear rhetoric and founded in not wanting to give opportunities to others.

For those talking about immigrants, or those pro/against immigrants, I would first ask them the same thing I ask when I discuss other hot topics like race, welfare or LGBT issues: please tell me about the specific people you KNOW, not examples you have heard about. If you aren't going to seek and promote relationships, you have not worked to adequately represent someone else's character. 

I think some of the problem is how so many issues are all tangled together. I am strongly pro-refugee and asylum seekers: I feel there should be clear definitions and clear vetting programs, but not in place to end resettlement programs. I am strongly pro legal immigration and giving legal opportunities for people to come from all over who are willing to work through the paperwork. I feel this promotes American growth rather than steals our resources. It saddens me (and I believe it is WRONG) many of the measures that the Trump Administration have done regarding legal immigration and refugees.
But I do not support the recent caravans that came to the border (as a whole), and can imagine (and have seen) the devastation it can bring to local communities when many people run off in search for a better life. Truthfully, most of the caravan immigrants suffer horrible poverty and violence--the same that most all of my kids from Living Stones do. But I do not think the answer for my kids is to try to migrate to the USA, or even to the big cities: I see it ruin community chances for success OVER and OVER and OVER. That is a whole other discussion. There are huge misunderstandings between the official definitions of asylum seeker and refugee from someone fleeing a hard and brutal life.

I truly believe that there are people from both political parties that are working honestly in opposite directions on this- with the motive of kindness, sharing, and safety. At the same time, there are many from both left and right stances that are using fear and guilt to try to motivate others to do what they want done. I support both of the the first mentioned, and reject the those with that second narrative. It is incredible to me that I can both strongly agree and disagree with that same issue (here being the wall) based on motives and narrative. This is both powerful and scary to me. When I scroll through facebook, I fit in everywhere, I fit in nowhere. I agree with many things, I agree with nothing. I am confused.

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