IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES & TRAVELERS

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^ Mem Fox, an Australian children’s book author recalls her treatment by customs agents recently :

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“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.

“I felt like I had been physically assaulted which is why, when I got to my hotel room, I completely collapsed and sobbed like a baby, and I’m 70 years old.”

—– —- —- —-

Read the above caption again. I hope that it makes you as angry as it should make all of us.

Somehow, by some twist of history’s knife, America, the nation made by, of, and for immigrants, and by refugees, and even by travelers, has turned its back on itself.

This is the political regime we now live with. The hate is real; the cruelty, the spite, the vengeance; the scapegoats.

We have liked to think that America is humanity’s escape route from the earthquakes of history, and so, often, it has served us. But there IS no escape from the evil in human hearts, there never has been, there never will be. All that people of good will can do is to fight back; to fight and defeat the evils that take hold of some of us some of the time, even in the sanctuary we have called America.

Today the fight is urgent. Immigrants are being harassed at the border and within our communities; harassed and, for the unlucky among them, persecuted. Refugees, who have always had a claim upon our nation’s welcome, now find the welcome mat burned, the open door locked shut. Travelers to America, who have made our tourism industry a fount of prosperity and whose stories of American dynamism and genius, taken back to their homes, have made our nation admired all over the world, are being subjected to intimidation, profiling, condescension, and refusal.

No wonder that many are now cancelling plans to visit here or to apply for refugee status. Student groups have come to the border only to have one or more of their group refused entry. Who wants to risk that happening ? No one I know of.

If you’re Muslim, or of Arabic or Persian origin, expect even worse. Ask Ben Zand, a journalist from Liverpool who was born in England but has Persian ancestry. This is part of his recent tweetstorm:

“…he said they’re told to stop people who look Arabic or Persian, or have an Arabic or Persian sounding name.”

The reverse is happening as well. Green card holders –legal permanent residents — are afraid to leave for fear they won’t be allowed back. Citizens, too, face, when returning from travel broad, the prospect of having customs agents demanding their personal cell phones for searching. For all of us America is now a prison.

For all of the above there is no just reason. All of it has been imposed by the usurper in  Washington to satisfy his fears, his whims, his desire to intimidate and alienate everyone he can. The entire regime is unConstitutional, and no doubt it will eventually be forced out by our one remaining bulwark, the Federal Courts. In the meantime, however, all kinds of evil has sprouted : a thousand bigotries, a sea of hates, a cacophany of groundless grievances given voice by a leader who is a walking hulk of bigotries and hates.

Wor\st of all is the gloating cruelty of his mob. One reads it every day on twitter, the social media platform for journalism and news. One need only surf the comments on Chelsea Clinton’s tweets to see the vulgarity. Hundreds of raw verbal sewage pours into those threads, leaving, for anyone who reads it, shocking demonstration that a large mob of gratuitous evil — glorying in insult, proud of ignorance, sulfurous contempt — has sucked dry our nation’s soul.

Chelsea Clinton can take it. She’s heard versions of it for decades. Our immigrants, refugees, and travelers, however, have far fewer resources to fight the hate. They are the most defenseless among us. It’s hard for travelers to exercise Constitutional rights, harder still for immigrants, almost impossible for refugees. The regime in Washington can assail these almost with impunity, and it is doing so, aggressively, and seeming to glory in it.

Do not imagine that the harassments and persecutions will stop at travelers,. refugees, and immigrants. Be very sure that what is being done to these will soon enough be done to the rest of us if we do not fight back and win, if we do not stop the evil at its beachhead. Because immigrants, refugees, and travelers are us. They are what America is made of. If we value America, we must value them, cherish them, fight for them. They are the future of us.

—- Mike Freedbertg / Here and Sphere

 

Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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