Sunday, 14 June 2009

America: A Shameful Story of Deportation Injustice!

As am writing this the American Department of Homeland Security is busy wreaking havoc by displacing families all over the United States in the name of immigration enforcement raids.

The American law empowers the Department of the Homeland Security, the equivalent of the British Home Office to carry out raids to fish out and deport illegal immigrants and that power has been turned into witch-hunting lately with the Hispanics as the main target just like blacks are in the hands of their British counterpart.

The illegal aliens as they are called in the United States are usually not given the right to a legal representation before they are deported. When they do, it is usually under a very murky condition often accompanied by torture, harassment and various forms of persecutions including emotional and psychological in the hands of the unscrupulous officials of the Homeland Security. The use of electronic tagging system is also notoriously and widely used and parents are usually tagged and made to go about with the tag in front of their children. The shocking story is that children are being detained too.

Treating parents this way in the presence of their children could inculcate in their mind a very gloomy image difficult to wipe out. The impact on the society could be disastrous for a child who grow up to witness his parents being subjected to this type of psychological, emotional and public humiliation. He is more likely to retaliate in future by being a menace to the society. This could explain why they are more likely to join a gang, carry knife or gun and become revengeful or even suicidal.

Carrying knife or gun and gang membership are some of the main social problems confronting the United States and the United Kingdom today as it concerns Hispanics and blacks. I have no doubt that a critical analysis of the mind of a young Hispanic or black could trace their restive behaviour to some of these problems I highlighted. It is therefore imperative that countries involved especially America in this case look into their immigration laws once more with a view of mitigating the impact the actions of the Homeland Security is having on the targeted people and if possible to look beyond the law and find a way to stop removing illegal aliens with American born children.

This ugly situation has been repeating itself in America for quite a long time to the extent that the impact is proving disastrous both for the families involved and the American society as a whole. Businesses have closed or gone down because of this. People have taken their lives while others suddenly lost their means of livelihood. Those who cannot cope have resorted to armed robbery, thuggery and gangsterism and ended being a huge problem compared to what they would have been if America had legalise them.

The impact was very dramatic in a little town of Postville in Iowa where a local company that was raided has to close down due to huge lost of manpower. Frankly, some illegal aliens were employed in the company but the fact is that somebody must have to employ these people otherwise we will begin to question our virtue of compassion. They have children and need to feed them. Children should not be held liable for their parent’s decision. Illegal immigration is demonised today to the extent that they are in same par with terrorism. Being a Jew in the Nazi Germany was also a very big issue but some Germans stood up to the Nazis. I have no doubt that these illegal aliens deserve every bit of apology for these sins against them. In fact what they are going through today is a million time more than what the Jews went through during the Holocaust.

The growth of Postville's economy during the last 15 years has been due to the presence of two large meat processing plants, Agriprocessors and Iowa Turkey Products. Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant, is the largest of its type in the world, which as of February 2008 employed about 900 people and purchased $100 million worth of livestock annually.

In May 2008, Agriprocessors was the target of an immigration raid. Subsequently, a criminal complaint was filed against the company for alleged violations of immigration laws. The company has to close down due to the impact of the litigation with over 800 workers losing their job including documented migrants. The whole scenario is a proof of non-viability of the American immigration system and the fact that mass deportation may after all not be the solution the question of illegal immigration.

According to the American Constitution anybody born in the United States of America is automatically an American citizen. The implication is that illegal immigrants with children born in America are still illegal but the children in question are not. Over the past few years, the American government has increased the tempo of removing all the illegal immigrants and this has led to an ugly situation where parents who are illegal immigrants are removed while their children who are not, are either left behind or are forced to go with their parents.

This practice is proving very unpopular in the States to the extent that people are already experiencing a very big setback as a result of this. In some states, some good Americans have come up with the idea of co-opting the children of the deported illegal immigrants into their own family to enable them continue with their education. This echoes the memory of good Samaritans who helped to hide the Jews during the Nazi era. I am thinking of the good family that harboured the family of Anne Frank.

The fact of the matter is that somebody has to call Americans and the American Government to order because this issue is not only contentious but also borders on human rights. Parents have the right to bring up their children and enjoy the company of their children. Nothing should come between parents and their children. Children are also entitled to this right. They have the right to live and stay with their parents till they are old enough to be on their own. This right is going to be seriously tampered with if anything is done to infringe upon it and what is happening right now in America is a clear violation of this right. These children are seriously being deprived the joy of childhood and that could lead to a monumental psychological problem in the future.

The European Union being aware of the harm this situation could do to the family made it very difficult to remove a person who has a family in the Union. According to Article 8 of the European Union Convention on Human Rights countries are not allowed to remove either a parent or both since that could adversely affect their children and destabilise their family life. This is one thing America should learn from the European Union. At the end of the day, I personally think America is digging its grave today by continuing with this policy because this same people are likely to turn against them tomorrow.

This removal action by the Homeland Security has a very close semblance to what happened under the German Nazi government where children were uprooted from their parents and displace and vice versa. This action is very undemocratic and if the American Senate and House of Representative in all their wisdom and democracy ideal cannot find a solution to this, then something is wrong with that system in particular and democracy in general.

One of the beauties of democracy is that since it is a representative government, people are allowed to collectively use their wisdom to proffer solution to very difficult situations like this. But come to think of it, it is very shocking and disturbing that this is happening in America, the citadel of modern democracy. We will understand if it is happening in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan but the fact that it happens in America is beyond human comprehension.

The American democracy has many elements of theocracy in it. The dollar has ‘In God We Trust’ written on it. When one sees things like this we are left to wonder how on earth those who trust in God could be so callous and indifferent to treat their neighbours like animals. The disgusting part of this story is that these illegal immigrants who are being deported are their neighbours, church members, fellowship members and so on and so forth and yet none of them have stood up to their government to stop the injustice and wickedness in the name of the law. The famous communion of the saints makes little sense here!

In America there is an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants and managing that number should not be a problem to them. All of them could be given temporary visa and dispersed amongst all the states in America with a proviso that the visa is not valid outside of the state for a period of certain years. For instance a person assigned a visa to live in Georgia should not go to New York for work in the next ten years. This will ensure equilibrium in population.

Over the past 8 years America has spent billions of dollars fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, that money could have been used to settle this immigration issue. In fact the United States spent $607 billion in defence in 2008 alone. This put it on top of the list of countries that spent most in defence. This amount is more than seven times the amount spent by China, which beat out the UK for the No. 2 spot for the first time. Since the beginning of the Iraqi and Afghanistani conflict, the United States has spent $903 billion in prosecuting the unjustified wars. Against this background, one is left with only one option; to begin to ask why this war is still in progress while these people are being rounded up and deported. There is no wisdom in this. It is simply illogical and bears a mark of people who lack a common sense and conscience. America is rich enough to give joy to these people and their children.

The illegal immigrants are not criminals. They are in America and wherever they are because they do not want to resort to the option of criminal life back home to feed themselves and their families. They do not want to resort to pushing drugs, kidnapping or piracy. They want it the honourable way which is to work with their hands.

It is therefore with a heavy heart and one filled with sorrow that I condemn this raiding going on at the moment in America and at same time join other people of good will to ask the America government to find a lasting solution to this. President Barack Obama is from the minority and knows the pains and disadvantage of coming from there. I trust him to use his wisdom to proffer a solution to this as soon as possible. These are people and not animals.

If they are sent home, they are being left with option of poverty and joining criminal gangs in different parts of the world where they come from. And if they do, none of us is safe, not even in the cosy atmosphere of our mansions.

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