The Immigration Crisis: Where are the Statesmen?

sombreroBy Irene Conlan –

The immigration problem presents a challenge – many challenges, actually. We need to look at it from a moral, legal, constitutional, compassionate, human point of view.  We need to list the players involved – the immigrant, the government at all levels, the clergy, the employers, those who traffic in human cargo, the gangs, and the impacted social systems such as welfare, health care and education. It is not a simple problem and it cannot be fixed with a simple solution.  As Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

It cannot be solved with knee jerk reactions, picketing and boycotting, and hurling angry words at those who disagree with differing positions and suggested solutions. The time has come for wisdom, compassion and common sense.

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We are talking about human beings here. This needs to be kept at the forefront of our minds and hearts.  We are also dealing with the status of “Illegal” –  Illegal means outside of the law. Illegal immigrants  are not supposed to be here. They are not supposed to be supported by our tax dollars when we can’t take care of the people who ARE supposed to be here need our help.

But we are still talking about human beings. We cannot forget that. These are people who want a better life just like we do. Some want to work for it, become citizens and raise their families, build “the good life” in a free country. We need to help them do that. Some want to take from others, traffic in drugs, engage in crime of all sorts and do it in a country that has jails that aren’t as mean as Mexican jails.  We need to send them back to their own country.

I have visited Mexico a number of times not just as a tourist but as a guest of someone who lives there. I was expected to produce evidence that I was there legally and I was expected to live within their laws. I did so. I loved it there and I loved the people.  The person I visited told me story after story of how the “gringo” is falsely accused by the police in order to collect a fee that never sees the light of the police station or the city coffers.  Gringos are warned not to travel alone.

What’s wrong with this picture? We are the “bad guys” for thinking those who come here from other countries should come here legally and should live within our laws just as we are expected to do when we are in their country. Would an American family get welfare or free medical care in Mexico if they needed it?  I don’t know but I seriously doubt it.

My head says they are here illegally and should not be allowed to drain our welfare, healthcare and educational systems. My heart says, “These are my fellow human beings and we need to help them.” My head thinks of the rapists, murders and gang members and wants to send them back to their country of origin, and my heart sees the children who need a chance to thrive. My head knows the law and my heart knows compassion.  In my opinion both need to be considered.

So how do we solve it?  Who can solve it?

Is there a statesman left anywhere in this country or in Mexico who can work this out with both mind and heart?  Is there anyone anywhere who can put greed and graft aside and think about what is best for the people of both countries? For the children? Can we believe what any of them say?

Is there anyone without a hidden agenda or an axe to grind that can rise in leadership and meld American compassion with American justice and come up with a solution that works for the greatest number of Americans and Mexicans? Is there anyone in government who can untangle the mess and help some of these people become citizens when they have worked for that status so long and so hard?

Is there even one such person in this great country?

Would that person please step forward?

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