“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is the first verse at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor. Apparently we are shutting the door to being the shining city on a hill, and becoming the torture garden for any who dare to come here seeking asylum. There are many who say that we have lost our way, and have become a pillar of selfishness on a planet that we have pushed to the limit of being able to support our species. We do little to lead the world in addressing the climate problem we have helped to create, and we allow our country to become the land of the cruel.
The president claims that his threats provoked a deal with Mexico to protect our southern border. News reports are saying that the bulk of the deal was done several months ago, and that the final deal was pretty much what Mexico wanted before all the threats. The issue is we want America to be the threatening neighbor that creates problems and then backs down claiming victory? President Obama’s administration reportedly had illegal immigration down to a 40-year low. Illegal immigration is reported to be up massively since Trump has taken office. It is said that smugglers are telling desperate people that they need to cross now before it is too late – leading to the current immigration crisis.
We have been hearing a lot of news about people from certain countries in Central America wanting to come to the United States. I have recently heard two versions of the reason for a surge of immigration to our border. First that climate change is creating shortages of food and jobs pushing people to migrate to opportunity in the USA. The second is that the New Mexican president welcomed people to transit through his country on the way to the USA with easy visas (according to a possible political rival and member of the previous Mexican government). Because how those who defend our borders and society are treating these immigrants; we need to know what are the real reasons for this recent wave of immigration. I think most Americans would prefer that we help people have decent lives in their own countries; first here in the USA, and down in Central America, instead of cruelty and chaos at the border.
I believe the issue of human induced climate change continuously hovers in the thoughts of a majority of our society. People may not speak of it, or admit that they think about it, but it is in our minds creating angst. A recent poll cited climate change as a reason that a sizable group of millennials did not want children. Population is a driver in climate change. I think the negative tone of our debate over immigration is driven in part by the idea that their are hordes of people looking to come to the USA and Western Europe to escape drought, and violence. There is no doubt that a looming and existential threat is growing.
I believe that there is hope in technology linked to our free markets creating viable solutions that do not include massive wars and die offs. Leadership (selected by an aware citizenry) will make the difference in whether or not we are heading into a long night, or a bright new day.
Today we are witnessing a President fighting hard to build a wall. Does the fact that the President have to fight so hard in his effort to build a wall mean that we are a thoughtful country? Many question what a wall would do, what it would represent, and ho much it would cost. Our republic with it’s passionate and engaged citizens is a case study for the world. I believe we make mistakes, but also show that we develop some of the best solutions to the challenges of human civilization.