There comes a time in every political or social movement when the people must organize and take a stand for its core belief or else watch the destruction of the values it proclaims through reckless inaction. It is time to stand. Standing up for immigrant rights involves a matter far more grave than economic policy or even national security. As, Mr. Trump decides this week whether or not to continue protecting over 800,000 immigrants currently under the DACA program, we must be reminded of what is at stake. What is at stake is our conception of basic notions of the human existence… the right to live and the state’s duty to protect the human body.
It is the historical reckless treatment of the “human body” that has always caused America to risk her crown as the nation above all nations. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in its Section 1 addresses the protection of “…all persons born or naturalized in the United States,…” extending citizenship to former slaves. It is the notion of extending protection and accepting those who otherwise did not belong, that permeates this text. It is also the foundation of U.S. immigration policies. It is who we are as Americans. It is what we believe.
Just this week a Federal Court Judge in Texas issued an injunction to a law passed by the State of Texas, thwarting the State’s efforts to target “sanctuary cities.” The law would have criminalized the actions of local officials who do not cooperate with federal deportation efforts. The judge stated that the proposed law violated the U.S. Constitution. The law is standing for what we believe as people.
Less than one month after his conviction for contempt of court, the former Arizona sheriff, Mr. Joe Arpaio, who was ordered to dismantle an illegal immigration crack-down program, was pardoned by the President of the U.S. With this act, the President is not standing for what we believe. Americans protect and accept those who otherwise did not belong. That is who we are. That is what we believe.
As Americans, as protectors, we can never forget that as long as any one’s body, being or existence is at stake or at risk, we are all at risk. For as we penalize the “other” we risk of one day ourselves be considered the “other” who in turn will be prosecuted and whose body, existence and being will not protected. In fact, some proposed legislation would impair services to “all immigrants” regardless of their status. Proposed federal legislation seeks to restrict immigration altogether.
The Constitution stands for immigrants. The courts stand for immigrants. Although the elected officials we place in government may not stand for immigrants, it is time for us to stand. “We the people” must stand for the country we believe in.
The Immigration Post – Chief Editor