Reflections on the Past Week: 1/22/17

With regards to what has happened over the past two days (and what will likely continue as an ongoing saga), I cannot add anymore to the outrage. The wrongness of this executive order has been said many times and more eloquently by many more people than anything I could say. If I do have to add my voice to this issue though, it would be one thing: we cannot cede the fundamental morality in this fight. I don’t mean tactically (how we protest, free speech, etc.), but I do mean why we support immigrants and refugees.

An all too common tactic by those who support immigration is the stereotype of the acceptable immigrant. This may be the immigrant who “pays back” to their host country far more than what is received, often depicted as the post-graduate student/employee working in some STEM sector. Or the refugee fleeing from terror, hoping and struggling to make a better life for themselves, seeking shelter in their host country. We who support immigration must resist these images. In my mind, each person — no matter where the come from and no matter where they go — has the right to travel freely across borders. To me, this is a fundamental right of every human being and must be held sacred. Chicago cannot ban people from Rockford or Joliet entering the city limits, Illinois cannot bar people from Missouri crossing the Eads and river, why should America or any other nation on Earth be allowed to restrict the rights of Iranians, El Salvadorians, Somalians, Mexicans, Syrians, or Hondurans?

There are people I know with whom I disagree regarding the best way to build a society. We disagree over government intervention in the economy; we disagree on the appropriate balance of positive and negative freedoms. But I know that what we really want is that all people are able to live a happy and healthy life with the most freedom. We are for people. Donald Trump is not. Donald Trump is for himself and “his people”. We who are against Trump must remember that we are for everyone regardless of how good of an example one is.

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