My Turn: Michael Young — Have we stooped to caging children?

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 18, 2018

The arguments for punishing immigrants at the border by separating and caging children from their parents is immoral, unethical, convoluted and not Christlike. But who cares? It’s not like Christ was a Jew or wasn’t white. America First. Those people are animals!

If you have made a Christian argument for supporting this policy, and your rationalization works for you, then let’s talk strictly immigration policy.

Trump’s policy and actions are dangerous. History has shown time and time again that America First and American Exceptionalism (the false sense of world superiority based on our white Christian morality, power and money), lacks empathy and respect of others. This kind of immigration policy, by a world superpower no less, is counterproductive to the war on terror and will present a fresh host of security challenges to the United States and our allies.

History has demonstrated that immigrants and refugees are a vulnerable group of people. Repeatedly, history has shown that treating others with disrespect, preventing them from living in peace (defined by both the absence of violence and the feeling of wholeness), and denying them a way to make a decent living is bad policy.

The threat of violence and inability to live in safer places gives little alternative to militancy and armed struggle. In some cases, they would be forced into such activities just to keep themselves and their families alive. Do we want this for our Central American neighbors? Do we want to ratchet up the tension with our Mexican neighbors? Trump’s knee-jerk decisions puts us all in danger.

Do you really believe that caging children will not lead to anger and discontent? Do you really believe that caging the “animals” will not breed resentment and retaliation? In this case, it will. It could very well arrive in the form of wider threats to our own borders. It will come back to bite us in the form of outrage and violence.

If you can’t find it in your religion to be respectful of immigrants and refugees, perhaps you could apply some common sense. Separating immigrant families at the border, referring to them as animals and caging children is not just immoral, it is dangerous immigration policy that will have bad consequences.

It is time to act like the superpower we claim to be. And we can start by treating others the way we want to be treated.

Michael Young is a resident of Salisbury.

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