Our nation has a long history of global humanitarianism--fair and humane treatment of prisoners, avoidance of any semblance of torture, offering due process to detainees, providing aid to the underprivileged anywhere in the world, providing aid in the event of disasters, defending nations from aggression. When I think of humanitarianism around the globe, I think of one of my granddaughters who is in the Peace Corps, busy doing her bit to bring some pittance of educational light to the many illiterate and underprivileged in a foreign country.
There have been times, I am sure, in the aftermath of terrorists attacks, that there have been occasions during interrogations of detained suspects, that the line has been crossed. Physical trauma, however, can never be condoned, but in the heat of any conflict it is understandable that every person has a breaking point--especially if that person is given the responsiblity of protecteing our nation. Thusly, we are thinking about stories, true or invalid, we've heard about the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
But I am talking about the treatment of millions of undocumented immigrants and their families right here in our own backyards. Click on this link and read the two Standing Firm articles posted on August 15th and on August 16th. See if you agree that these acts are not every much as dehumanizing and criminal as the stories we hear about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
One: About the story published in the Spanish-language newspaper, La Jornada--ninety thousand, (90,000), Mexican children deported across the border without any government protection. Thirteen thousand five hundred, (13,500), of these children were orphans and have been forced to survive by begging, stealing, or becoming drug runners or becoming sexually exploited--treatment that is an affront to humanity and is in direct conflict with International Conventions on children's rights.
The Other: About the ICE raid on the Dulles Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country. 42 workers, busily engaged in repair work on the airport, all skilled craftsmen--dry-wall specialists and welders--arrested on the premise that they were a terrorist threat to the airport. There was no evidence presented that would incriminate any of these immigrants as terrorists. But likely all will be deported, leaving wives and families behind without any visible means of support. To add to the breakdown in due process, these workers were denied legal representation.
What's happening in our nation? Will the next encroachment on individual rights be the constitutional right of freedom of speech? I think I hear a knock on my door. As a writer with a passion for human rights, is my personal safety in jeopardy?