Punish the Innocent?

Last night I read how the ordeal experienced by Connecticut’s Colindres family is being repeated. To make a long story short: immigrant husband of a citizen wife and father of little children citizens, is scheduled for deportation — again. This follows an earlier pause, granted by a Circuit Court less than an hour before a mid-August deportation flight, giving the family a few months of hope mixed with uncertainty. Now the sword hangs over their heads again.
A related case in Indiana involves deported restauranteur (employer of about twenty) Roberto Beristain. Like Joel Colindres he is innocent. Technically, to those relying on lawyerly logic, being undocumented contradicts innocence. Here’s my reaction to that: If rules must reign supreme then they need to be consistent. Over 500 years ago those who came before us started a sequence of events eventually seizing all of continental United States from the native Americans. Should all of us be deported?
These things don’t happen in a vacuum. A new film The Other Side of Hope depicts the life of a MidEast refugee who, after losing most of his family in an explosion caused by a missile from an unknown source, lands in Finland. There, as anywhere, he’s regarded with suspicion and treated as an intruder.
It isn’t only the bureaucracy that makes migrants’ lives miserable. Too many among us actually approve of sending these innocents away, breaking up their families. I don’t claim that we have to turn off the music or give up moderate amounts of legitimate pleasure. But to remain unconcerned about the plight of millions in continuous misery?!? Nero fiddling as Rome burns? No, hell no.
We lack the power to make this all better but we can at least refrain from making it any worse. Fortunately there are some who really can introduce change. From a mid-December 2017 60 Minutes program: A former neo-Nazi skinhead became co-founder of the nonprofit organization Life After Hate. What convinced him to change? Someone he was attacking made eye contact; for the first time, he realized the hurt he was causing. `Nuff said?

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