“An instance of invading a country or region with an armed force.”
– Definition of “Invasion”, The Oxford Dictionaries
President Donald “Ow, my bone spurs! I guess I can’t go to Vietnam after all, guys…” Trump announced that he wants to militarize our southern border with Mexico (that’s what you get when you put an armed military on a border), and then, after finding out that it’s actually illegal to deploy actual military combat units on US soil in these circumstances, Trump signed an executive order deploying the National Guard to do just that. His voting base is, of course, right on board with him, though I can’t help but wonder what their feelings would be if the Mexican Army put armed combat troops up and down the US-Mexican Border. However, what’s the worst that could happen, right? Surely, not an international incident.
It’s not like deploying armed National Guard troops to stop this “invasion” of hungry, poor, and conspicuously unarmed civilians (and for those playing the home game, no, in no way do unarmed civilians even vaguely constitute and “invasion“) desperately risking their lives to cross a desert just so they can live in the shadows of a country where they are treated like second class human beings and have a chance of working some terrible job so they can feed their families could be an overreach? If it were an overreach, then this would look kind of like the American people are kind of fine with sending our heroic military to point guns and tanks at unarmed civilians… again…
Again, because, let’s not forget that George W. Bush sent the National Guard to the border in 2006 to deal with the illegal immigration problem, and that worked so amazingly well that Barrack H. Obama had to do it again in 2010 for exactly the same reason. That, of course, worked so well that Donald J. Trump is doing it again in 2018. The third time, as they say, is the charm, right? Except, no, let’s be honest, it won’t be. Deploying the National Guard to the border is hysterically expensive, and, worst of all, they can’t actually do anything when they are there, anyway.
“He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures… He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power…”
– Declaration of Independence
See, there’s this little law called the Posse Comitatus Act, passed in 1956, that makes it illegal to use any US military force in a police force action without an Act of Congress. So even if the National Guard can be deployed to the border, what they can do while there is limited to (a) wasting a ton of money and (b) using very expensive equipment to watch unarmed civilians run past them, because they aren’t legally allowed to detain anyone, unless Trump gets the 60 votes in the Senate to pass such a measure, which is just laughable at this point.
So what do we do, then, just let them over run us, asks the hysterical (and racist) Trump supporter?
At this point, I couldn’t actually care less if “they” did overrun “us“, because I don’t actually feel that much in the way of filial devotion to Trump’s loathsome, red capped, knuckle dragging supporters any more (sorry, but repeated death threats will have that effect). Instead, what I’m going to advocate for is changing our absurdly inhumane and prejudicial immigration policies. At present, it costs literally thousands of dollars not to actually come to the United States to work but just to file the paperwork necessary for a chance of coming to the United States to work.
Our ridiculous system virtually guarantees only the children of wealthy and politically powerful elite have even a chance of coming to the United States legally, because only the wealthy and the politically connected are capable of paying their children’s way either directly or for the education in European universities, so their kids can get preferential treatment when applying to come to the United States. Meanwhile, the poor, itinerant worker who can’t even afford to buy food, let alone the absurdity of paying thousands of dollars just to fill out government paperwork so he can pick fruit for a few months, has to choose between becoming a criminal or watch his family slowly starve to death. That’s not even a real choice.
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Once upon a time in America, conservatives believed our borders should be “open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here“, but that time seems to have passed. Instead, what we have is open suspicion of anyone that is the least bit “different” or “foreign“. Enthnocentric racism is rampant, now totally normalized within Trump’s base, which either openly embraces the American white power movement’s identitarian “white pride” ideology or pretends it either isn’t there or isn’t a problem.
Conservatism used to be about seeking common cause for everyone that loves the cause of Liberty, but, especially lately, seems much more interested in just being awful to people. Nationalist thugs want to treat dish washers, cooks, craftsmen, and laborers as “invaders” rather than what they really are. Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, who, desperate to make ends meet, knowingly trespass against us, but that is no excuse for our trespasses against them. They are sojourners in an increasingly hostile foreign land, seeking only a chance to earn their daily bread.
The vast majority of them aren’t here to hurt anyone, and, if they could afford the application fees, they would happily pay for them. They don’t pay the fees not because they don’t want to, but because if they could afford the application fees they wouldn’t need the applications in the first place. I seem to remember something an important man once said about showing mercy to the least among us was just and good. I can’t help but think that He could be anything other than ashamed of what we are becoming.
“34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; 36 naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? 38 And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. 46 And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.”
– Matthew 25:34-46
I say to you, patriots, a country that betrays these words is surely damned.
Liberty is For The Win!