Thursday, July 10, 2014

Immigration, and the kindness of Glenn Beck

In a moment designed to confuse liberals like myself, Glenn Beck has decided to show real compassion to suffering children who are here in America illegally.
“We’re going to fill some tractor-trailers with food, with water,” Beck said. “The churches have asked us if we could bring teddy bears and soccer balls, so we’ve loaded up a whole tractor-trailer of nothing but teddy bears and soccer balls. And then I’m going to go serve breakfast and lunch, and I’m going to help unload these trucks, hot meals for 3,000. That’s what we’re doing.”
I'm making light of how liberals like me would usually respond to Beck vs. how most of us will likely view this moment, but it's important to say--kudos to Beck for this kindhearted, generous-of-spirit act. And, for being willing to stand up against those on the right, with whom he is normally aligned, to do this.

But, it's those angry responders on the right that I want to think about for a moment. I've been getting more informed in recent months about the illegal immigrant issue, although I'm still far from an expert. I understand that this is another truly complicated issue. Through a combination of a ridiculous immigration policy and awful enforcement of the laws on our books, we have helped to create a situation where there are millions of people in this country illegally, some of them for years or even decades. Simply declaring amnesty for all of them, even along with a major revision of our laws and enforcement, seems like a refusal to respect the law. I get why people don't like that option. But, at the same time, what can we actually do? Deport millions of people? Look the other way and allow them to continue to exist in a dangerous, often inhumane shadow society? Those aren't real options (or, at least, not options I can imagine us taking seriously). Like I said, this one really is complicated.

But, parts of it don't have to be. Say what you will about adults who decide to come over to America without legal authorization to do so. But, the children they bring with them? They're just children. They're kids, and they're afraid, and they're hungry. Helping them--making them feel just a little bit better--is so clearly a decent, kind, human thing to do that it's hard to imagine anyone could object.

But, of course, there are people who do object.
Everybody is telling me I’m seeing subscriptions down; I’m seeing Mercury One donations down. I’m getting violent emails from people who say, you know, I’ve ‘betrayed the Republic.’ Whatever.
There are people who are so anti-immigration, and so anti-immigrant, that even this simple act of basic humanity is too much for them. Some of them are even leveling death-threats at Beck. Death threats. For bringing food and toys to children.

I don't care if their parents are fascist radical-Islam supporting terrorist rapists who use child-slave-labor. That's the parents. These are kids. If you can't feel sympathy for kids who are suffering, if you hate people who do feel sympathy for kids who are suffering, then something is very, very broken inside of you. This isn't complicated.

I'll end with a quote from Beck:
“When America stops being good, we are no longer able to be great.”

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