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Sans humanité

Oklahoma’s new anti-immigration law makes it a felony to knowingly harbour or transport a person who is in the country illegally. While actually being in the country illegally is a misdemeanour, treating them like humans becomes a felony. Talk about disproportionate punishments. It’s also remarkable that a state that talks so much about its Christian roots would actually pass a law making it a crime for people to practise their religion. In addition, there are stories of landlords threatening people with eviction unless they produce proof that they are in the country legally. What sort of a dysfunctional system outsources government actions to landlords?

As the old calypso refrain went: sans humanité

While the federal government has less draconian laws, the immigration enforcement branch is even more heartless. Mahablog provided a link this morning to a New York Times story about a nursing mother being separated from her child when she was arrested by federal immigration agents. The baby did not eat anything for three days while social workers tried to get the baby to drink formula. And who does ICE blame for their inhumanity? The people they are locking up, of course.

“We are faced with these sorts of situations frequently, where a large number of individuals come illegally or overstay and have children in the United States,” said Kelly A. Nantel, a spokeswoman for the agency. “Unfortunately, the parents are putting their children in these difficult situations.”

Huh? Talk about people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Not “it’s a sad situation, but there’s nothing we can do about it”. Nope. Their response is “they made me do it”. Do these agencies really resort to the logic of five-year-olds? But the thing that really disturbed me was this paragraph

The study found that the children faced economic hardship after one or both of their bread-winning parents were detained or deported. Many families hid for days or longer in their homes, sometimes retreating to basements, the study reported. Although many children showed symptoms of emotional distress, family members were reluctant to seek public assistance for them, even if the children were citizens, fearing new arrests of relatives who were illegal immigrants.

Deeply disturbing imagery.

What kind of a country drives its own citizens into hiding, forces them to undergo all sorts of psychological trauma…and blames it on foreigners it can’t control (all while insisting that they are the people best suited to deal with the problem)? Yep, that would be Bush’s America.

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