Today, I changed my mind. Although I’d teetered with the issues of illegal immigration and border control, I hadn’t fully resolved where I stood… until today. So, today, what happened to change my mind? And from what to what?
Today, I decided to stop and have a salad at my favorite deli, Jason’s Deli. As I pulled up, two police officers were talking with two young men who looked to be from Mexico. After about ten minutes or so, very calmly, one of the officers pulled out his handcuffs and gently took the right arm of one of the men. The man didn’t resist. Instead, he turned around and extended his left arm to the officer. He was handcuffed and within minutes, he was sitting in the back seat of the police car – arrested. Now I don’t know why he was arrested, but I imagined it was because he was illegally in this Country. But, the truth didn’t matter. He could have been wanted for murder or any less serious crime. The reason for his arrest was irrelevant to me at that moment. Only my thoughts of what could have been true mattered.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I considered the inhumanity of being arrested for simply ‘being’. ‘Being’ in a place where a group of people decided he didn’t belong. I began to feel overwhelmed as I walked by the police car, imagining what would happen to the young man in the back seat. Will he be deported and sent to a land he may not know? Will he be separated from his family? What will be the cost of his arrest?
Everything within me – my humanity – feels it’s not right to confine a human being to only one part of this vast land we live on. Everything within me – my humanity – feels it’s not right to build a man-made border across any part of this God-given earth. I know, I know, I know. I’ve heard all the arguments against open borders. I’m not even sure that’s what I’m saying. But, it’s what I’m feeling. Maybe I’m feeling the spirits of the Native Americans who believed they did not and could not own or prevent others from sharing the land they were blessed to inhabit. So, they welcomed the European immigrants, knowing that the land and natural resources were vast and plenty enough for everybody. If only we believed that way. I’m beginning to feel it. I haven’t worked it out in my head, but my spirit says the Natives were right. And it can never be too late or too hard to do what’s right.
I know you’re saying, ‘But, Deborah, if the young man was here illegally, he should be sent back to his country.’ Well, we determine what’s legal and illegal. My humanistic view on life puts humanity first above everything, even the law – especially the law. But to keep humans from breaking the law, maybe it’s time we decided that simply ‘being’ wherever you want to be could never be illegal.
Today, I changed my mind, because it can never be too late or too hard to do what’s right.
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As always, thank you for allowing me to share in your journey to purpose. I am forever grateful.