Immigration has been a significant part of our conversations lately. My wife being from Mexico City and many of our friends are immigrants, this issue seems to permeate much of our personal conversation much like that of the national media and social networks of late.
First off, let me make one thing clear, this is not about terrorism, as a nation we must do all we can do to keep those who want to harm us from entering our country. The system is broken and MUST be fixed, however one simple solution like building a wall will not fix our immigration crisis. Those who believe this is the magic bullet will be sadly mistaken.
I find it interesting to see the posts of my family, friends and neighbors, and the wild opinions regarding immigration, comments like “I lock my doors to my house every night. I don’t lock them because I hate the people outside my house, I lock them because I love the people inside my house.” fill social media posts.
Have you stopped to really think about what this is saying? It saying that everyone who is outside our country wants to hurt us and so we must lock everyone out. What a ridiculous sentiment.
The vast majority of those coming here come for one of two reasons, they are seeking refuge from persecution, most often that of religious or ethnic persecution, or they are searching for a better life. Those who have never personally visited somewhere where extreme poverty exists can never truly comprehend how many people in this world are forced to live and under what conditions. We do not have that kind of poverty here in the United States.
The other reason of fleeing persecution is one that strikes me in a much different way, I find it rather interesting that we as a nation were founded by those fleeing Europe for the very same reason, they came to this land and forced the native inhabitants into reservations to claim it as there own, all while claiming they were fleeing for religious freedoms.
My Great Great grandparents were forced from their homes and forced to leave the United States seeking the freedom to worship as they believed. Governor Boggs of Missouri issued an extermination order for all Mormons. My ancestors were tortured, terrorized, raped and assaulted simply for their religious beliefs. They were US citizens being tortured and their constitutional rights denied simply based upon their faith. They fled this country as immigrants to MEXICO seeking refuge from the persecution. Utah was part of Mexico when the Mormon pioneers fled seeking protection from the persecution.
While my own ancestors were forced to flee to Mexico seeking freedom from this, it pains me to witness my own family and friends who’s ancestors experienced the same so willing to jump on this bandwagon without taking a pause to reflect upon our past.