Opinion

TMI: We must have the courage to condemn ICE

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TMI: We must have the courage to condemn ICE

Welcome to the new America. An America that openly announces it has no concern for human rights. An America based on selfishness, lack of morals, convinced that facts and atrocities can be dismissed by simply taking a different perspective. We are in a constitutional crisis and it isn’t going to be solved with social media fundraisers, Resistbots and Change.org petitions. If you don’t want this America you need to be prepared to push back, occupy the offices of your legislators, camp out in front of the White House, and engage in civil disobedience to combat a corrupted and amoral agency known as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Every local politician—from city council member to congressperson—must be called on to condemn ICE and support its abolishment. Gov. Andrew Cuomo declined to condemn the agency today, saying he instead wanted the agency to follow the law. Its simply not enough when we have a president with no regard for human rights, or the law. 

We must unite across the region to make it clear to ICE that it is not welcome in our communities.

We have to come together to protect the vulnerable in our communities–offer shelter, provide comfort, funds, and anything else we can to support the people our government is persecuting. It’s not only the moral choice to protect human rights but it’s in our own self-interest.

The President has repeatedly told us who he is. He’s shown us that he has no regard for the basic tenets of Democracy. If we fail to take a stand here we will only be inviting the Trump administration to move forward with abuses against American citizens.

The President doesn’t care about basic human rights. He has no regard, or perhaps even understanding, of the restraints placed on his office by the founding fathers. Twitter may have been Trump’s ladder to power but he sure as hell isn’t going to let it bring him down. A man with no shame, no morals and with no one but extreme radicals to answer to isn’t going to be moved by an electronic signature and neither are his accomplices in the Republican Congress.

Anyone with self-respect, expertise and a love for the United States has left the Trump White House. They should have stayed and fought for a modicum for sanity because now it is left to the American people to combat the disjointed and anti-American policies put together by the nationalists who remain. They’ve been given the opportunity to implement a radical agenda because the president has no compass–moral, intellectual or otherwise–and they aren’t going to waste it.

The damage done to the fabric of this country is already drastic. Our standing in the world has been shredded. Our president has set out to destroy the alliances that have kept us safe for decades, spat on the checks our forefathers put in place to prevent another world war, another holocaust. Children are being ripped from the arms of their mothers and forced into cages.

Trump may have appealed to those who felt disenfranchised and ignored by polished and educated politicians–people who felt he would work in their interest. He tricked them, and with the reins of power firmly in hand, he has worked to put the rich in control of the country, to destroy the press and free speech, backed dictators like Vladimir Putin, and attacked America’s own legal system. The one thing he continues to deliver to his base is a scapegoat–immigrants.

There have been flashes of fire, of the waking of the sleeping giant that is the American public. The marches for women’s rights and against gun violence, the calls to Congress to tell advocating for the preservation of the Affordable Care Act, all share one fatal flaw–they ended.

Life in America can’t go on as normal with the future of this nation hanging in the balance.

We must take action. The protests cannot stop until this administration has reversed this criminal policy and Congress understands that they will not be allowed to abandon their duties as a check on the executive.

Organizers are preparing actions across the country for June 30. There will be a march on Washington as well as localized actions. This is the starting point but this time we can’t go home, we can’t go to work, we can’t go back to normal until the policy is changed, until the architects of the policy including Stephen Miller are fired, at the very least.

Let’s review what is happening here.

The Trump administration is caging children who come across the border. Their agents in ICE are forcibly ripping families apart with no intention of ever reuniting them.

ICE has tossed aside the rule of law to trick, trap and prevent immigrants who are trying to legally obtain citizenship.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has declared that people from other countries can no longer seek asylum here based on gang violence or domestic violence.

Trump is reportedly set on withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council, a body that routinely condemns his new friends– dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The UN’s top human rights official, known for some rather conservative views, spoke out condemning Trump’s policy.

“The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said, referring to the president of the American Association of Pediatrics characterization of the policy as “government-sanctioned child abuse.”

Spoken out loud, the revelations and events of the past week and a half seem like some right-wing Pizzagate fantasy, or perhaps the start of a Philip K. Dick novel that hamfistedly warns of the perils of becoming numb to past–to the realities of fascism.

Yet here we are, less than two years into Trump’s presidency having ceded our once-coveted, no matter how diluted, pretension that America is the world’s moral guidepost.

Trump himself has tossed aside the rule of law. He attacks it every day. There is no more room for any American citizen to stand by apathetic any longer. Nothing less than our nation’s humanity, the very fabric of who we are supposed to be, is at stake.

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