Undocumented immigrants, not “illegal aliens”. People are neither “illegal” nor “aliens”. The act of immigration is not dependent upon the laws of the country or countries involved. It simply involves moving across a border or frontier of some sort. Regardless, crossing into the US without receiving the proper documentation is a misdemeanor, not a felony. Few if any democratic countries, with or without birthright citizenship, treat undocumented immigrants the way the US is currently treating them.

That said, I’m an unapologetic citizen of the world first. Nation states are artificial constructs, albeit ones with a distinct as well interconnected history. We’re facing too many global problems to justify the mentality that those trying to escape extreme poverty and violence are somehow less than and therefore not entitled to equal treatment under the law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is just that, universal. The United States led the charge on preparing that document and is a signatory. It and other related international agreements protect the right of every human being to seek asylum in other nations and for everyone, especially children, to receive basic human services like education regardless who their parents are or how that child came to find him/herself in a particular country. So if we’re going to talk about the rule of law, let’s start with the international human rights agreements that have been agreed to.

Finally, yes, it was a Democratic administration that was responsible for the Japanese internment camps and the southern states imposing Jim Crow laws also happened to be Democratic (though still quite conservative) at the time. So what. Did I give the impression that I thought human rights is a partisan issue? Likewise, that European countries don’t provide birthright citizenship is neither here nor there. They should, but my article wasn’t on European immigration policy.

This is a time for humanity to be building bridges between cultures instead of walls. I find it somewhat ironic that at the point in human history when we’re most interconnected and have the most to lose as a species by not coming together we’re actually arguing that some people are not entitled to the same basic decency we would desire for ourselves and our children if the shoe was on the other foot. Poor mothers fleeing terrible conditions aren’t an existential threat to the United States and never have been. It’s absurd to pretend otherwise.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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