Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Letter to Duncan Hunter (Immigration)

(Congressman Duncan Hunter is my Representative in the House.  Today I sent the letter below to him through the congressional email posting service (which verifies that I'm his constituent).  A copy is here for others to read.  I encourage everyone, especially those in districts with Republican congressional representation to write a similar letter and send it to their congressman via the site at house.gov -- you can look up your own representative on the same site.)

Congressman Hunter,

I have read your "position" statement with respect to the administrations "Zero Tolerance" treatment towards immigration, and the separation of families seeking asylum, and I am *most* dismayed by the position you have taken.

I would encourage you to start by reading the full text of the following court order, which describes the reprehensible actions taken by the administration: https://t.co/adhGO6BDJR

This is not hearsay, but legal findings by a US Court.

Your claim that "most asylum seekers" are not being broken up is disturbing, because it also indicates that you believe it is okay to separate families "sometimes".  The reality is that there are cases where separation is warranted to protect the children, but there is ample evidence that this is not the case in many of these separations.  (See the above court case.)

Not only that, but we know of cases where families have been separated for doing nothing wrong than presenting themselves fully legally at a border crossing and petitioning for asylum.

Even in misdemeanor cases of illegal entry, the punishment of breaking families up -- while both children and parents are held separately for deportation proceedings, is both cruel and unusual punishment, and entirely unnecessary.

It is also my belief that these separations create more risk to the United States, making us less safe.  Some of these children will remember the horrible ways that they were treated as criminals by our country.  How many will radicalize as a result later in life?  Just one is too many, and utterly unnecessary.

Furthermore, the use of the misery of these families as some kind of political card to achieve ends is both morally reprehensible and of dubious value -- the border wall is a boondoggle and will have little effective value. The real problem of immigration is the attraction of millions of jobs -- jobs that should be filled *legally*.  (So mandatory eVerify, with criminal prosecution against *EMPLOYERS* who violate rather than against poor immigrants is the real fix to that problem.  You backed mandatory eVerify, an action which I applaud.)

The ends -- a border wall -- do NOT justify the means, which have been amply and justifiably compared with the approach used by Nazi Germany in the 1930s, when dealing with Jewish families.

As a nation we are embarrassed by our Internment of Japanese Americans during the same time frame, and the US government has been called to account for that in the past.  Yet even in the midst of world war our leaders did not stoop to separating parents from the children, or to use children as some kind of pawns in a larger political scheme.

Indeed, these actions are more akin to those used by terrorists -- literally using "terror" (in this case fear of breaking a family up, which any parent knows is amongst the most terrible things to be contemplated) to achieve political ends.

Please think long and hard about your decision to stand with Trump in this regard.  If you stand with him here -- as an agent of terror and tyranny, then I cannot in good conscience stand with you.

You have a unique opportunity to break from the party lines, and demonstrate moral courage here -- an opportunity which if taken would certainly win back my support.   Or you can side with forces evil in supporting actions that numerous industry and business leaders have called "morally reprehensible" and "inhumane".

The choice is yours to make.  For now.

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