I often wonder when I am reading books about World War II and the Holocaust what I would have done if I lived in Europe in those years. When my neighbors, who I most likely knew were Jewish, but maybe not, put on a yellow star, how long would it have taken for me to start to avoid them. I doubt that I would have stepped up boldly to defend them. The German officers were brutal and deadly.
Would I have done something covert, such as take part in a human chain to hide someone and pass them on to safety or join a secret resistance movement? Often we have no idea how we will behave when faced with a choice that weighs our morality against our very life.
And while that might not be the exact circumstance we will face if Donald Trump becomes President, it will feel an awful lot like those terrible days. Eleven million plus people will be rounded up. Will they be forced to wear armbands or pins with the flag of their nation of origin until they can be shipped home? They won’t all be Mexicans. They will be Dominicans, Turks, Bhutanese, Sudanese, Nigerian, Argentinian, Columbian, etc. Will we round them up and pack them into buses? Will we send them to ports on trains? Will we use planes? Will we put troops with them in transit to make sure they don’t escape? Will they shoot to kill? How else would we process and move 11 million people?
We think we are unhappy the immigrants and refugees are here; we will be even more unhappy watching the deportation process unfold. The optics will be awful but the emotional impact will be worse. What will happen to citizens who try to interfere? What is the plan for that? I’m guessing all that military equipment the police bought will prove to be quite useful for this operation.
Sending Japanese Americans to Internment
We don’t want anyone to come into America and overstay their welcome. How will we track visas and the people who have them? Will we attach tracking devices that can’t be removed? I think the devices we have right now can be disabled. People being tracked will find ways to go “off the grid”. Do we stop granting visas altogether?
After we alienate every citizen of every country around the globe and become a giant island between oceans who will buy our products? Isn’t it possible that we might become even more unpopular than we are, basically putting the kibosh on us getting the trade balance to tip in our favor? After all actions have consequences.
So think carefully. Even if we could find the money and come up with a foolproof methodology to do this thing, should we? Can we live with the wrenching human upheaval of actually hunting embedded neighbors down and the heartlessness of shipping them to places that might be dangerous for them or places that offer them only poverty and an absence of hope?
If our human spirits can survive this inhumane process intact, will we get what we want? The old adage goes “don’t wish for what you don’t want because you might get it.” Sometimes this same old adage can be stated as “don’t wish for what you do want because you might get it”. If citizens are suffering because of illegal immigration then we really need to think about how we can accommodate those who are here, keep out those who are not and have enough resources to make everyone comfortable. Donald Trump’s plan may sound enticing until you examine it closely, but I think we need a better immigration plan, please.
By Nancy Brisson