Some alarming immigration posts on my Facebook feed this morning.
The first one popped up while I was swiping through some pleasant pics of Saturday’s Women’s Marches. It was a phone video of border patrol agents boarding a Greyhound in Ft. Lauderdale.
Recorded by fellow passengers, the agents went up and down the aisle and asked certain travelers for their papers in order to prove their citizenship. Though proof of citizenship is NOT required to ride a bus, it is apparently perfectly legal for those agents to question those on board.
The video ends with the agents removing a woman from the bus.
Upsetting, for sure, but more important things were calling me.
Like all the ‘We Hate Tom Brady’ and ‘Eagles Fans are rude’ posts that were tumbling through my Facebook feed. But then an article showed up on my screen about a Kalamazoo, MI doctor, Lukasz Niec, who’d been brought to the U.S. from Poland when he was five. (Link to Article)
For 40 years, Dr. Niec has been a permanent resident green card holder and currently works at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
“He’s…the model physician that you want a physician to be,” says a colleague.
According to the Washington Press, “Dr. Niec was at home with his pre-teen daughters on January 16th when three Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau (ICE) officers unexpectedly showed up and took him into custody. Dr. Niec is at a loss to explain why he was arrested by the immigration authorities, given his status as a legal resident.”
His family suspects it’s because of his juvenile record.
When he was 17, he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor convictions, an agreement that stated that by doing so he would avoid a criminal record. Unfortunately, ICE doesn’t honor the state plea agreement that he signed, and now he has to wait in a jail cell for the next six months or so until officials hear his case.
Sad, for sure, but there were sadder things happening to my Facebook friends.
As I was leaving sympathetic words and emoticons on a couple dozen ‘we lost a family member’ posts, I saw a video of a white San Diego middle school teacher who was detained for more than an hour at a checkpoint in New Mexico. (Link to Video)
She resented being funneled into a ‘random’ checkpoint and having her picture taken and uploaded to a national database so she refused to tell agents if she was a US citizen. She was eventually let go without having to answer the agents’ questions, but it’s what the agent told her at the end that shocked a lot of people.
“It’s a shame you’re not proud to be an American.”
Uh, she never said that.
And for him to come to that conclusion, that this woman is ashamed of being American because she stood up for her right to refuse what, in her mind, was unlawful questioning and racial profiling? That’s what many Americans are having a problem with.
A Facebook fellah named Roy said it best:
Roy: For those saying it was a yes or no answer, and that she shouldn’t fight, you’re not getting the point. The point is you can’t give those who abuse the constitution any room to keep abusing it. If you do, the next thing you’ll see will be random home searches.
Then a different guy counters with some questionably racist rhetoric:
Jake: Orrrrrrr a huge increase in illegals that I’m guessing you don’t want stealing your job. Or to support on assistance. sounds ok to me.
Roy, however, is having none of that.
Roy: So you pick fruit? Pick vegetables? Clean hotel rooms? Do masonry work for minimum wage? Mow lawns? If not then don’t worry. Your job is safe Hoss.
True, America has an illegal immigrant problem, and President Trump is attempting to fix it, but that’s not what’s scary about these three examples. It’s what ‘rounding up’ and ‘kicking out’ over 12.5 million people whose families are already here actually looks like that scares quite a lot of us, especially when there’s zero compassion or consideration shown. It’s what my Facebook feed is going to look like when it’s filled with clip after clip of Dreamers losing their dreams that has me more than a little concerned.
There must be a better way, a more American way, to go about this.
- Mike Lukas
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