“Lady Liberty” Versus Lord Trump

The caravan of migrants from Central America is moving slowly but surely through Mexico heading towards the United Staes. The migrants are tired, hungry and desperate. They are fleeing poverty and gang violence. Their only crime is wanting to move to a country where they can live lives of hope and dignity. Their closest neighbor is the affluent United States of America. President Trump is in no mood to accept the hapless migrants,  certainly not most of them. He claims falsely that the group includes people from Middle East countries and they pose a threat to the security of the USA. He is contemplating measures to stop the migrants from coming across its borders. The measures include deployment of some 800 or more troops to assist the Border Patrol authorities. Let’s imagine what will transpire when the migrants and the Border Services come face to face across the border. Mayhem and worse.The immigrants are armed with only their meager survival provisions, and include women and children.The Border services will likely use batons and teargas to drive back the crowds. Many of the asylum-seekers will be hurt, maimed or killed. Sadly, there will be casualties on both sides.

President Trump’s proposed action is against every conceivable humanitarian law, most of all against the Divine Law which proclaims “Love Thy Neighbor.” The corollary to this injunction is the command to show mercy, charity and kindness to those in need. Mr. Trump’s “America First” policy, however well intentioned, goes against the beliefs of God-fearing Americans of every color and denomination.

America is the great nation today because it has been built on foundations of  toil, hardships and acumen of its forefathers. They were migrants from across the world including the Pilgrims who sailed from England to America in 1620. It would be a sad travesty of justice if the United States turned away the hapless asylum-seekers from across its own border and denied them the  opportunity for a safer, better life. In the past 50 years, hordes of migrants have risked their lives to travel across oceans, mountains, deserts, often prey to pirate attacks, sexual violence, victims of traffickers, and killing by drowning in the high seas. They number in the millions, often ending up in squalid camps in impoverished countries. In the case of the Vietnamese “boat people” the Western countries  helped  out with generous resettlement quotas. Likewise, millions of refugees/asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Africa, Syria. Myanmar, etc have been accepted by their equally poor neighbors, a lesson the US Administration might well strive to emulate.

What then is the real reason for President Trump’s reluctance to allow this group of Central Americans into the USA? He says he has given  hundreds of million of dollars to to Central America countries.and they haven’t given them anything in return. If he means the National Exchequer will be hurt, he can always look for his staunchest ally, Saudi Arabia, to bail him out with a few billion dollars or otherwise look to other governments and international agencies to help with money and resources. He can also ask countries with Hispanic populations to take some migrants. His neighbor Canada can also help with its generous asylum and multicultural policy.

Trump and migrantsMr Trump is not doing any of that. He is not a savvy politician, but revels in political intrigue, and is frequently ambivalent. His stance in the Central American migrant saga may well be to ensure success in the upcoming US Mid-Term elections, Once that is achieved, he may well relent on his hard line position towards the Central Americans and grudgingly offer them conditional asylum.

On Ellis Island, in New York, stands a National Monument, the Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of Freedom and Democracy The inscription inside the pedestal denotes the day, July 4, 1776, when the US adopted the Declaration of Independence. On the base of Lady Liberty, as she is fondly called, is a tablet inscribed with words penned by Emma Lazarus in 1883:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door! “ 

It remains to be seen whether Lord Trump or “Lady Liberty” will eventually triumph on the migrant saga!

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