When Is It Okay to Deport Immigrants?

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Let’s Talk About Deportation…


Recently, there were 500 undocumented citizens arrested around the U.S. within 10 of our “sanctuary cities.” Here in Philadelphia over one-fifth of these 500 arrests took place.

It makes one think that these “sanctuaries” are simply concentrated areas designated for the purpose of making these raids a possibility (i.e. worth ICE’s time and money).

Needless to say, immigration and deportation have recently been on the forefront of my mind.

Trump is, in fact, following through on what he not just promised but, he’s following through on one of the cornerstones in which held his entire campaign together.

(Which, unfortunately, makes him even more likable to his constituents that put him in office. I mean, can you even remember the last president that followed through on promises; it makes even the most passionate detractors of Trump’s pause; even for just a second.)

The question I’m currently grappling with is this: When would there be an okay time to deport someone, if ever? And, furthermore, which is in our best interest: deportation or immigration?

45’s administration has been saying ICE is targeting those with criminal convictions. The question still remains: does a “criminal conviction” mean one should be denied access to our country?

Out of the 107 people arrested in the Philadelphia area, ICE has said to have “arrested people who… committed sex crimes against children sold drugs, and possessed weapons, the agency said [1].”

Furthermore, “The people taken by ICE had 317 criminal convictions, and roughly one in five had been previously deported, ICE said. Those arrested had 86 convictions for driving under the influence.”

Still, it leaves question when spokespeople from ICE don’t respond to requests in regard to releasing the names of those arrested in Philadelphia and the charges against them.”

Mainly, are these people being wrongfully mischaracterized by criminalizing entire groups by their nationality? And, if caught or detained, are they receiving fair trials?

Fear is a pervasive political tactic; seemingly forever coursing through the veins of American society; arguably speaking, most politicians careers feed off of the infliction of this emotion.

e.g. “Immigrants will abuse and take up a vast majority of our welfare and social security…”  or “immigrants will negatively affect our economy by taking our jobs and lowering wages…”japanese-internment-flyer-andy-gill

And now, Trump has already delivered multiple statements and entire speeches depicting immigrants and outsiders as “frightening threats.”

When fear is utilized “correctly” it far too easily goes unprocessed.

Unprocessed fear = Irrational Anger.

Irrational Anger + Unprocessed Fear = Unmitigated Hate.

If there is an okay time to deport it’s extremely tough to navigate through all of these manipulative (and seemingly bigoted) political tactics in finding the truth.

Other administrations have deported more people at faster rates than Trump…

Nothing is new about our deportation rates or fear tactics; although, what might be new to most is learning that Trump’s Administration is actually deporting people at slower rates than previous administrations…

With this being said, most of us know I’m referencing the Obama Administration’s deportation numbers.

It’s true “the U.S. is deporting people more slowly than during the Obama administration…[2]” But, it’s worth mentioning and considering three quick bits before automatically jumping to a conclusion:

  1. To begin, those attempting to cross the US border has steeply fallen underneath Trump, indicating other reasoning for immigration suppression;
  2. Immigration courts are incredibly backlogged having increased nearly 100,000 cases [3];
  3. DACA a renewable two-year visa implemented by Obama in 2012 via executive action [by-passing congresses approval]. And, it’s worth considering, was it Obama or was it congress dictating the deporting?

The past few years have shined more light on not just our man-made divisions but the sheer ridiculousness of them. Because, currently, the question I’m asking is why do these divisions matter in the first place?

Wrongfully criminalizing others, detaining, imprisoning, and deporting entire races has been a thing happening throughout American history.

Ethnic cleansing, it’s a thing and, this thing takes on various differing shapes; if one isn’t careful or paying close enough attention, it’s easily missed.

So, is this Trump’s and the “white supremacists (a.k.a. the alt-rights)” way of re-creating their version of Nazi Germany? Is this example too extreme? And, if it’s not then what are the practical steps we should take in order to resist repeating history?

Where Does the American Church Come Into Play? 

Through all the noise from various forms of manipulative rhetoric, fake news, and our personal problems the Church is meant to be a sanctuary (both literally and figuratively speaking). Politics has far too often used religion (particularly Christianity) as a means of manipulating the masses by leveraging and wrongfully reforming, err, polluting our Gospel.

I’m curious, what movements have you so far seen to be effective in aiding the poor and the powerless? Are they underground? Still existent today? Or, do we need to completely re-imagine who or what our Church is going to be tomorrow?

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