Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/further/2019/06/23/every-day-world-refugee-day
Thank you for the wonderful poem.
I wonder where many of us will go, when home becomes a horror. When all the things we once believed about America are found to be wrong. When kindness and joy, and even love seem to disappear----when the last butterfly dies and the last river ends its flow.
We can organize to go to the moon but we can’t get along with others----and when did the value of love turn to the value of money anyway?
There is only one escape------treat people and nations and religions the way you want to be treated. : )
Good to know that there are still some decent folks left in the US. Thank you, Maine for your humanity!
Ethan Strimling, Chellie Pingree and Janet Mills have all stated that Maine needs people to fill jobs, so they’re in favor of an open doors policy strictly because of demographics, not charity. I know lots of young people who work very hard in low-paying jobs in retail and restaurants. Half of their pay already goes for rent, and they need multiple roommates to afford an apartment in Portland. If the “free market” is allowed to work, then a tight job market should cause wages to rise (God knows rents have skyrocketed). But our government is using taxpayer dollars to bring in hordes of people (at great cost) because some businesses don’t pay enough to attract and keep workers? That’s called “privatizing the profit and socializing the cost”. What Portland needs is AFFORDABLE WORKFORCE HOUSING. How about doing some good for the hardworking Americans who are already here, and spend your tax dollars on that instead. If you think that wages should be held down to $12/hour, then your choice is either to allow/encourage/subsidize affordable housing in Portland, or else resign yourself to thousands of cars from workers commuting in from Waterboro.
It’s the refusal to set a reasonable limit that scares and infuriates people. Why did Austin, TX agree to take one family but Portland, ME takes 60 families? If zero refugees are too few and a million is too many, then somewhere in-between is a number that is tolerable. But Strimling and company absolutely refuse to acknowledge that ANY limit is necessary. And they castigate people who want to set a limit as heartless racists. But any thinking person can see that there IS a limit to growth. What number should that be?
What (if any) political party in Washington is trying to set reasonable limits? I was a lifelong Democrat (until they shafted Bernie) but my former party sure isn’t working for sensible immigration control. The tech industry wants their H1-B visas, and Big Agriculture wants their farm workers. It was folly for the Democrats to cede the immigration issue to the Republicans, and it’s probably the #1 reason Trump was elected. It’s just one more issue that the DNC refuses to listen to their own base (negotiate prescription drug prices? Didn’t think so)
Jobs for immigrants or the parent(s) of these children is not about charity or demographics, it’s about dignity. Helping these refugees is about humanity and caring, not about cutting corners on wages.
Have you got empathy anywhere in your being? The folks in Maine obviously do.
Ma Joad pauses as she tries to stretch her family’s meager resources to feed the starving children in their migrant camp. “I don’t know if I’m doing right,” she says.
We know she was.
If we want to reduce the number of asylum seekers, there are a couple of obvious steps we could take: closing all our overseas military bases and stopping our interference in other countries’ political affairs would go a long way toward a resolution.
Did you bother to read the poem? It’s not about demographics or corporate labor needs. It’s about US economic and military terrorism making people’s lives hell.