WALLS …

I guess he’d be around nineteen, now.

When my wife and I were adopting our daughter, in China, we had to take her to a rural hospital in Nan Chung…twice. This was the hospital they didn’t want Americans to see. And it was pretty clear that we were the first Americans many of these people had ever witnessed, in the flesh.

Standing at the nurses station, waiting on two women to put a needle in my eight-month-old daughter’s head, I was suddenly accosted by someone behind me. When I turned around, a little peasant woman (that’s the only way I know how to describe her), with no teeth and torn clothes, was screaming at me in Cantonese. I kept trying to somehow convey to her that I didn’t understand what she was saying. But she persisted.

She reached down and picked up a little boy, maybe three. She held him up to me and thrust him in my arms. He was wearing a red sweater. I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I had no idea what this woman was saying to me or what the kid had to do with any of it.

Then, Sarah (our translator) explained to me that the woman wanted me to take her son back to America and raise him as my own. She knew that America would be a better life for him. So, she took her shot and offered the boy to the first American she’d ever seen.

Before too long, and before I could fully grasp what was happening, the police (who are stationed everywhere – yay, Communism!) came over and escorted her, and her son, away.

I think about that little boy all the time. I wonder how his life is turning out. I hope he’s doing better than his parents were doing. I fear he is not.

Why couldn’t I just take the kid with me? What was stopping us from making the transaction? Well, a lot of rules and regulations were stopping us. Agreements between governments and agencies were stopping us. Passports and paper work was stopping us. Understandings between nations were stopping us.

Sometimes, I think I should’ve at least tried to do something to maybe make it happen. But as it turns out, we ended up having our hands full with the one child we brought home.

My daughter is a legally naturalized American citizen. We did two years of paper work to make that happen. My wife and I went through background checks and fingerprinting with the FBI and provided medical and financial records to TWO governments, to bring a person born in one country, to OUR country. And I think that’s as it should be.

I didn’t hear the President’s speech last night. And I only heard snippets of the counter argument by the opposition. But I’ve always been baffled by the United States’ southern border policy. I can’t for the life of me understand why we haven’t had a wall or a continual fence down there for the last fifty years. Why? Because that seems to be a place so often violated. Walking across the southern border is just a matter of not getting caught. And a lot of people do it. And we all know it.

At some point, we are all going to have to ask ourselves THE question: is that okay? Should everybody be allowed to simply walk across the border of any country they wish, and live there without signing in? If so, I’m not sure why I have to have a passport to travel? If so, why do we have extradition treaties and national laws and border agents and customs agents and immigration offices and TSA agents and G4 Summits and NATO and even the Olympic games?

Because if borders don’t matter, then none of the things we do in deference to those borders matters, either.

If twenty million Canadians had poured over our northern border without documentation, and were living in the shadows of our society, 60 Minutes wouldn’t be able to do do enough pieces on it. Geraldo Rivera would be showing up at houses all over the country, narcing on people who love Hockey and say “ay” after everything.

I continually find myself in the strange position of being on President Trump’s side of things, even though I did not support him for president. But he’s correct when he talks about building a barrier (a wall). We’ve already got miles and miles of it in some places. Should we tear that part down? Is what’s already there immoral?

If you drive through El Paso, Texas, you’ll see a border fence, with Mexico on one side and The United States on the other. Should they just start dismantling it? I’m confused.

After 9/11, I thought we should’ve completed a southern barrier and sealed the border. Is it because I hate “brown people”? Of course not. I’m married to a brown person. It just made sense, the way it makes sense to fix your front door if it’s broken.

I’m a fan of immigration …LEGAL immigration. I’m raising a LEGAL immigrant. I’m also very much in favor of providing asylum to those seeking it. My heart breaks for those not fortunate enough to have been born in a free society. And I embrace the idea of helping them. People in my family have sponsored asylum seekers and my own mother and father have opened their home to South American refugees in the past. I believe that’s the kind of responsibility the American experiment should foster in its fortunate citizens.

But these days there seems to be a type of hostility woven into the fabric of migration from certain countries in the world. It’s as if America is seen (by some) as a place that owes its wealth, resources and land to everyone on earth, no matter how they decide to come here. That sentiment is shared by a lot of our own citizens. But coming to America in defiance of America looks and feels threatening to Americans who love and appreciate what the country is all about. When those boats brought wave after wave of immigrants through Ellis Island, the beleaguered people aboard them were flying American flags from the bow. They wanted to become something new and embrace a new way of life. They didn’t see America as an entitlement owed to them, but as a hope they could find nowhere else and one they wanted to treat with respect.

If you want to become an American, I believe you should stand up and be counted; fully participate in the idea and the ideal.  Let the world know who you are and what your intentions are. My wife and I had to do that for our daughter. And we did it happily so. Because American citizenship is something valuable.

I don’t know if the politics of “wall funding” will work out or not. Is Mexico going to ultimately pay for it? Probably not. Although, I suppose one could argue that if the numbers of illegal border crossings were thwarted, the money saved in welfare services to undocumented immigrants might end up paying for said wall. That might be one way you could technically off-load the cost to Mexico. Who knows? But regardless of how it’s funded, doesn’t border security seem like a reasonable idea?

What I do know is that a little boy in China didn’t have the privilege of being born in a country that borders The United States. His tired and poor parents, yearning to breathe free, didn’t have the option of simply walking here and demanding to be let in. He was at the mercy of laws and regulations. So was I.

And if everyone else on the planet isn’t subject to those same laws, then somebody owes that kid an apology …and a better life.

R

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9 thoughts on “WALLS …

  1. All I have is tears about this dilemma because the whole issue has been politicized by the left and as usual it seems they have left out common sense. This is what angers and frustrates me. Thanks for you words! They help some.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Awesome piece again.
    Wish the left would open their eyes.
    I fear a civil war is coming if some of these people don’t get over their deranged trump syndrome.

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  3. Reading this made me feel like I was reading a document written by our forefathers. So well done, Regie. You could have been a great orator in Roman times.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Undocumented citizens do NOT get welfare. To qualify for any benefits you need to either have a Social Security Card or a Green Card. What we get is a dedicated workforce willing to work at low wages with no benefits. The people that were spotlighted just before the midterm elections were not coming to sneak in at our border. They were coming to seek asylum and escape murderous chaos in their own countries, often caused by conflicts that were created and supported by the actions and allegiances of the US. The only thing that they get is public education for their children if they are not too frightened to enroll them. That is where they learn English as a second language.

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    • You should read the comments from TravelPhotoWriter above. Also, I can’t for the life of me understand why we would support an underclass of essentially slave labor. “We get is a dedicated workforce willing to work at low wages with no benefits.” Why would we allow these people to be victimized generationally, like that? Only someone with extreme privilege would think that’s ok on any level. My wife is Mexican and my daughter is Chinese. I think illegal immigration and the underclass it creates is the modern-day slavery issue. These people living in the shadows is a disservice to the United States labor market, but it is MORE of a disservice to THEM! Legal immigration is the only compassionate and sane solution.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WELL before Pres T, I wondered about our southern border thing. Including, “Don’t these people freaking out about the wall know we already have miles of it?” And I LOVE Mexico – it’s culture, music, attitudes, food, people, traditions… I have lived in border states my whole life, and I love the influence Mexico’s culture has on these areas.This white girl actually speaks really great Spanish which I learned by choice over many years, not because anyone in my family speaks it. So I have worked side by side with “illegals,” many nice people just trying to do the right thing for themselves and their families. I have NEVER had a problem with the individuals. But they have the system nailed down… working on a completely fake ID & green card, passing them around among friends & family, and using a bad reproduction of someone else’s Social Security #. When someone in the family gets sick, they simply go to the emergency room at the County hospital. They weren’t turned away with a “Sorry you are maybe dying, but you don’t have insurance.” “Sorry you’re in labor with another baby, but leave.” Nope – they get services they don’t pay for and have no coverage for. Don’t believe it? Come on down to the California, Arizona and Texas border and talk to service providers (and by border, I don’t mean border towns, I mean a swath hundreds of miles north).

    We travel the planet extensively, and I noticed long ago NO other country I’ve been to yet has an attitude of, “Hey, if you can sneak in, you’re good.” (Well, not any country anyone would want to GO to vs. flee). If they catch you, you’re OUT. PERIOD. And not welcome back!

    I am a citizen of Earth with a documented income and no felonies, yet If I want to get into a lot of countries, I need to not only let them know I’m coming in AND when I’m leaving, but have a visa proving I’m allowed. And that’s just to visit, not bring my whole family in to live. People say America was built on immigrants so why are we so “mean” now? HOW DO THEY MISS THE POINT that those people immigrated LEGALLY so it’s a totally different issue?!?

    I propose a “Sponsor an Illegal Family” program. Every citizen who is in favor of continuing the current “run for the border” game should then be assigned one family that made it through the literal and proverbial holes in our fence. Until the illegal family gets on their feet, the kind Americans can provide a room, food, some basic health care items, and perhaps some weekly English lessons. Now THAT would be putting your actions where your Facebook posts are.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Thumbs up, Regie! What gets me is the fact that this is all politically motivated. The Dem crowd members have been quoted as supporting a wall in the past. Now they are in opposition. Well, what is it? I guess the answer is blowing in the direction of the wind. If I were some people, I’d be so confused about what I was for and against on any given day, it would make me crazy. The issue isn’t about a wall or not wall. The issue is whether we want to have a real country. Many people are so enamored with Europe. Well they have entry laws for each little country. I know, I’ve been all over it.

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