Cru­elty to im­mi­grants will haunt U.S. in fu­ture

Albany Times Union (Sunday) - - PERSPECTIVE -

Upon read­ing Mal­lory Moench’s “Dropped charges dis­rupts im­mi­grant’s life,” Jan. 1, I thought to my­self how have we let our gov­ern­ment be­come so mean-spir­ited?

Ac­cord­ing to this ar­ti­cle, Omar He­lalat, orig­i­nally from Jor­dan, and who has lived in the United States since age 4, was in his last se­mes­ter at the Univer­sity at Al­bany when he was ar­rested and placed in im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion fol­low­ing a squab­ble with a girl­friend who ap­par­ently has with­drawn her charges of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and now de­fends him. The ar­ti­cle fur­ther states that he was an honor stu­dent pre­vi­ously granted De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals sta­tus, which ap­pears now to have been re­voked.

What pos­si­ble good can come from per­se­cut­ing this young man?

I feel that our gov­ern­ment’s ubiq­ui­tous de­mo­niza­tion of im­mi­grants, es­pe­cially non­whites, is some­thing that will come back to haunt us. Whether it’s chil­dren be­ing ripped from par­ents’ arms and placed in cages on the Mex­i­can bor­der or blindly bu­reau­cratic de­por­ta­tions, are we not un­nec­es­sar­ily cre­at­ing re­sent­ment and ha­tred that will be spread around the globe in the years to come? Whether it’s chil­dren never to be re­united with their fam­i­lies, or dy­ing in cus­tody, or per­sons dumped into for­eign coun­tries where they know nei­ther the lan­guage nor cul­ture, egre­gious dam­age is be­ing or­ches­trated. The whole world is watch­ing how we treat these peo­ple.

As all this goes on, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump gloats that he is pro­tect­ing us when, in ac­tu­al­ity, the op­po­site is true. The world does not need more divi­sion, anger and hate or a silly, ill-con­ceived wall. What we do need is a very dif­fer­ent kind of lead­er­ship. ralph J. rahm Slinger­lands

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