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Both The Left and The Right are guilty in dehumanizing the border issue

LatinaLista — There’s a saying that goes “There are two sides to every story.” It’s a saying that applies even to U.S. -Mexico border security.


Now, the popular assumption would be that it’s a them vs. us story. Not true.

It’s a story of dehumanizing vs humanizing.

Both The Left and The Right in the immigration debate have succeeded very well in dehumanizing their part of the border argument.

(Photo: Latino Politico)

The Right never talks about the individual stories of the immigrants who risk their personal safety to cross the southern border by foot. These are the most desperate of the immigrants who illegally cross over. Yet, they are lumped together under the heading of “illegal immigrants” by the Right who refuse to acknowledge their humanity — their names, ages, gender and personal stories that force them to come are conveniently ignored.

They are made to be seen as a pack, like animals. This is what the Right does.

The Left has stripped the humanity off of Border Patrol agents. They are seen as nothing more than robotic enforcers obeying orders to implement an overall policy that contains little humanity and less reason.

The Left doesn’t know the individual stories of these agents unless some go rogue and take it upon themselves to interpret the law as they see fit, though they have no authorization to do it. When cases like these arise, it is easier to paint a negative picture of the Border Patrol force with one broad brushstroke. This is what The Left does.

Yet, both undocumented immigrants and Border Patrol agents are suffering in this border fiasco to an extent that it warrants immediate address.

Too many of the stories of those risking personal safety to cross our southern border illegally are lost — in border town morgues, flaming deserts and swift currents. When a person reaches this point in their decision to illegally breach this nation’s borders, it’s no longer a question of right or wrong but living and dying.

Not enough people know that among the so-called “illegal immigrants” trekking this way, some are children trying to find their parents, wives wanting to join their husbands, girls duped by human traffickers for prostitution rings or domestic human slavery or young men escaping the tentacles of cartels and gangs.

They are people with real stories that need to be told and heard. Not to sway opinion but to illustrate that for every person who comes there is a reason — a good reason, a human reason.

Just as there is a reason for the Department of Homeland Security seeing an increase in suicides among its Border Patrol agents.

The Associated Press reports that since February 2008, at least 15 agents have taken their own lives. It’s the largest spike of suicides in 20 years.

The rate of suicides nationally is about 12 per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Law enforcement rates are about 20 per 100,000, while the Border Patrol’s pace has the agency hovering in the upper 20s to low 30s per 100,000.

According to the story, the fear of running into drug smugglers, the horror of seeing dehydrated migrants sprawled on the desert floor twitching their final moments away and the boredom resulting from an increase in manpower to patrol the border are contributing factors to this spate of suicides.

Whether it’s because of privacy issues or the traditional secrecy of the government, no one knows these agents’ stories — and we should. Are they not also soldiers under orders to defend this country?

Yet, not just The Left is guilty in the dehumanization of Border Patrol agents — our own government shares the biggest part of the blame. Because according to the loved ones of the deceased agents, it’s the federal government who has dehumanized their own:


“The agency does run these agents to the fullest,” DeLaCruz said. “‘Protect, protect’ as if they’re robots and they’re not. They’re human beings.”

It’s a fact that is forgotten on both sides of the issue.

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  • Dave Bennion
    August 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    I can feel sympathy for a prison guard at a CCC private prison because his job is difficult, maybe he’s had a difficult life that I can’t judge, and he doesn’t make decisions at the top. But at the end of the day, I don’t excuse (1) any abuses the prison guard engages in or (2) his choice to be a prison guard at a corrupt prison in a broken system instead of doing something else.
    And the sympathy I have for the CCC prison guard is an order of magnitude less than the sympathy I have for the immigrant prisoners he watches over. I want the prison guard to be physically and mentally well and to have a happy and productive life. But I also want him to not be a prison guard at CCC, and especially to not be an abusive prison guard at CCC. In fact, I don’t want anyone to be a prison guard at CCC because it is a flawed institution that causes a lot of suffering to a lot of people.
    That is how I feel about immigration enforcement agents, whether ICE or CBP. I don’t think it’s as simple as calling a pox on both houses, to me it sounds like a false choice argument.

  • Sarkany
    August 17, 2010 at 10:54 am

    THANK YOU! I’m forever having to remind liberals that law enforcement is a blue collar job no matter how much power you may have, and these workers have an inordinate amount of stress; esp ICE. Everyone hates them! COns say they’re crooked and not doing enough; libs do exactly as you mentioned.
    In short, it’s a good indicator of the BPD-ish mentality of our population. Everything’s one extreme or another; us or them; hate or love. No one wants to take realistic analysis anymore, and that more than anything is what will doom us as a nation.

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