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.