April 1, 2020
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What’s in a name, is it Refugee, Migrant, or illegal alien? This issue has recently become a polarizing mess of conflicting viewpoints that criss-cross the American Political Spectrum with no checks and balances. This has led to a confusion of definitions like no other and it seems that if you are for one of them you must be for the rest, and if you are against one of them you are against the rest too!

From my friends on the left, it could be said that all these labels are simplistic categories that are intended for the sole purpose of discrimination. Akin to the categories Hitler put people in during the height of the Nazi regime. This is a little extreme. There are differences between the categories and while it might be difficult to paint someone as either or, America has a Refugee in place for a reason and not everyone should be able to apply for it.

However, my friends on the right need to be careful about these words that they throw around way too loosely. While my friends on the left pretend to live in a world where none of these labels matter and that everyone should be welcomed into the country with open arms. My friends on the right keep up their own lies about the ways immigrants are supposedly destroying the country. Have they forgotten the plight of their ancestors? Many of whom fled similar crises in their home countries to come to America in hopes for a better life.

I have read many of the arguments for or against President Trump’s recent Executive Orders enacted, over the weekend. I can tell you that they are conflated and make no sense. The right argues that these E.O.s are needed because there needs to be a crack down on illegal immigration, even though this has only impacted legal hard working American Citizens or Green-Card Holders.

The E.O. will hardly do anything to stop illegal immigration from South America (since that entire continent isn’t even on the no fly list) or do anything to curb the resources that Refugees are supposedly sucking out of the system. In fact, it’s likely going to cause a mess of things and probably force desperate families to break even more laws!

The left rightly points out that countries that do business with the Trump Organization, now run by Donald Jr and Eric, are not included in the E.O. ban. However, they are wrong to criticize companies for trying to work with the administration. I am completely OK with Silicon Valley companies either helping refugees or working with the Trump administration and there is no need to criticize either Airbnb or Uber for their public positions on this issue.

Perhaps the reason that this is such a shock to the system, is that President Trump is actually following through what he said he would do, and that no one took him literally or seriously, for that matter. No one actually thought Trump could win, so no one actually contemplated what Trump policies might look like. I don’t even think Trump did. From the sounds of things it seems like he is just writing these things out and seeing what happens. He can always fix the deal later, right?

I feel left out of this debate because I cannot say I am for one thing and against the other. In the Republican Party I cannot be for Refugees and in the Democratic Party I cannot be against illegal immigrants. In the Republican Party I cannot be concerned with the swiftness that these E.O.s had been enacted without thinking. In the Democratic Party I cannot hope that these quick fixes might actually help the country. In the world of President Trump it’s all or nothing. Black or White. Win or Lose. There is no middle ground and being a moderate in politics these days is a dirty word or is it an easy way out of the argument altogether?

Trust me, I am hopelessly optimistic about the future for myself and of this country. We have survived the first week of the Trump Presidency, but perhaps just barely. Still I worry, if he signs any more of these fruitless executive orders, he could end up becoming America’s first dictator by proxy. Not because of how many there are, but because there will be nothing left of the Constitution to chisel away.

John J. Falco