Current events, Human Right

Disproportions in the System

Having a Facebook conversation with someone who goes more on emotion instead of logic has been an interesting thing. I’m about data when I research and write. Despite what the emotional content may be (in this case incarcerated population numbers) I prefer going by the numbers using logic to form my opinion. 

I got my numbers from the Bureau of Prisons which states that the majority of prisoners on hand are white. With black coming in second, latino third, native fourth, and asian last. (https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_race.jsp)

His passion on the subject,and his determination to change my perception, made me decide to dig in and do more research. The numbers fluctuate depending on how the count is done and who does it. This is generally normal. So, I looked up more data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p19.pdf

Here is the breakdown of their numbers, which are for 2019 totals. There were a total of 1,430,805 prisoners in the system. The majority of those in state facilities at 1,255,689 and 175,116 in the federal system. Men make up 1,322,850 while women make up 107,995. The last decade shows a drop in incarcerated numbers of over 10% in all categories. The numbers of male v females weren’t the topic of discussion. So let’s break down the numbers by race.

Those incarcerated in 2019 (tried and sent) break down as such: federal (158,498) State (1,221,929), Men (1,279,079) Women (101,348), White (422,800) Black (452,800), Hispanic (320,700). 

Based on per capita numbers of per 100,000, the numbers are as follows: Federal (48) State (371), Male (789) Women (61), White (214) Black (1096) Hispanic (525). 

Incarceration rates have dropped as listed over the last decade: Federal (21%) State (16.2%), Men (17.1%) Women (10%), White (12.5%) Black (29%) Hispanic (24.4%).

Depending on where you look, the numbers vary. The BJS does not include the specific numbers for Indeginous or Asian populations like the BOP does. However, both show a lower rate of those to other demographics. 

Looking at the BJS numbers, there are two stories told. The first is that white and black prisoners overall, have about the same numbers of incarcerated with those of the black community slightly higher. But when it is broken down into the per capita ratio, the numbers show a huge difference. 

Taking the current population number (2018 record) of the nearest city to me, Fort Wayne Indiana at 267,633, the totals would be roughly White (approx 500) Black (approx 2500) and Hispanic (approx 1100). 

The breakdown by race in Fort Wayne is listed as: White (73.85%) Black (14.85%) with multi racial and other groups making up the rest. 

There are quite a few factors that go into the arrest and incarceration rates. These would include job availability, education, investments in the varying communities, nature/nurture, etc. And while I will post about these at a later date, the numbers don’t lie. That is why I prefer data to emotion. In this case, the emotion is warranted by minority communities. 

Fort Wayne, like the majority of our cities, needs to do better. Both in equality in sentencing and in programs that aid the black community achieve their goals. Economically, educationally, and within the Criminal Justice system.

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Current events, Human Right, Uncategorized

Numbers may not tell the story

Somewhere in our country, another officer fires his sidearm and kills another person. Most of the time, that story usually refers to a white officer and a black victim. I will not argue the point, that at times it may be necessary for an officer to do so. But one also needs to look at the numbers in respect to police shootings. 

Looking at the numbers however, will not give a full picture of whether there is racism within the ranks of law enforcement. What these numbers will not show are a few things. They will not show incidents such as George Floyd, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html,  or Eric Garner, https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/eric-garner-dies-nypd-chokehold, which were killed because of procedures not involving a firearm. They will not include correction officers at any level, such as Damarius Rodriquez, https://www.cbsnews.com/video/mother-of-5-dies-in-jail-amid-alleged-mental-health-episode/#x, or Christopher Howell, https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-lake-correctional-officer-arrested-murder-blunt-trauma-20201113-pmm66kirzbfandetiephmvsbqe-story.html. Through neglect or physical assault, inmates have died at the hands of corrections officers.

They do include such victims as Breanna Taylor, https://www.nytimes.com/article/breonna-taylor-police.html, Casey Goodson, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/dec/07/casey-goodson-jr-family-black-ohio-man-shot-dead-white-police-officer, and Daniel Shaver, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OflGwyWcft8

So, let’s break down the numbers. If you look at the overall numbers in total, whites have been shot more by police than any other skin tone. Stats from 2020 (as of November) show the numbers as such: white (370), black (192), hispanic (128), other (21), unknown (153) https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/.  But breaking the numbers down per capita (per 1 million residents) the numbers change dramatically: white (13), black (33), hispanic (25), other (5) https://www.statista.com/statistics/1123070/police-shootings-rate-ethnicity-us/

By age, the largest group shot by law enforcement are 20-39. By gender, it’s male https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/. And the numbers can be broken down into other various demographics. The numbers aren’t fully accurate since the databases rely on reported statistics. The reporting is varied and not required. So the FBI states that the actual numbers are not accurate because of it not being required of each department in the US.

Another issue is that reports submitted will give the official police view of the shooting. So essentially, these reports are not vetted for accuracy in the account but take the department’s official version (which usually means the victim is always at fault). 

The rule for the private citizen is that for a danger to life to occur: the person must be facing the citizen, act in a threatening manner, and have the possibility at that precise moment to end the citizen’s life. So shooting a person not being threatening, no weapon, and/or back turned truly disallows an officer to say he shot because he was in fear of his life. 

While I do not accept the idea of no law enforcement, I do advocate for change within the system. Five points need to be addressed to start the process of fixing the problem:

  • Better vetting of applicants
  • Continued viewing of complaints against officers in areas of assault, judgments of firing a weapon
  • Training in areas of de-escalation and mental health
  • Civilian oversight
  • Proper punishment for improper conduct at all levels

True considerations of the use of metal health professionals in certain situations, negotiators when appropriate, use of a person’s family or friends, etc. All of these can be used to de-escalate a situation before it comes to the use of gunfire. There also needs to be full accountability if an officer fires his weapon. Too many times, and officer has mistook actions and fired without understanding the situation at the time, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mRhmFcjs4M, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwHJL5X97Do

I support law enforcement, but agree that the bad need removed and changes truly need to be made. Especially when it comes to minority communities.

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Current events, immigration, Uncategorized

Is it Time for a EU style North/South America Union?

Being that the nation we now know as the United States has been built to its present form by the diversity of its citizens, the flow of foreign culture, and the need to improve and sustain. After all, foreign films, music, and television have gone on the rise for American consumption, people choose from multiple ethnic foods, and cultural exhibitions and fairs draw huge crowds. So why is it, that the mention of immigration or open borders causes such a backlash?

Immigration is one of those issues that divides, and not only on an ideological basis. Think about it. Bring up immigration to one who has a more conservative ideology. They will explain the need for harsher border controls, the idea that immigrants will steal American jobs, and tax our social initiatives. The funny part is this. After parking his BMW he will do it while wearing clothes not made in America, watching the World Cup and cheering for Brazil and eating pizza, while in the break room of the local Toyota plant.

I have written here about the issue at the border before. How it is a humanitarian crisis and how America is partly responsible due to its actions throughout the western hemisphere. One way to boost the economies, better the healthcare, create a sustainable workforce, and deal with crime and natural disasters is create a North/South American corridor like the EU. A full open borders policy. And yes, it can be done while still allowing national sovereignty for nations involved.

Like the Eu, every member nation will have officials that speak on their behalf during all negotiations, from crime control to trade deals and health initiatives. So lets look at just a few areas that would be improved by a full western open border and union of nations.

First is the most obvious, the border border. Free flow travel and residence capabilities would make it easier for those fleeing violent area (such as cartel issues in places like Juarez). It would allow for easier logistics to and from areas of natural resources need for manufacturing, faster transport ability for perishables, and vacation income for the areas that rely on the influx of money of visitors.

With this style of union, each member nation will have access to innovations that they would not otherwise have. While intellectual property rights would be retained with the person or business, all member nations would have access to it (by proper agreement with the rights holder). Manufacturing would have a continuous pool of labor, raw materials and better chance of financially sound business. It opens the markets for freer movement and would incorporate all socio-economic and geographical areas and peoples.

In the area of health concerns, especially in areas of most need due to natural disasters, pandemic, etc., Aid would be able to isolate problem health issues and areas as well as render aid more effectively and efficiently. It would be easier for international health monitors to work without jurisdictional problems arising.

In the areas of crime, it would be better as well. While there would be jurisdictional lines and boundaries, if crime crosses a border the quicker ability for joint investigation and apprehension would not have hindrances of going through each country’s version of the US State Department. While local lines would not be overstepped, there would be ready and available cooperation between agencies. It would also allow faster, better equipped, and more manned operations for apprehension and elimination of threats (such as cartels or known terrorist organizations). This also allows for a more powerful response for member nations if attacked by outside forces (such as an attack by Russia or China against any member nation).

And open border and western hemisphere union is not only a way to end a humanitarian crisis, it also aids economically, within the criminal justice initiatives, health concern wise, and militarily.

Despite the hope that America will again rise to its once place of prominence on the global stage, what we are seeing is the same every other great national empire has seen. The fading of this nation into the twilight of its global glory to be placed into same category of the British Empire, the Roman Empire, and yes, even the former grandeur of the Russia of the cold war.

Within the next few decades, we see the rise of areas like China and India rise to take positions on the global stage that the US has held since the middle of the 20th century. The go-it-alone, isolationist mentality will do more to harm the nation than it will do to save it. It is time to start seeing the reality of America’s waning prominence and influence and start putting things into place that will not only save this nation but create a western hemisphere alliance that creates aid, crime control, and economic stability.

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Current events, Human Right

Abortion is NOT a Human Right

It has come to my attention, that today (July 17th, 2022) in Huntington Indiana, there is a so called Human Rights rally to defend a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. So, in that, I feel the need to bring some education to those that believe the termination of the unborn is a Human Right.

And to clarify my ability to speak on this, despite being an older white male, I have fought for Human Rights for over 2 decades. Earning my certification in Human Rights Education from the USIDHR. I have supported and worked through various organization such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and currently stand with groups like HIAS, Exodus, among others. Some based within the Christian faith and some that are fully secular. So, let’s begin.

Prior to fertilization, both the egg and he sperm contain half of the genetic coding of a human. Upon fertilization that combination creates a human life. This has been reported and documented as far back as 1974. But to show that, even with updates to modern medicine and research, that this offical declaration has not changed I’ll use more modern declarations. Such as T.W. Sadler’s 2006 declaration in Langman’s Medical Embryology text. It states “Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete (sperm) and the female gamete (oocyte) unite to give rise to a zygote”.

It was also stated in the 3rd version of Human Embryology and Teratology, “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte”.

In 2004, the American College of Pediatrics definitively stated that human life begins at conception. Now that I have shown that the unborn is truly a human life by definitive science and not by Christian belief, we can move on from the whole concept of ‘Keep your religion out of my ovaries’ chants and the dis-allowance of science.

Let’s now quickly look at the U.S. legal definition of murder. Under the United States legal code Title 18, Part I, Chpater 51 a it states “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, and premeditated killing; or committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpetrate, any arson, escape, murder, kidnapping, treason, espionage, sabotage, aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse,child abuse, burglary, or robbery; or perpetrated as part of a pattern or practice of assault or torture against achildor children; or perpetrated from a premeditated design unlawfully and maliciously to effect the death of any human being other than him who is killed, is murder in the first degree.Any other murder is murder in the second degree”.

Now that we have scientifically determined that a fertilized human egg is a living being and legally defined the term murder, logic and law dictates that the unborn human is in fact a life. This is where the Human Rights part comes in.

On December 10, 1948, shortly after the founding of the United Nations, the member nations determined thirty articles of Human Rights that are to guaranteed in response to the Genocide of over eleven million (roughly six million Jews and roughly five million non-Jews) during the Nazi holocaust in the mid Twentieth Century. The Full declaration can be found at UN DOHR.

The Preamble is as follows. “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, therefore,

The General Assembly,

Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction. 

I will write articles on each of the thirty declarations independently. Each declaration in this declaration is an issue in itself and warrants expounding upon. So lets start with the very first declaration.

The Right to Life

The right to life is the very first because with it, none of the others have a need to exist. The Declaration states this rights as such. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood’. Now, a bit of a note. This was not the original wording. The original wording used the term ‘all men’ instead of ‘all humans’. That wording was changed so that there would be no misunderstanding that these thirty declarations were meant for everyone to be born on this planet during every future generation. The two people credited with this change was Eleanor Roosevelt of the US (widow of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Hansa Mehta of India.

Now, the argument will come, ‘but it says born free’. Yes it does. And to be born, the conceived need to grow to fruition and delivered. And since science has determined that the fertilized oocyte is a living being and the US government has determined that murder is the ending of a life with malice and forethought (containing one but not both of these is a lesser degree of murder known as second degree murder) then logic dictates that the unborn are also protected under this declaration.

So let’s review the four main points of this article so there is no misunderstanding.

  1. Life begins at fertilization
  2. Murder is the taking of life with malice or forethought
  3. All life is protected as a human right as defined by the nations  of the world
  4. Abortion is NOT a Human Right.

Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.

T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11

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Current events, faith, Human Right, Uncategorized

The Nation that Killed Itself

There are a few things I have learned in the 5 decades I have been on this rock. And usually, that wisdom tends to upset quite a few. One learns that when you speak through gained wisdom or a truth, that those that yell the loudest fit into 2 categories. The first is the ones who have to face in themselves what they have tried to hide. The other is one who has no true concept of decency or compassion beyond themselves. And nothing brings that out of people more than the discussion of Human Rights or faith.

For me, they go together, which tends to upset both liberal and conservative. I have defended Human Rights for decades. My generation started with things like the end of nuclear weapons, end of Apartheid in South Africa, AIDS research, and famine. And for the younger generation, this was the things Gen X stood for. The term Boomers actually is the generation before mine. Please get it right. Because they fought for things like Civil Rights, the end of the war in Vietnam, and Women’s Rights. The generation before that (The Greatest Generation) stopped the regimes that slaughtered millions of Jews and Gentiles.

You are not the first generation to see an issue and demand change. But, the change you seek will not be won through the burning of cities, the ending of law enforcement, or screaming like fools because your safe space and preferred gender are not respected. And to be honest, there are more important things in this world to deal with than your feelings and self imposed ego of pretend superiority.

Why a people and culture that is almost 200 years removed from slavery, it is still a global issue. Things like forced child labor and the Caste system in India, the sex trade, forced domestic and farmer workers, and the mines that produce blood diamonds. So while you have the freedom to act like babies wanting a bottle because you can’t be called by the pronoun you choose, people truly suffer and die at the whim of those that think they have the right to commit these atrocities against mankind.

You scream that abortion is a Human Right. But the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948 list the number one Human Right as the Right to Life. Because without life, no other right can exist. It matters because every life matters. You have no problem screaming that no life matters until all lives matter yet willingly defy science and demand the right to the most innocent lives on this planet.

The original founding of this nation and the laws they placed for the safety and common good, are solely based upon the Ten Commandments of God. For those who deny that fact need to read the words, speeches, and letters of our Founding Fathers.

And Conservatives you are just as bad. Nationalism, in historical context, has bred nothing but hatred. Germany during the early to mid 20th century is the best example of the evil that comes from a nationalist mindset. And no matter how you want to view it, the assault on the hallowed halls of Congress was not only insurrection, but treason. For the veterans and politicians that were involved in the assault, you defied your oath. Those that got jail time, probation, or nothing should feel extra happy about the light sentence. Treason against the government is a death penalty offense.

And Christians, you are the worst of all. The far right church has come to the point that you not only love the sinner but condone the sin. The far right church has come to the point of hating both. Yes, God loves everyone, hence the price of the Cross for redemption of man. But, like all other systems of justice, there is punishment as well as reward based upon actions of the person. But I find the far right church has forgotten whom they follow. As followers of Christ we are suppose to help those in need. Christ did not say only if they agree with you, only if they are from the same nation, the same color, the same gender, or the same anything as you. All he said was go help. Love those that hate and persecute you. Aid those that are hungry, weak, in jail, etc.

I am appalled at the people of this nation. The extremes on both sides scream and yell to force their viewpoint without regard how it affects the whole. But I’m more appalled at the majority in the center. Those that see the good options that lean both left and right as is warranted depending on the issue. Why? Because they are the majority but choose to remain quiet.

In another article, I will explain what I believe would be a good and centered position is on many things that cause contention in today’s political climate. And why they would work and the benefits. But right now, both sides need to get their heads out of their backside orifices and the center needs to get their heads out of the sand.

Every great power as fallen into the sands and abyss of time. Many from the inside not an outside enemy. And this nation is going the same way. I see and hear, God make this nation great again. He has lifted his hand of protection from this land because we have become what we once, as a nation, fought against. The Scriptures say there will come a time when man will be left to his reprobate mind and God will allow a nation to feel his wrath. We are there.

This nation will eventually fade into history and another shall take our place on the world stage. And it will not be from an attack or natural disaster. It will be from the combined extreme egos and mindset this nation now holds above logic and compassion. We used to be a nation that believed in the words on the Statue of Liberty in the poem, The Tempest. We used to fight for liberation of the oppressed. But we have allowed hatred of those from outside our borders and systems of injustice inside our borders to overrule common sense and common decency.

So when this nation falls, as it will if we don’t change our path and actions as a whole people, we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves.

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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right, immigration

Derechos Humanos y Frontera

La presencia de inmigrantes en la frontera sur de Estados Unidos no es nada nuevo. Tampoco es nueva la respuesta actual. Cuando crecí rodeado de trabajadores del campo inmigrantes en Indiana, vi lo duro que trabajaban estos inmigrantes. Cuando empecé a conocer sus historias cuando me hice mayor, empecé a darme cuenta de que muchos vinieron aquí por lo que percibían como una vida mejor. Incluso cuando yo era más joven, existía la idea errónea de que iban a quitarles el trabajo a los estadounidenses, a cometer delitos y a ser una carga para los sistemas sociales de Estados Unidos.

¿Le resulta familiar? Es la misma retórica que la extrema derecha y Donald Trump utilizaron durante el ciclo electoral de 2016 y que continúa con la población conservadora. Mientras que algunos piensan que la actitud proviene de los prejuicios (y gran parte de ella lo hace), un miedo profundamente arraigado es más la razón. Un miedo al cambio. Un miedo a lo desconocido. Miedos muy arraigados que han sido alimentados por los medios de comunicación, la propaganda política y la incomprensión cultural. Así que este artículo trata de aliviar algo de eso.

No soy tan ingenuo como para creer que un artículo (después de millones de otros) tendría un impacto real. Y este artículo, aunque se dirige al público en general para que lo vea, será esencialmente para la derecha cristiana que se ha desviado del camino en las últimas décadas. Especialmente aquellos que creen que el ex presidente Trump es el salvador elegido para América. Porque en algún punto del camino, mientras el cristiano liberal ha ido aceptando el pecado en sus filas, el cristiano conservador ha olvidado las enseñanzas del Cristo que dicen seguir.

Este artículo será menos “en tu cara” y más educativo. Tendrá en cuenta algunas de las acciones que condujeron a las masas en la frontera sur de EE.UU., el aspecto legal de los que intentan entrar (ya sea por medios legales o simplemente cruzando), los Derechos Humanos, y los principios y la doctrina cristiana. Se trata de una combinación de derechos humanos y de fe cristiana.

Después de ver una reunión online de HIAS, me intrigó cómo se trata a los que buscan una vida mejor en el viaje y en la frontera. Así como el estudio independiente y la investigación sobre las causas principales en las diversas naciones que provocan que estos viajeros se enfrenten al viaje. Porque, seamos sinceros. La intervención en zonas extranjeras por parte de las administraciones estadounidenses ha contribuido a provocar la crisis a la que nos enfrentamos ahora. Y permítanme dejar claro este punto, La crisis no es una afluencia de indeseables, es una crisis HUMANITARIA de la que los EE.UU. son en parte responsables. 

\Según el Centro de Investigación Pew (Gramlich & Scheller, 2021), la mayoría de los que vienen a acceder a los EE.UU. son de áreas que generalmente no llegaron a la frontera en gran número. Entre los años fiscales 2020 y 2021. Lugares como Ecuador, Brasil y Venezuela experimentaron aumentos masivos. Cuba y Haití también están en esa lista, pero se puede hablar de cada uno de ellos por separado. 

Los que buscan escapar de Cuba lo han hecho generalmente por agua. Solía haber una política denominada “pie seco/pie mojado”. En términos simples, si un ciudadano cubano podía llegar a la orilla con una mano antes de ser capturado por la Guardia Costera, lo lograba. No es que pudieran seguir inmediatamente su camino, pero serían recibidos como solicitantes de asilo y se les daría protección a la espera de los resultados de sus solicitudes. Actualmente, Haití ha tenido que recuperarse de catástrofes naturales que estuvieron a punto de eliminar a la población y de asesinatos políticos. Estas dos naciones han tenido una larga historia de sus nacionales en los Estados Unidos.

En el caso de las naciones de América Central y del Sur, las razones por las que desean emigrar a los EE.UU., ya sea a través del asilo o no, se deben a cuestiones como la violencia extrema y los escuadrones/cárteles de la muerte, los fracasos masivos del socialismo, la inseguridad alimentaria, etc. Algo de esto es por lo que he dicho que EEUU ha jugado un papel en los países de origen en relación con la crisis que ahora vemos en la frontera.

Hay que señalar que muchos de los que buscan entrar en EE.UU. desde estas regiones ya tienen familia en el país. Dicho esto, veamos un par de países y las razones por las que deciden viajar a EE.UU. con esperanza.

Miremos a Ecuador. En 2021, hubo 95.692 encuentros con inmigrantes de Ecuador en los EE.UU.. Eso fue un salto de unos 75.000 desde 2020. Si recuerdan, el 2020 fue la aparición del COVID a nivel mundial. Esta crisis sanitaria debilitó una economía ya decaída. La corrupción es rampante, y hubo problemas de violencia extrema.

¿Cómo juega los EE.UU. en esto? Las guerras de la droga y la economía. Estados Unidos y Ecuador han sido socios en la guerra contra los cárteles desde el siglo XX. El resultado fue una violencia extrema para los cárteles, la corrupción de los funcionarios y los escuadrones de la muerte (Gorder, 2022).  A medida que los cárteles crecían financieramente, la economía del país llevó a los funcionarios y a las fuerzas del orden a profundizar en la corrupción. Cosas como dar armas a los cárteles. Imagina ser el objetivo de un escuadrón de la muerte. Y la historia muestra que el objetivo previsto también pone en peligro a la familia y a los amigos. No sólo en el país, sino que puede ocurrir en otros lugares.

Estados Unidos también tiene un interés principal en el petróleo de Ecuador, así como en algunas otras exportaciones como el cacao.

Una mirada rápida directamente al sur de la frontera, en México. Aquí, al igual que muchas naciones al sur de los EE.UU., México tiene un gran problema con los cárteles de la droga. La guerra contra las drogas de Estados Unidos. Y su participación en la lucha contra los cárteles de México ha llevado a expatriados o viajeros estadounidenses a ser atacados y asesinados Thompson, 2017). Así que muchos de los problemas que llevan a estas personas a la frontera de los Estados Unidos fueron impulsados aquí en parte por la participación de los Estados Unidos.

Como dije antes, escucho o veo las reuniones informativas de HIAS. Trabajan con varios refugiados y solicitantes de asilo y trabajan en ambos lados de la frontera. Proporcionan refugio, ayuda sanitaria, prevención de la violencia, ayuda legal, etc. a los que buscan entrar en EE.UU., normalmente como solicitantes de asilo y desplazados (HIAS, 2022).

Hay dos programas que se utilizan para los solicitantes de asilo. El primero es el Protocolo de Protección al Migrante (MMP) o el programa de estancia en México. Esencialmente, este programa fue diseñado para permitir a los migrantes permanecer en México mientras su caso de entrada es escuchado y decidido. Sin embargo, esto los hace vulnerables a ataques y enfermedades. Se sabe que los matones locales o los miembros de los cárteles obtienen información sobre los migrantes que esperan a través de funcionarios locales corruptos. Esto conduce al acoso, al ataque o a algo peor.

El Tribunal Supremo ha determinado que la Administración Biden puede poner fin al MPP en octubre de este año. Pero mientras tanto, las acciones de los funcionarios estatales de EE.UU., como el gobernador Abbott de Texas, han decidido que tomará el asunto en sus propias manos. Ha transportado a los inmigrantes a DC, así como ha llamado a la TXNG para transportar a los inmigrantes de vuelta a los cruces. El problema con esto es simple. LOS INMIGRANTES NECESITAN ESTAR EN SUELO ESTADOUNIDENSE PARA SOLICITAR ASILO.

Esto también es un problema con el Título 42, promulgado por Trump. Originalmente adoptado en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el Título 42 es un código de salud para evitar que los problemas de salud crucen las fronteras de los Estados Unidos. El ex presidente Trump lo volvió a promulgar para impedir que los inmigrantes portadores de Covid cruzaran la frontera. Sin embargo, lo abarcaba todo y utilizaba la disposición sanitaria para impedir que TODOS los inmigrantes cruzaran la frontera, enfermos o no.

Esta promulgación del Título 42 debía terminar en mayo de este año. En mayo, el juez federal Summerhays, designado para Luisiana por el ex presidente Trump, bloqueó a la Administración Biden para que levantara la orden (García, 2022). Su razonamiento fue la violación del derecho administrativo. ¿Esta violación? El levantamiento del programa causaría “un daño irreparable porque los estados tendrían que gastar dinero en atención médica, aplicación de la ley, educación y otros servicios para los migrantes”.  Se espera que la demanda presentada por el DOJ en el Tribunal de Apelaciones del 5º Circuito sea aceptada y el programa sea levantado. No se sabe cuánto tiempo puede tardar esta sentencia.

Para más detalles sobre los resultados de la permanencia forzada en México y las deportaciones sin audiencia se puede encontrar en la lista de artículos del sitio web de HIAS en https://www.hias.org/tagged/us-border-response. 

Mi creencia es simple. Para aliviar y curar este problema deberíamos tomar una página del libro de la UE. Crear una política de fronteras abiertas desde la punta de América del Sur hasta el punto más septentrional de América del Norte e incluir todas las islas no controladas por Europa en las zonas que rodean estos continentes. Esto permitiría la libre circulación, iniciativas de comercio justo y reforzaría las economías y sociedades de cada uno. Cada país seguiría siendo soberano, pero trabajando juntos para garantizar los derechos humanos y ayudar a la investigación y el enjuiciamiento de los delitos dentro de los límites de esta frontera de la Unión Americana.

La razón por la que llamé a los conservadores cristianos que creen que estas acciones son apropiadas, olvidan las enseñanzas del Antiguo Testamento y las enseñanzas de Cristo.

Y si un extranjero habita con vosotros en vuestra tierra, no lo maltrataréis(LEV 19:33).

Porque tuve hambre, y me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y me disteis de beber: Fui forastero, y me acogisteis; estuve desnudo, y me vestisteis: Estuve enfermo, y me visitasteis: Entonces los justos le responderán diciendo: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento y te dimos de comer, o sediento y te dimos de beber? ¿Y cuándo te vimos enfermo, o en la cárcel, y vinimos a ti? Y el Rey responderá y les dirá: En verdad os digo que en cuanto lo hicisteis a uno de estos mis hermanos más pequeños, a mí me lo hicisteis. (Mateo 25:35-40)

Referencias

Los servicios de seguridad corruptos agravan el problema de los asesinatos en Ecuador. InSight Crime. (2022, 1 de junio). Recuperado el 13 de julio de 2022, de https://insightcrime.org/news/corrupt-security-services-worsen-ecuadors-murder-problem/

García, U. J. (2022, mayo 20). Un juez impide que el gobierno de Biden levante la orden de salud pública utilizada para expulsar rápidamente a los migrantes. The Texas Tribune. Obtenido el 13 de julio de 2022, de https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/20/title-42-border-judge-ruling-migrants/

Gramlich, J., & Scheller, A. (2021, 12 de noviembre). Qué es


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Christianity, Current events, faith, Human Right, immigration

Human Rights and the Border

Immigrants on the United States southern border is not anything new. Also not new is the current response. Growing up around migrant field workers in Indiana I saw how hard these immigrants worked. As I started to learn their stories when I got older, I started to realize that many came here for what they perceived as a better life. Even when I was younger, there was the erroneous idea that they would take American jobs, commit crimes, and be a drain on the social systems in the US.

Sound familiar? It is the same rhetoric that the extreme right and Donald Trump used during the 2016 election cycle and continues with the conservative population. While some think the attitude comes from prejudice (and much of it does), a deep seated fear is more the reason. A fear of change. A fear of the unknown. Deep seated fears that have been fed to the American public in media, political propaganda, and cultural misunderstanding. So this article is to try and alleviate some of that.

I am not naive enough to believe that one article (after millions of others) would have any real impact. And this article, while going to the general public for view, will essentially be for the Christian Right that has gone off track over the last few decades. Especially those that believe former President Trump is the chosen savior for America. Because somewhere along the way, while the liberal Christian has been accepting sin into its ranks, the conservative Christian has forgotten the teachings of the Christ they are claiming to follow.

This article will be less ‘in your face’ and more educational. It will take into account some of the actions that led to the masses at the US southern border, the legal aspect of those trying to enter (whether by legal means or just crossing), Human Rights, and Christian principles and doctrine. This is a combination of Human Rights and Christian faith issue.

Having watched a HIAS online meeting, I was intrigued at how those seeking a better life are treated on the journey and at the border. As well as independent study and research on core causes in the various nations that caused these sojourners to face the trip. Because, let’s me honest. The intervention in foreign areas by US administrations has helped lead to the crisis we now face. And let me make this point clear, The crisis is not one of an influx of undesirables, it is a HUMANITARIAN crisis that the US is partly responsible for. 

\According to the Pew Research Center (Gramlich & Scheller, 2021), the majority of those coming to gain access to the US are from areas that generally did not come to the border in large numbers. From 2020 to 2021 fiscal years. Places like Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela saw massive increases. Cuba and Haiti are on that list as well, but each of these can be talked about somewhat separately. 

Those seeking to escape Cuba have generally done so by water. There used be a policy named the dry foot/wet foot policy. Is simple terms, if a Cuban national could make it to the shore with one hand before being caught by the Coast Guard, they made it. Not that they could immediately go on their way, but they would be received as asylum seekers and given protection pending the results of their applications. Currently, Haiti has had to recover from natural disasters that came close to eliminating the population and political assassination. This two nations have had a long history of their nationals being in the US.

With the nations of Central and South America, the reasons for wishing to emigrate to the US, either through asylum or not, are because of issues like extreme violence and death squads/cartels, the massive failures of socialism, food insecurities, etc. Some of this is why I said that the US has played a role in countries of origin in relation to the crisis we now see at the border.

It should be pointed out, that many seeking entry to the US from these regions have family already in the US. That being said, Let’s look at a couple countries and the reasons they choose to travel to the US with hope.

Let’s look at Ecuador. In 2021, there were 95,692 encounters with immigrants from Ecuador at the US. That was a jump of about 75,000 since 2020. If you remember, 2020 was the emergence of COVID globally. This health crisis weakened an already down turned economy. Corruption is rampant, and there were issues of extreme violence.

How does the US play into this. The drug wars and economics. The US and Ecuador have been partners int the war against the cartels since the 20th century. This resulted in extreme violence for the cartels, corruption by officials, and death squads (Gorder, 2022).  As the cartels grew financially, the economics of the country led officials and law enforcement to go deeper into corruption. Things such as giving arms to the cartels. Imagine being the target of a death squad. And history shows that the intended target also endangers family and friends. Not only in country, but can happen elsewhere. The US also has a main interest in Ecuador’s petroleum, as well as a few other exports like cocoa.

Just a quick look directly south of the border in Mexico. Here, like many nations south of the US, Mexico has a major issue with drug cartels. The US drug war. And their involvement in fighting the cartels of Mexico has led to US expats or travelers being attacked and killed Thompson, 2017). So many of the issues that drive these people to the US border were driven here in part by the US involvement.

As I said earlier, I listen to or watch HIAS information meetings. They work with various refugees and asylum seekers and work on both sides of the border. They provide shelter, health aid, violence prevention, legal aid, and etc to those seeking entry into the US, usually as asylum seekers and the displaced (HIAS, 2022).

There are 2 programs that is used for those seeking asylum. The first is the Migrant Protection Protocols (MMP) or the stay in Mexico program. Essentially, this program was designed to allow migrants to stay in Mexico while their entry case is being heard and decided. However, this makes them vulnerable to attacks and sickness. Local thugs or cartel members have been known to obtain information on the waiting migrants from corrupt local officials. This leads to harassment, attack or worse.

The Supreme Court has determined that the Biden Administration can end MPP in October of this year. But in the mean time, actions by US state officials, like Gov. Abbott of Texas, have decided that he will take the matter in his own hands. He has transported immigrants to DC as well as called up the TXNG to transport immigrants back to the crossings. The issue with this is simple. THE IMMIGRANTS NEED TO BE ON U.S. SOIL TO APPLY FOR ASYLUM.

This also is an issue with Title 42, enacted by Trump. Originally adopted in WW2, Title 42 is a health code to prevent health issues from crossing the borders of the US. Former President Trump re-enacted this to stall Covid carrying immigrants from crossing the border. However, it was all encompassing and used the health provision to stop ALL immigrants from crossing the border, sick or not.

This enactment of Title 42 was to end in May of this year. In May, Federal Judge Summerhays, appointed to Louisiana by Former President Trump, blocked the Biden Administration from lifting the order (Garcia, 2022). His reasoning was violation of administrative law. This violation? The lifting of the program would cause “irreparable harm because the states would have to spend money on health care, law enforcement, education and other services for migrants”.  It is expected that the suit filed by the DOJ in the 5thCircuit Court of Appeals will be accepted and the program will be lifted. It is undetermined how long this ruling may take.

For further details on the results of forced remain in Mexico and non-hearing deportations can be found at HIAS website article list at https://www.hias.org/tagged/us-border-response. 

My belief is simple. To ease and cure this problem we should take a page from the EU’s book. Create an open border policy from the tip of South America to most northern point of North America and include all non-European controlled islands in the areas surrounding these continents. It would allow free movement, fair trade initiatives, and bolster the economies and societies of each. Each Country still soveriegn, but working together to ensure Human Rights and aid criminal investigation and prosecution within the confines of this American union border.

The reason I called out the Christian Conservatives that believe these actions are appropriate, forget the teachings of the Old Testament and the teachings of Christ.

And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him(LEV 19:33).

For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungry, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:35-40)

References

Corrupt Security Services worsen Ecuador’s murder problem. InSight Crime. (2022, June 1). Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://insightcrime.org/news/corrupt-security-services-worsen-ecuadors-murder-problem/

García, U. J. (2022, May 20). Judge Blocks Biden administration from lifting public health order used to quickly expel migrants. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/20/title-42-border-judge-ruling-migrants/

Gramlich, J., & Scheller, A. (2021, November 12). What’s happening at the U.S.-Mexico border in 7 charts. Pew Research Center. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/11/09/whats-happening-at-the-u-s-mexico-border-in-7-charts/

HIAS www.hias.org

Thompson, G. (2017, June 12). How the U.S. triggered a massacre in Mexico. ProPublica. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.propublica.org/article/allende-zetas-cartel-massacre-and-the-us-dea

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