Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Confused

Confusion is not an unusual state for me, but this morning's bout relates to this article.

A young seminary student has been convicted of aiding illegal aliens and littering, and his punishment is 300 hours of community service and a year of probation. Did he smuggle a truck-load of illegals over the border and try to sell them into slavery? Did he buy one or two to keep as his own indentured servants? No, he left water bottles for them in a national wildlife refuge because when people cross the border by foot, as most of them do, and walk hundreds of miles through the desert, they quite often die of dehydration.

The federal prosecutor said these actions "are not about humanitarian efforts, but about protesting the immigration policies of the United States, and aiding those that enter illegally into the United States."

If the group the student littered on behalf of had made a spectacle of themselves when he left the bottles, that would be a protest. What this guy did instead was to quietly leave water to help keep people from dying. An officer from the refuge said water bottles have been left all over the park.

This same officer said he has met with members of this humanitarian group to work out ways to leave water for illegal immigrants without putting plastic bottles out in the open—his concern is that the plastic bottles pose a threat to wildlife.

This is what confuses me. A private citizen left water as an act of kindness, and since this citizen is a seminary student, I assume he believes what he did was a godly act, something Jesus might have done. His sentence was manageable, but prosecutors actually wanted five years probation and a $5,000 fine. Yet a federal employee can openly state he is helping to work out ways to leave water for illegal immigrants without causing harm to wildlife and even said he recognizes this is something the humanitarians have to do. So where are the charges against this man and the other park employees who are working with the humanitarians?

While covering a health care reform meeting with an Ohio senator for Small Town Newspaper, I watched my fellow community members shout out about not paying for the health care of illegal immigrants. Round 'em up and ship 'em back, they yelled. When the senator snapped back and asked if these angry people wanted us to reject health care for a human being who is bleeding or even dying just because he isn't a citizens, most of the people backed down. I don't know if that's because they suddenly realized they were talking about human beings of if they just didn't want to be seen as so coarse and heartless in public, but they didn't seem to care either way if these illegals live or die. And based on the context of the meeting, it was all about money.

These protesting business leaders and Small Town residents wanted to hang on to their money and were basically declaring their life to be more financially valuable than those of people who came here illegally. It's almost as if they were forming a death panel or something. Given the other things they were protesting, their reaction to the question of health care for illegal immigrants confuses me, too.


kyle@sift said...

Ah, the death of common sense. Remember Robyn, these small town people also think Sarah Palin is a genius. They would hang you from the nearest stink elm tree if they knew you are actually HELPING immigrants learn to speak English.

dive said...

It's a sick and greedy world, Robyn.

Kyle's right; you have some scary people in Small Town, living in wilful ignorance.

I am so glad I live in my Socialist Nightmare with my lovely free healthcare.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a very crazy thing. Many of those protesters were probably wearing "WWJD" bracelets. The hypocrisy is staggering.

I replied to your question at The Women's Colony in the comments. Thanks for reading.