Please Stop Calling Humans Seeking Safety a ‘Border Crisis’

Posted by on April 8, 2021 in Conscious Living, Peace & Human Rights with 1 Comment
image_pdfimage_print

“When we buy into the sham narrative of crisis, we fail to recognize migrants as human beings and we lose sight of the real issues: how our government is treating people who are escaping unimaginable violence—and how our policies are returning individuals to torture and even death.” ~ Rachel Pak

By Rachel Pak | Common Dreams

Over the last several weeks, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported a rise in the number of migrant children seeking refuge in the United States.

With the increase, the federal government’s capacity to process and shelter migrant children has been stretched, leading to children being housed in overcrowded and inhumane CBP facilities for extended periods of time.

Federal officials and some media have called what’s happening at the border a “crisis” or a “surge”—harmful rhetoric that has long been used to dehumanize immigrants and people approaching the southern border.

“Moving towards a better justice system isn't possible if we continue to scapegoat immigrants instead of reckoning with our broken system. People approaching our borders deserve better. At the very least, our language should recognize their humanity.”

This language of crisis is a distraction—and it undermines common-sense policy solutions that can secure justice and safety for everyone in our country, including immigrant survivors fleeing gender-based violence.

Not only can this language be misleading and a misrepresentation of actual migration flows, but it provokes fear and needlessly divides Americans. It turns immigration into an “us versus them” issue, falsely painting migrants as a threat.

Policy solutions then shift to emphasize criminalization and detention, rather than responding with compassion and welcoming with dignity to those seeking safety. As a result, we’ve seen egregious policies in the last few years, like detaining and separating families and sending people seeking asylum to wait indefinitely in Mexico for their day in court.

When we buy into the sham narrative of crisis, we fail to recognize migrants as human beings and we lose sight of the real issues: how our government is treating people who are escaping unimaginable violence—and how our policies are returning individuals to torture and even death.


Right now, children are being jailed in deplorable conditions where they are susceptible to heightened and enduring trauma. Meanwhile, our border remains largely shuttered to adult survivors fleeing rape and horrific gender-based persecution because the new administration has yet to repeal an illegal policy implemented under the last one.

People escaping violence have a right to seek safety. If they can’t, that’s the real crisis.

Moving towards a better justice system isn’t possible if we continue to scapegoat immigrants instead of reckoning with our broken system. People approaching our borders deserve better. At the very least, our language should recognize their humanity.

We should look at the context of border crossings and understand the many complex reasons people leave their homes—including to find refuge from atrocious acts of rape, domestic violence, and other forms of gender-based violence.

We should center the individual in our language—each person carries their own intricate stories and histories. Then, as a country, we must remember our moral and international obligation to uphold the legal right to seek asylum and extend refuge to those who qualify.

We have an opportunity to improve our policies and better secure access to safety for immigrant survivors. But to get there, our approach must shift to one of compassion, reflecting the humanity of people approaching the border.

Everyone deserves to live a life free from violence—and our language and policies should reflect that.

Rachel Pak is a media relations associate for the Tahirih Justice Center, which advocates for immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

1 Reader Comment

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. Frank says:

    You’re right it’s not a border crisis. It’s a humanitarian crisis brought on by many years of Anti-American global communist types who have been ringing the dinner bell for unending waves of unchecked migration with hopes to overwhelm the electorate and pillage the treasury. The manipulative progressives (in both Leftist parties) use race and xenophobia as a shield for their scheme while they use innocent poor people as political poker chips and effectively destroy what is truly a great culture of legal immigration. Legal immigrants (citizens) of all color, sex, and class have now been marginalized in this same type of war that is being waged in the eastern hemisphere as well.

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top
Send this to a friend