As stated numerous times on social media in recent days, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) stands with other non-partisan human rights and charity organizations, such as the National Center on Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Salvation Army, in calling for an end to the separation of children and their parents, during the detention of undocumented aliens who are illegally crossing the U.S. border according to U.S. law. As R.E.A.L, these allies in human rights, and other groups have stated, we must protect vulnerable children and protect their bonds within their families. Such vulnerable children must remain a priority.
A nation that seeks to work as a representative democracy must have mercy as its priority – not only for its own citizens, but also for its fellow human beings of every nationality. Mercy and compassion provide the moral and ethical compass to guide us in making decisions on difficult topics of national safety, dignity, and security. Our mercy must reach beyond our political partisan divisions and find answers to the most difficult problems.
R.E.A.L. urges the U.S. legislators to use mercy as its priority in considering upcoming legislation for immigration. The idea that such legislation should be postponed is based on suspicion and contempt for the politics of other politicians and other Americans. We must find the COURAGE to reach beyond that distrust of the politics of others, and find trust in one another as American human beings; our values of compassion, integrity, and respect for law must be more deeply rooted than our political divisions.
R.E.A.L. does not fail to recognize the difficult and complex issues in the U.S. immigration debate. The safety of American citizens from criminals, the need to protect the vulnerable from human trafficking, and the responsibility of the source nations in creating refugee conditions must not be ignored. These are all legitimate and reasonable human rights concerns that also must be respected.
To those who dismiss such security concerns, a recent MS-13 gang murder stabbing a victim 100 times took place only eight miles from R.E.A.L.’s headquarters. R.E.A.L. is well aware of the very real threat to human rights when criminals are not stopped from threatening the public. But such criminals are not only a U.S. concern; their threat to human rights is a global concern. It is not enough to deal with such root cause issues of refugees in the U.S. or on the U.S. border; these issues must be dealt with in the nations that have allowed such violence and criminal lawlessness to become rampant. The nations of the world must challenge the root causes that drive such refugee conditions. Our compassion and concern for human rights must include a concentrated focus on source problems driving refugees from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and other nations.
When faced with such extremely complex issues as the U.S. immigration problem, R.E.A.L. challenges U.S. lawmakers to find the moral and ethical courage to accept compromise solutions for progress. We do not protect the safety and human rights of American people, of immigrants, and especially of vulnerable children, by partisan inflexibility. In compromise solutions, no one achieves everything that they seek. But that is how achieving change in governing on complex and difficult issues proceeds. Lawmakers accept compromise to achieve progress, because they cannot represent their public by continuing an endless stalemate on such critical problems.
Human Rights and immigration activists also need to pursue progress and compromise as well. Like U.S. lawmakers, immigration activists have to accept that compromise is necessary to achieve progress. In a complex problem largely ignored for a protracted period, incremental progress and achievements have to be more acceptable than no progress at all.
Such progress requires accepting the need by all sides to communicate messages of concern with honesty, truthfulness, integrity, and civility, which has been increasingly lost in the recent debates.
Those in the debate using misinformation, deception, hate, and divisiveness are not helping the cause of children, progress on immigration issues, or human rights. Our moral compass must be guided by mercy and compassion, not hate and division.
The progress to reunify children with families announced on June 23, 2018 is also progress. As much as activists have condemned children being detained separate from their families, there must also be recognition that there has been change, which needs to be encouraged, not discouraged. There are also very complex issues, which need to be addressed. As R.E.A.L. previously pointed out, the issue of 10,000 unaccompanied children being sent across the U.S. border illegally in a dangerous journey remains a serious human rights issue, which remains to be resolved.
The solution to this complex immigration issue will not be dealt with in soundbites or single, simplistic solutions. Complex problems need complex solutions, which the communications of division will not equitably and honestly convey to the public. This complexity will continue to drive the need for compromise solutions and incremental progress that must be achieved over time.
R.E.A.L. recognizes that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), under Article 14, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Article 14 also states “this right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.” The issue of asylum has always remained a complex and vital issue in human rights, and one that requires patience and policies based on mercy and compassion. It is incorrect to apply simplistic views to complex issues; this is why a combination of solutions to achieve progress and address the root causes that create refugee circumstances are essential.
We cannot effectively address such complex issues in a democracy without respect, dignity, honesty, and of course, patience.
The greatest challenge for those in human rights concerns is PATIENCE. But we must have the courage and determination of patience and respect to achieve compromise progress to seek change.
But we will not achieve efforts to promote mercy and compassion with upraised fists or hateful slogans towards each other. We can find courage and determination through a shared commitment in mercy and compassion towards one another as American citizens and fellow human beings. Let us find the strength to achieve progress, not division, to make change together.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty