Mother’s Day should be about love and compassion, right? Please tell that to our legislative leaders, both national and state. While it was a mind-boggling time—historic, to use a more proper term—in Washington last week, the Texas legislature did not get left out of the party.
Currently a handful of right-wing extremist representatives are using parliamentary procedure to block 100 bills because they aren’t getting their way. One of the bills blocked has to do with cutting Teas’ way-too-high maternity mortality rate. Particularly appropriate on Mother’s Day. Sure, it’s called serving for the good of the state.
And state officials have found a swell way to turn young immigrants into haters of the U.S. and terrorists. Just lock them up in a for-profit juvenile facility thinly disguised as a day-care center. Really, guys? You want us to believe that? It is so wrong on so many levels, among them the fact that for-profit prisons should be outlawed. We encourage crime by making it a source of profit—there’s no direct money in educating youngsters and leading them away from a path of crime. So, let’s make a buck!
Second, the immigration law in Texas is harsh enough, tearing children from their mothers’ skirts (often, literally). But to put them in a for-profit incarceration center goes beyond any sort of human decency. Yes, I believe our governor has signed that one into law.
As he did the sanctuary city law which forbids city governments and law enforcement officers from ignoring Texas’ harsh immigration laws. The tiny border two of El Cenzio is suing the state government over the law. The mayor refuses to turn in his fellow citizens. Resist, he says, is the right thing to do.
This may seem like a non sequitur, but I assure you it’s not. Last night my oldest granddaughter went to her high school prom. Her father, mother, and younger sister checked into a hotel for a Mother’s Day getaway and left the keys to the house to Maddie She was encouraged to invite her close friends, boys and girls, for the after-prom all-night party. My son’s reasoning? “I’d rather have them in my house than in a cheap bar or hotel.” His stipulation: they collected all car keys (Maddie knew where they were) and the kids were forbidden to touch his liquor (he’s a connoisseur of fine Scotch). They didn’t hide liquor, jewelry, anything, just opened the houses to the kids.
We’re waiting to hear a report, but I’m betting on Maddie. I have faith in her to do the right thing and to have chosen her friends well. How does this relate to the Texas or national legislatures? I believe if you trust people, they will live up to your expectations. If you distrust them, they think, “Why the hell not?” and do what you suspected them of doing.
I cannot fathom this hatred of immigrants, particularly Mexicans and Muslims. Texas, of course, is focused on Mexican immigrants. They are, we’re told, criminals, rapists, the dregs of society. Funny, some of the Mexican-Americans I’ve met are the nicest people—kind, caring, raising their families to be good citizens. In California, farmers are crying because their crops are rotting in the fields—the immigrant workers are afraid to come to work. Not all immigrants can afford the time and cost of citizenship—a factor no one considers apparently.
If we continue this ban, think how many service industries will be affected. The hospitality industry will take a huge hit—no one to clean hotel rooms, wait tables, tend bar. Who will clean your house and your office? There are a thousand other jobs done by Mexicans. Don’t tell me those jobs belong to Americans—most Americans won’t do a lot of them.
I think we need to get a grip on this immigration nonsense. By all means, deport any known and proven criminals and terrorists. Stop deporting innocent people or those with minor infractions in the long-ago past. Sure, it’s hard to detect terrorists, but we have tremendous law enforcement tools and techniques. Put them to work. And use a bit of compassion. And outlaw for-profit prisons.
Happy Mother’s Day. Sorry for the rant. Maybe I shouldn’t read the news.
PS: My son’s house was just as he’d left it. Yay, Maddie!