Migrant Camps—Oh, Yes We Are

The US already has migrant camps and refugee holding facilities, and, the numbers of camps and people in those camps increases every day. And, our government is creating MANY of these camps either directly (immigrant detention) or indirectly (failure to deal with homeless issues).  This includes ALL people living in the streets or in camps or in homeless shelters. That is, not just people legally or illegally coming into the US from other countries, but, also our own citizens who are jobless or underemployed,

Homeless in DC

Homeless in DC

and, homeless. In many places in the United States, the homeless population is growing, a HUD December 13, 2017 report gave the number of homeless in the US as 553,000. In LA alone there are 58,000 homeless (LA Times, 2/25/18). In New York City the number of people that are homeless or living in shelters is 76,000. Not counting those living in shelters or the homeless in the suburbs, DC’s homeless population is just short of 7,000 (Washington Post, 5/8/2018). [Incarceration for poor people who can’t make bond or poor people incarcerated for long years for non-violent drug related crimes is another post on another day.]of the homes

Thousands in Puerto Rico are still without power or water or access to other community safety resources. They live in conditions that have NOT been fully improved or repaired all these months after Hurricane Maria.  There is little news and very few headlines about Puerto Rico and yet people still suffer and effectively live in camps or houses without roofs.

Yesterday, trump said that, “”The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility … you look at what’s happening in Europe and you look at what’s happening in other places we can’t allow that to happen in the United States – not on my watch.” (MSNBC broadcast of trump speech)

Well, we already are a country of migrant camps and refugee holding facilities. Sadly, most of the disenfranchised are US citizens, a half million Americans. Most wealthy people who spend their leisure time at country clubs may not actually see the homeless or their camps and  so may not be aware that 40,000 of the homeless are American veterans! (Military Times, Dec 6, 2017).

Homeless in Birmingham

Homeless in Birmingham

And, I posit that we don’t have more “migrant” camps because we have hundreds of prison camps holding adults and children. ICE has over 200 “camps” in America holding 30,000 plus men, women, and children…some without medical care, almost all without access to advice or legal representation. Texas holds 15,852, California 6,527, Arizona 3,869, Georgia 3,717, Louisiana 3,143…200 camps in all. (https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/detention-statistics) THIRTY THOUSAND!

And the GOP, the party to which I belonged for 41 years…it’s pretty much gone. Taken over by trumpists like Steven Miller (who so reminds me of German zealots from 80 years ago). Is America becoming fascist? I read an interesting article yesterday that addressed that very question entitled, “It’s Happening Here Because Americans Can’t Admit it’s Happening Here.” The author goes through a logic process that is reasonable but describes the typical American as “in active denial,” that is, scowl on his face, defensively crossed arms, separation from the group, and more.

The author goes on to say, camps in America where ethnic groups are concentrated are being built and babies are being forcibly separated from their families the same as they were in Nazi Germany, Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and more. The Asians know, they’ve seen Pol Pot, Mao, and more. “Not here,” says the scowling American looking down his nose at Black Lives Matter, Immigration demonstrations, Peoples Climate, and, more. Well, I think it is happening here and I think the scowlers and arm crossers and deniers are sadly wrong. I think the power of the dollar is slowly replacing the power of the vote and letting the country slide into something other than a democracy.

I believe we can preserve the American way of life. We have to look the scowling, denier cynic in the eye and demonstrate to him that he is a valued part of America, but, he will not be so valued under a fascist state which by supporting trump he will receive. We need to open a dialogue with that scowling face to list the issues, list the possible solutions, link the positives, and

Homeless Camp, Fairfax County, VA

Homeless Camp, Fairfax County, VA

take action to fix and talk and fix and talk. I believe that trump is bad for America and that his cronies may be even worse: Pence, Miller, Bannon, Pruitt, Conway, Huckabee Sanders, etc. But hating them, trash talking them, targeting them for ranting abuse really doesn’t do any good. The solutions are living next door, and down the street, and in the communities. Talk to people. Vote! Get them to think about living in a place where individual freedom is a matter of whim of the despot in charge and not the American way.

And one last thing, the Democratic Party is living in a different century. They are not coming up with strong programs or people but rather same-O, same-O. They completely missed the Bernie message. They completely missed America’s view on Hillary.  They are absolutely missing the anti-trump message. The anti-trump rhetoric may win during the mid-term but IMHO will not do a thing in 2020. Somebody in the DNC needs to get their shit together.

 

 

 

 

 

Homeless in Denver

Homeless in Denver

Homeless in Birmingham

Homeless in Birmingham

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