Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why did these people rush the fence?

Why do these people not respect our borders?

The reports of another mass attempt to rush a border-fence, this time in Spain, is in the news. An estimated 1100 people tried to climb the fence on December 31, 2016. It was raining, the fence was slippery, police and migrants were injured. Why do they not respect our borders?

Speaking with sub-Saharan migrants last year I was surprised to learn that they do not really understand that each nation has the right to prevent people from crossing their land. Several were sitting outside of tents on the Greek Island of Kos, when one said, "You will not believe this! We are told that you can't walk across the land. We can't walk across some imaginary line. Not only that, they tell us that there are actually invisible lines in the water that we cannot cross and that there are even lines in the sky where airplanes cannot cross without permission! How can there be lines in the sky? How can a country, which is made of land, claim that they also own part of the ocean? None of this makes any sense!"

While I could make a fair attempt at explaining national sovereignty, I would need to struggle to explain how a nation can claim ownership of the sea and air. It is not disrespect for 'the law' that drives them to climb fences. It is also anger at what seems to be ridiculous. "I just want to cross their land. I am not even trying to stay in their country".

Many nations, such as Mexico, say that the laws are made for the people and that the people are not created for the laws. When laws make no sense, they should be ignored- is their view. "Why should I obey a law that prevents me from feeding my family without hurting anyone? I am not stealing. I just want to work so my family can eat. The law makes no sense. I have to wait for almost 10-years in hopes of getting permission to cross the border. I have to show that I have money, a job in Mexico and a home. If I had those things I would not be trying to leave! The laws make no sense when they keep a family from eating,"

I do not support illegal immigration, but I do support knowing the facts. Facts are more than numbers, charts, and graphs.

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