Archive for April 24th, 2008|Daily archive page

Forced Re-patriation: On Death & Dying

More so than ever, people discussed immigration.  It was not an American issue.  There were illegals in Russia, in Europe, in about every country in the world except North Korea.  The perspective in Europe might be a bit different from than that the citizens of North America.  They had witnessed a history that should be more real, where borders had changed 60 years ago, with forced re-patriation of people through peace treaty, shifting borders.   Citizenship was determined by who was left with power.  And most citizens had no power to determine their own right to citizenship. 

In the world my citizenship, my freedom was determined by my place of birth.  I had no power over what I had been given at birth.  The irony in seeing a nation or nations grapple with immigration issues was not much different than issues of slavery from 200 years ago.  At the time, neither slave nor free men, had control over universal suffrage.  Neither slave,  nor free men, free women, had control over their own emancipation at birth.  Yet Americans had once fought a war over the issue to retain what they had been born into. 

In my own lexicon civil rights was synonymous with human rights.  To hear those who denied citizenship to those who already were here made me wonder, if these were Christian people, how they might one day respond to the man in charge of homeland security, Peter, when all these Americans were looking for entry to his homeland.  He was said to have the keys to entry.  There was this prayer I had heard.  ‘Welcome into my kingdom my departed brothers and sisters.’  I suspect that Peter’s view might be, “Better that we are more welcoming here than you had been welcoming down below.”