Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The EYES have it

FINALLY, I got a go-ahead for the eye surgery in October.  Woo-hoo!

My appointment today was at Walter Reed/Bethesda.  The young corpsmen were pretty subdued today. The Navy Yard shooting, while at the other end of DC, was a little too close to home. They're saying, "We expect to go in harm's way when we go abroad, but here at home, by one of our own? That's hard to take." It's similar to what the young Army folks were asking after Hasan Nidal forfeited all of his credentials as a healer and brutally slaughtered young men and women who were in a medical facility, preparing to deploy to lands far away in order to protect and serve people who weren't even Americans. It's not rational, so no amount of examining can make it something we can understand.

Then another sad show I heard yesterday.  http://thelistproject.org/

Kirk W. Johnson founded The List Project. This is what it is all about:

  • The List Project was founded in June 2007 with the belief that the United States Government has an urgent moral obligation to resettle to safety Iraqis who are imperiled due to their affiliation with America.  Our groundbreaking program of pro bono legal assistance from hundreds of attorneys at top law firms has helped bring over 1,500 Iraqi allies to safety.  Although the war is officially over for the American public, Iraqis who formerly assisted our troops, diplomats, and aid workers are still in grave danger. Our mission continues.

    What I heard yesterday was that despite the legislation being approved and law firms donating thousands of hours of time, the immigration system is so screwed up that the legislation is about to expire in 2 weeks with thousands of people still on the list but not processed and something like 20,000 visas NOT GIVEN OUT.

    We talked about it last night at dinner. My very smart 16 year old son asked, "Mom, why do we spend all kinds of resources trying to reward people who are here illegally, but not get straight to taking care of these people in Iraq who risked their lives and families in order to help us help them?"

    Despite being much older, I don't feel much wiser. I don't have any answers for my son. Frankly, I'd rather reward someone who put him or herself in harm's way for me rather than someone who broke the law to be here. In the latter case, that person jumped the line -- and by the way, did nothing to help our military troops in the process.

    This just seems so bass ackward to me. Believe me, my heart aches for people who have to flee their home land for whatever reason -- economic, wars, drug cartels ... but we have to have a system that rewards those who follow the rules and do it correctly, or we get so bogged down that we end up with this situation -- where the legislation EXISTS to bring the Iraqis here, but the State Department and INS and Homeland Security are too bogged down in bureaucracy to move them through.

    Imagine you're at an amusement park and you're in a really, really, really, long line for the coolest, most popular ride in the country.  You've researched it, saved your pennies for this trip, and looked forward to it for years.  The line shuffles forward in tiny movements, and every so often you get a smile or encouraging announcement from overhead, but all you can ahead of you is the line.  Looking WAY up high, you can see the ride you're going for. You only get glimpses, but it looks like more fun than you've ever imagined having in life, so you persevere. Tiny step, followed by tiny step. Then finally, after waiting for what seems like HOURS, you're at the front of the line. You eagerly step up to the chute that will guarantee you a place in the car that's pulling into the station. Out of the corner of your eye you see a group of people rushing up the exit. All the Disney employees step back and say, "sure, go ahead" to these interlopers and let them get into the cars for the ride. This happens again and again and again. Every time you're about to get into a car, a group rushes up from the wrong way, and the ride managers just let them in.  You scream in frustration, "What is going on?" The ride managers just shrug and say, "Well, they're already here."

    This is what we're doing to the people who want to immigrate legally. And the stakes aren't a fun ride, they're people's very lives. When you compare their stories, and you factor in that people here illegally are at the greatest risk of exploitation, you understand why we cannot approve wholesale amnesty for illegal aliens, or any part of amnesty. If they are illegal, they must go home. If they have had children while here, they need to take the children with them or find someone here to care for them. Those American citizen children will not lose their citizenship by virtue of living in their parents' home country. They can return here when they are able to do so on their own.


    A photo to finish. Although it is a beautiful day today, this is a little bit what I feel like inside.

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