Borders are Unempathetic

Unempathetic

Across Europe and the Americas, governments have gone to severe extents to halt migration. During a Thanksgiving Day conference with members of the U.S. military, President Donald Trump took his chance to revel in the increased militarization of the U.S.’s southern border in response to the incoming Central American migrant and refugee convoy. Trump stated “We have the concertina fencing and we have things that people don’t even believe. We took the old, broken wall and we wrapped it with barbed wire-plus…

Jon PurizhanskyWe’re fighting for our country. If we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country”. Quite ironically, the U.S.’s ignoring of other nations’ borders is a large part of the reason Central American migration is occurring in the first place, as U.S. political and economic interfering in the region continues to increase violence and poverty. Now, the barbed wire ploy has caused a situation in which thousands of refugees are trapped on the Mexican border awaiting the processing of their cases, with black numbers chalked on their arms as part of a crude tracking system.

This barbed wire scheme has not panned out for some of Trump’s fellow citizens as 32 individuals were recently arrested at a pro-migrant rally on the border, organized by a Quaker group. Time Magazine explains that the demonstration “was meant to launch a national week of action called Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice, which falls between Human Rights Day on December 10 and International Migrants’ Day on December 18.

And as we ring in this year’s International Migrants’ Day right-wing efforts persist to selectively criminalize migration and all those who would sympathize with the plight of those unfortunate enough to have to endure the struggles of a migrant. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the plight of displaced workers and is committed to championing their causes.

On the other side of the globe, European nations are displaying their own borders, as xenophobia and the demonization of the other are useful means of pulling public attention from domestic disorder. Italy is a fine example: a key docking point for migrants from Africa and other regions and a fountain of racist political oratory. During Attilio Fontana’s successful campaign for president of the Lombardy earlier this year, he warned Italian radio viewers about the dangers of immigration: “We must decide whether our ethnicity, our white race, our society should continue to exist or should be erased”. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the toxicity inherent in ideas like these.