Punching Down, Geographically & Otherwise

Attention: Immigrants, innocent children, asylum seekers, and bleeding heart liberals.

America is a land of ZERO TOLERANCE for breaking the law. According to “the Bahbull,” which loosely translates from elvish to English as, “the Bible,” the law is the law.

Except, of course, when it’s not.

Like when the president breezes past Congress and unilaterally enacts tariffs against Canada for “national security” purposes…yeah, that Canada, the occupant of the real estate across the longest unguarded national border in the world.

Or when the president profits from his office by accepting payments from foreign governments.

Or when fixers cover up extramarital affairs by paying porn stars hush money from campaign coffers.

Or when “charities” are blatant shell corporations with no minutes, no board meetings, and a long record of paying personal legal settlements.

Or when the head of the EPA tries to use his office to get his wife a Chick-Fil-A franchise.

Or when foreign nationals offer dirt on a political opponent and you take the bait. To quote a famously epic d-bag, “I love it.”

I could list a few thousand more recent examples where laws have been broken by important people, but the consequences were somewhere between “nothing,” and “bad press for a few hours until the next insane shit happened.”

Irrespective of Jeff Sessions’ sermon about the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, the government often decides which laws to enforce, and how strictly to enforce them. They do that every single day. The Executive Branch routinely instructs law enforcement officers to limit (or increase) enforcement of certain statutes. Prosecutorial discretion is a major part of the common law tradition, and it always has been.

If it weren’t so, who among us wouldn’t get crushed under the weight of fines and jail time? Before you raise your oddly tiny and self-righteous hand, make sure you haven’t driven over the speed limit, filed your taxes late, driven on an expired tag, jaywalked, played poker at your friend’s house, used your cell phone while driving without a hands-free device, smoked weed (where it’s illegal…which is everywhere under federal law), peed behind a building, gotten peed on by a Russian hooker, violated campaign finance law, broken the Emoluments Clause of the United States Constitution…you get my drift.

Simply put: the government looks the other way all the damned time. And even when it doesn’t ignore violations, the government has broad discretion as to how it punishes most offenses…especially misdemeanors, such as illegally crossing the border.

The government uses its discretion partly because it would be impossible (and insanely expensive, oh party of fiscal responsibility) to punish every violation of every law with the most restrictive means possible.

It’s also a matter of humanity. We the people expect law enforcement officers to simultaneously (a) use their discretion and do their jobs on a case-by-case basis AND (b) because we’re allegedly “a nation of laws,” enforce the laws without regard to who breaks them.

That’s the reason a 12-year-old caught stealing a candy bar might get taken to his parents’ house instead of straight to the juvenile detention facility for booking. Assuming he’s a first-time offender. And white.

It’s why you shouldn’t get a ticket for going 66 in a 65, no matter which political party you support.

It’s why you won’t get fined and prosecuted for doing the Macarena at your church youth group dance party…and you wouldn’t get locked up even if the party was at a synagogue, a mosque, or an elementary school. Well, that and the fact the cops would have no choice but to join in if they showed up. That shit is catchy.

But in a country where we question our government relentlessly, it’s telling that the very Bible passage to which Beauregard referred is the exact script slave owners and segregationists used to defend slavery.

Now don’t, ah say don’t question the gubmint, y’all immigrants. Christ commands y’all to submit y’all’s selves to your God-ordained leaders. It may seem inhumane, but take solace in the fact that it wouldn’t be happening if God didn’t want it to happen. Now if y’all’ll excuse me, Ah’ve got to go back to breaking a whole heapin’ mess of othah laws with zero consequence to mahself or mah fam’leh.

 *scurries away to the safety of his hollow tree.

 Now, I hear some of you saying, “But we can’t just have unfettered immigration, that many immigrants will certainly ruin the economy!”

I could argue against you on that for the next 16 paragraphs with my eyes closed, but it would probably end up a garbled mess because I’d get off-center on the keyboard and you asoiauv9f0uzerg’OGV:MVCXV.

Not to mention, given the extremely low unemployment rate in our country, I assume you’re busy harvesting lettuce in the midday heat today. You probably don’t have the time or energy to listen to my nuanced arguments, because them bushels ain’t gonna pick themselves.

But I’ll also just go ahead and concede the point, even though you’re wrong. Fine. Unfettered immigration es no bueno. We must fetter immigrants’ access to our nation’s cornucopia of bounty. You win. Fetter away, fetterers.

[bctt tweet=”Given the extremely low unemployment rate in our country, I assume you’re busy harvesting lettuce today. You probably don’t have the time to listen to my nuanced arguments.” username=”trifectablog”]

And I’ll even table the idea that illegally crossing the border is a misdemeanor, and seeking asylum is a Congressionally ordained, statutory, completely legal means of entering the United States. Hell, I’ll ride the slippery slope with you – irrespective of why they’re coming, we can’t let every one of these immigrants in without some serious repercussions.

But the question under the current administration isn’t whether we should control immigration. It’s how we go about controlling it.

And to that end, we’ve apparently defaulted to the “Make America Undesirable As Hell” setting.

The Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy is, by their own words, an attempt to dissuade migrants from seeking entrance to the United States. In other words, they want your poor, your tired, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, to understand this: if you dare set foot on the soil that we stole from other people when we were undocumented immigrants, there will be harsh consequences.

Harsh consequences, which according to prominent heretics Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Jeff Sessions, were ordained by Our Blue-Eyed, Blonde-Haired Lord. No, I mean the other one, besides POTUS.

That’s right, amigos. We won’t just deport you. We’ll take your kids away from you while we do it.

Now, for some administrative odds and ends.

If WE are going to do this (yes, “we” are doing this, my co-owners of this representative democratic republic), we’ll need to gather the niños into places where we can keep track of thousands of them all at once. To that end, we’ll be concentrating all of them into some outpost, or maybe a camp.

[bctt tweet=”The question under the current administration isn’t WHETHER we should control immigration. It’s HOW we go about controlling it.”]

Gosh, no, it’s not a concentration camp or anything like that! How offensive! *clutches pearls, then realizes I accidentally wore my pearls to work.

But understand: those kids just hoofed it across the harsh Mexican terrain, risking their very lives seeking freedom from unimaginable violence. So, it’s safe to say they’re a scrappy bunch! Because of that reality, we’ll have uniformed men with guns to make sure the kids don’t scale the ten-foot fences that surround their cages.

Word will – and already has – spread to the next incoming “waves” of immigrants that there’s a really shitty patch of territory between the Rio Grande and the Canadian border. If you’re a “got-damn furrner” and you get caught in that 1800-mile expanse, abandon all hope all ye who enter. Oh, and abandon your dreams…especially those “American” ones.

But oddly enough, fully knowing the inhospitable environs that await, they keep coming. Immigrants risk losing their children for a tiny chance at giving the kids a better life than is possible at home.

You have to understand, that no one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.” And no one tries to cross the border, via asylum or otherwise, knowing they’ll likely lose their children, unless the alternative is uniformly worse.

 Of course, our government doesn’t have to take your kids if they catch you. We don’t have to make your arduous, desperate life worse than it already is. We do it because we’re America in 2018. There’s a rabid, deplorable electoral base that needs red meat, and you’re wearing red meat underoos. We’re a nation of uneducated playground bullies who elect even bigger uneducated playground bullies, and we always punch down.

And sorry, José. You are both geographically and socioeconomically down.

All of this is to make it clear as day, brought to you by white resentment, economic insecurity, and rich guys who profit from both:

The America of which you’re dreaming is just lighting and camera tricks. It’s not available for you, immigrants (read: scapegoats). It’s barely available for us. We are simply making the age-old American reality abundantly clear: you and your family are, perpetually, one generation too late.

 Lo siento, amigos.

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