Value humanity, rather than law

I added my political science minor at the end of the fall 2016 semester because I thought as a future journalist it is important to understand government in case I had to cover a story regarding laws, policies or a president.

I wanted to learn and take myself out of my comfort zone.

I wanted to grow more politically mature and develop my own opinions in the world of politics and let me tell you, being in political science courses in this time of America’s history has challenged me more than I anticipated.

As the current events in politics continue, the classroom discussions are new every week and my colleagues and professors create an environment open for discussion. This past week we talked about immigration and refugees.

This topic challenged me. I am a granddaughter and daughter of immigrants. My grandfather immigrated from Italy with no knowledge of English or American culture.

I cannot deny the process of becoming a legal citizen is flawed. Although my family abided by the law and legally immigrated here, we are firm in

our belief of everyone deserving a chance at a better life, the feeling of safety and happiness.

An immigrant or refugee from Europe and an immigrant or refugee from Mexico are treated and prioritized differently, but one thing they have in common legal or not is they are here to have a better chance at life, a better chance at providing for their family, and a better chance at succeeding in their right to the pursuit of happiness.

Sure, the argument of illegal refugees and laws can be and has been made, but when we stick so close to what the law says, we forget the humanity of the situation.

If mothers are sending their children to America to save them from being raped or murdered, if families are fleeing for their life to a land of freedom, who are we to say they should go back? Who are we to use the law as a reason to deprive people of a better life?

Think of it this way: When you’re in a hospital and a doc- tor says you need certain tests or procedures to save your life, money is not an issue because your life is at stake. The last thing on your mind is a bill when you’re trying to save your life and the last thing on refugees’ minds when they’re running for theirs is the law. If the last thing on an immigrant’s mind is the law, then the law should certainly be the last thing on ours, too, because a life is in jeopardy. Ink on a paper should not deprive a per- son of his or her pursuit of a better life.

Resorting to the phrase “it’s the law” is neglecting the humanity of immigration.

About Kaitlynn Labit


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