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For the Love of God, Let Them Out

Shared Article from nytimes.com

As Migrants’ Desperation Mounts at the Border, a Fire Kills Do…

The fatal blaze comes as border cities across Mexico have been flooded with migrants turned back from the United States and more arriving from other c…

By Rocío Gallegos, Natalie Kitroeff, Emiliano Rodríguez Mega and Simon Romero @ nytimes.com

Shared Article from nytimes.com

‘No One Gives Me Answers:’ Migrants Search for Bodies of Lov…

After a deadly fire in a migrant detention center in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, some victims’ families and friends are still looking for answers about …

By Nicole Salazar and Noah Throop @ nytimes.com

Shared Article from nytimes.com

U.S. Border Policies Have Created a Volatile Logjam in Mexico

As the United States has cracked down on border entries, Mexico is bearing the burden of housing and feeding tens of thousands of desperate migrants.

By Miriam Jordan and Edgar Sandoval @ nytimes.com

As always, border policies and the border cops who enforce them impose horrendous suffering on innocent people, for the sake of inflicting the deplorable, invasive and violent means to an utterly worthless political end.

Then they turn around and look at the humanitarian crisis that they themselves have created, they contort their faces into a grotesque mask of feigned pity, and Joseph R. Biden will talk on and on about how people shouldn’t be trying to come to the United States at all, or if they have to then they can wait in prison on the other side of the border waiting for court appointments that never come and fiddling around with a mobile app that doesn’t work, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador will say that it’s all so awful, and he will investigate how the fire started, when of course he already knows perfectly well why dozens of men were caught and could not get out and could not get away from it.

And the politicians in Washington and in Mexico and the military and paramilitary patrols on both sides of the the border all care so, so very much and they are all so, so very sorry, and this only shows how much harder they need to work at discouraging immigrants ever more thoroughly, and at shutting down border crossings ever more systematically and relentlessly, and at securing funds to build ever more jails to imprison the immigrants they have caught, and then rounding people up across the border towns to force them into immigrant jails while they wait, and wait, and wait. So that they can make damned sure that the U.S. government will always be able to go on enforcing all the laws that keep forcing peaceful, harmless people into these awful conditions over and over again.

And when another unintended but utterly predictable disaster happens at another overcrowded jail, then what everyone knows, but nobody in politics is willing to say, is that what happened is that so many people who have done nothing wrong, and who pose no threat to anyone, were locked away in a jail that they could not get out of, and the fact that they were locked in and could not get out is the entire reason that they were left to suffer and to burn and to suffocate and to die.

This is not a matter of complicated and measured considerations of policy. It is a matter of really appalling recklessness and brutality that had no reason to exist. There is no political policy on earth that could be worth this, no system of control and enforcement that could justify or even excuse rounding people up and locking them for God knows how long in an immigration jail while they wait endlessly on a broken system of administrative procedure that will leave them stranded for months, or years, or forever.

There is no clever technical fix to the system that produces horrors like this over and over again, no endlessly and mendaciously perpetuated Trump-era policy, no innovatively progressive feat of technocratic legerdemain that will alleviate the crisis or mitigate the suffering that it causes to any extent that matters.

There is no policy solution except for the urgent, simple, utterly obvious solution of allowing for massive, order-of-magnitude increases to the numbers of people legally allowed to immigrate openly to the United States, regardless of their nation of origin. That’s all. People who are being stopped from crossing the border should be allowed to cross the border, openly and peacefully. People who are in jails along the border should be let out of those jails so that they can cross the border at their earliest convenience.

There is no crisis on the border that is not the obvious and direct result of the crisis of the border, no humanitarian disaster that would not be instantly and forever wiped away just by letting people out of jail, by letting them cross peacefully where they want to cross, and by letting them stay anywhere that they can find a place or a person willing to have them. All you need to do is stand down, let these people out of detention, let them cross freely and openly where they choose and not worry about how to force them through a kafkaesque system of immigration courts, and leave them alone. If that seems politically difficult, then damn politics to hell.

Nobody needed to die like that in this awful jail. Not one man. How dare you? What else is there to say? What could there be to say in anything other than looking directly at the allied governments of the United States of America and the United Mexican States, and the political border that they enforce, and and just screaming, screaming, screaming.

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