Rounding up the aliens

Posted: Wednesday, November 07, 2001

It was with some disgust that I read Cal Thomas's diatribe about "rounding up the aliens." This is a simplistic response to the worldly threats that challenge our freedoms.

Following Mr. Thomas's reasoning, I suppose that the first "round up" for deportation is to be those suspect aliens of Middle Eastern ethnicity. Of course, the aliens of other ethnicities might then feel threatened and therefore their patriotism would also be suspect. So they too should be deported. Then there are the family and friends of all the deported aliens, who may actually be God forbid U.S. citizens themselves. Since they can't be deported then perhaps we can just round them up into camps where we can keep an eye on them. And on and on it goes.

Some far wiser people than I have confronted this type of short-sighted and ill-conceived simple "solution" to a perceived national threat. As Pastor Martin Niemoller said in regard to the Nazi round up of "non-true Germans" into concentration camps: "When they came for the communists, I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Today's world is anything but simple. In tough times, it is tempting to do what is easy. But our nation must, and, I am sure it will, do what is just even if it means that our security is not absolutely guaranteed. As Ben Franklin said, and has been repeated often as of late, "those who would sacrifice their liberty for security are deserving of neither."

Our nation's heritage is that of a refuge for the oppressed. It was that heritage that was the genesis of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 19th amendment, the civil rights movement, and on and on. The bedrock of our nation is faith in humanity, not fear of humans.

Garland M. Walker

Juneau



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