Opinion

Campus, Cruelty, Camps at the Border

In 2019, the Harvard Business Review released the article “The State of Globalization and What It Means for Strategists,” a look at the past year and how that should influence businessman in their future tactics. This review pointed to the DHL Global Connectedness Index to examine the fact that, while information, technology, commerce and trade are increasing internationally, states are encumbered by their own agendas and trade agreements are not seeing traction due to economic nationalism. These problems that prevent global development stem from nations’ lack of ability to see outside of themselves and look for a common benefit in their political agendas.

This review reveals a greater historical truth: the global stage has changed drastically. There is no longer a singular nation, operating on resources and labor just from within itself, but nearly every nation in the world relies on another, for goods, for labor and for aid. The world has become an intricate web of connection between states, regardless of proximity or creed, and to remove a thread in that web is to spell destruction for all.

With this era, there is a newly needed principle to guide interaction between states: compassion. Compassion is a necessity for global politics. The fate of each nation in this globalized world rests with the fate of the nations around them. Acts of compassion are both an investment to that country as well as sustenance to the system of globalization. The implementation of compassion rests in the higher dignity of each nation as a collective of people, and it is in their best interest to engage in acts of compassion throughout the world. Compassionate politics are necessary if the globalized world wishes to progress into greater development and to sustain long term growth.

Another key ingredient to compassion is the role that it plays in international relations. The way that we treat our fellow states holds enormous weight in terms of our success as a nation and our morality, and, for citizens of faith, how well we honor God. Moral citizens desire moral political actors. This, however, is not often the reality, particularly where outside people groups are concerned.

The United States of America has had a long history of hostility towards those that enter its gates, particularly those that do not speak, look or act in a way congruent to the current social climate. This was seen with Japanese internment camps during World War II, redlining property to discriminate against African Americans in the 1960s and so on. Today we face a new hostility act: the holding of Hispanic immigrant children at the United States and Mexico border.

These detention camps were brought about as a measure by the Trump administration to hold children whose parents were arrested for illegally residing within the country. These measures were put in place as part of the president’s “crack-down” on immigration.

There are audio clips that have been released from the detention centers that captures young children wailing for their fathers and mothers and begging to be released to family members, in which one of the guards in this recording refers to the sounds of grieving children as “an orchestra.” It has also been reported that those interned have hardly any room to move, as they are so severely overcrowded, as well as filth piling up in corners of the rooms where children are housed. They lack access to exercise and healthy food and are given water that is murky and filled with sediment.

These immigrant parents enter the country hoping to find work and educational opportunities not available in their home states. They then marry and have children, whom they raise in the U.S., where they learn within American institutions. It is then this same institution, espousing dignity, liberty and justice as primary values, that seizes the family, indicts the parents and cages the children. This presidential solution to stemming immigration by tearing families apart has been likened to the Nazi regime and Confederate internment camps during the Civil War, according to The Atlantic.

Currently there are no moves to disband these camps or develop new legislation that would grant protection to the children interned, despite increased protest. The only moves made by the Trump administration has been to work on a bill that would make a slow-moving path for Dreamers to gain citizenship, saying nothing of the children presently imprisoned.

Children are deeply important to the future of humanity and are often an example of purity and goodness for the world to follow. To rip this vulnerable population from their lives, their parents and their liberty on the basis of nationality is to state that national interest is transcendent of morality or compassion.  For a Christian nation, it is to say that nationalism is the new God, and the mercy of God can take a backseat.