US Flag and Fireworks (Google images)
I missed July 4th, Independence Day for the citizens of the United States, but wish to send special greetings to my neighbours. I spent several holidays at my grandfather’s house in Massachusetts. I grew to love his home and his land. The year is young, so greetings to everyone.
Life has not been easy for many of you since Mr Trump was elected to the presidency of the United States. You have had to rely on courts to block some Executive Orders. These are your courts and they represent you, your vision, your values. Many Americans would keep law-abiding “dreamers,” rather than deport them.
The children of undocumented immigrants may be safe. Their parents, however, are being returned to an uncertain future and some may be executed because they have stood against a tyrant. Iraqi Christians are being deported. Yes, there are Christians in the Middle East, but fewer and fewer. As for Muslims, the majority are good persons who deserve respect and love.
A Strange Illness
A large number of nations are home to refugees whom they may deport. Countries have a right to limit immigration. However, one should consider the plight of immigrants and refugees and that of persons who may be deported to their native land. In Sweden, upon learning that they their family would be deported, the children of Russian refugees have fallen ill. It’s a strange disease. They do not die, but enter into a state of resignation so complete that they are neither dead nor alive. They lose consciousness. Such phenomena are difficult to explain, but these children may have felt, or feel, they were, and are, not worthy of living.
In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children have fallen unconscious after being informed that their families will be expelled from the …
Uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome, is said to exist only in Sweden, and only among refugees. The patients seem to have lost the will to live. “They are like Snow White,” a doctor said. “They just fall away from the world.” Photograph by Magnus Wennman for The New Yorker
Canada and “Illegal” Immigrants
Certain immigrants and asylum-seekers were not allowed to stay in the United States under former President Obama’s administration. But they were deported at a slower rate and in smaller numbers. We did not see “dreamers” cross the border and the cost of frozen limbs. No one can enter Canada illegally, but recent asylum seekers who arrived during winter months, were helped by the police and then arrested, but not in a brutal manner. Canada has to protect its citizens. It has immigration laws and it may deport would-be Canadians, rightly or wrongly.
- The Plight of Immigrants
Canada’s Armenian community sponsored at least one flight of threatened Armenians. These refugees were Christians as are Iraqis being deported from the United States. One may think the Armenians who were on that one flight to Canada were “lucky.” To a certain extent, they were. Members of Canada’s Armenian community felt relief and newly-arrived Armenians were greeted to this country. They had nevertheless lost their home and, perhaps, children and relatives. It has often been said, in France and Canada, that “nous sommes tous du pays de notre enfance.” We all belong to the country of our childhood. Immigrants lose their native land and some remember circumstances that were better in the country of their birth. History or destiny are not always kind to people. Most immigrants have to learn a new language and they may be underemployed in their new country, which may constitute a profound loss.
President Trump’s Islamophobia
In this regard, we have learned that President Trump’s Islamophobia is selective. It does not include Saudi Arabia.
He could also be that he does not realize that there may be tragic consequences to his Islamophobia. For one thing, he may be cultivating terrorism. How long will Muslim migrants accept being looked upon as would-be terrorists on the basis of their religion? Think, moreover, of the copycat phenomenon. Think also that there is a degree of diversity in the Middle East. Although most citizens are Muslims, certain minorities were not “Arabised” in the 7th century CE. Some did not convert to Islam. For instance, there are Buddhists in Saudi Arabia. (See Buddhism in Saudi Arabia, Wikipedia.) Finally, deporting people who have grown roots in a country other than their native country may lead to an illness resembling the fate of those children in Sweden who have given up: uppgivenhetssyndrom.
War and terrorism have caused a large number of innocent people to walk away from their homes in the Middle East. It’s a crisis and such crises have happened before. We have to manage them.
The G20 Summit
Mr Trump is at the G20 Summit. It would appear he may be compromising the United States’ status as global leader. He is, at any rate, facing opposition. The climate, for instance, is a global issue and there are trading agreement, defence alliances and questions such as migration and various international accidents.
Greetings to all my Americans readers.
Love to everyone ♥
George Gershwin‘s “Summertime”
© Micheline Walker
6 July 2017