The Emotional Side of Border Patrol

This Huffington Post article is interesting, emotional and thought-provoking.  Here are a few excerpts and my comments:

For certain agents, having compassion has meant having a change of heart. John Randolph became a border patrol agent when he was 27 because the job paid well and allowed him to speak Spanish. But Randolph's experience as a border patrol agent led him to become an immigrant rights activist. He wrote about his change of heart in a blog post for The Huffington Post last week:

"In my 26 years as a U.S. Border Patrol/ICE Agent, I caught many people. At the time, common sense told me that the vast majority of the people who I caught were good, hardworking people. I began to wonder why immigrants had to be chased like animals, and why I was being paid to chase them."

Randolph quickly realized there were big problems with his position. "It was a hard job, because I knew I was hurting people," he said. Interacting every day with border-crossers made him question the entire premise of the immigration system. "It just didn't make any sense to me why we'd be punishing people who were here to pick our vegetables," he said.

It doesn't make any sense, and without these immigrants, there will be no one to pick our vegetables.

For 30 days, Jorge, referred to as "Frank George" in the episode, lived in cramped quarters with seven members of the Gonzalez family, who came to the United States illegally to find work.

By the end of the episode, Jorge looks into the camera and says, "Perhaps what we learned is that first and foremost, we are human beings, and that's the thing that overrides politics and everything else."

But, Jorge now maintains that his change of opinion was mostly fabricated by the television show's producers. In a phone interview with HuffPost, he said he still considers himself a Minuteman and is now the co-host of "The Frank and Shannon Show," a radio show that advocates mass deportations and "securing that border militarily, with armed soldiers, with orders to shoot."

What was not fabricated, he claims, was his affinity for the undocumented family he lived with. "They were really lovely people, I loved them -- rather, I love them," he said.

So which is it, Jorge?  Should they be shot or should their rights be respected?  Should these peaceful people be allowed to go about their lives as free people or do they deserve the criminal label our country has slapped on them?

"Emotionally, I felt very divided. I really love these people [the Gonzalez family]. It's a battle between my emotions and my intellect," [Jorge] said. "Some of us are fortunate enough to have a good brain, and intellect tempers our emotion."

I think your emotions are trying to tell you something, Jorge.  You're evading the very real fact that these people have rights, and as long as you do, you will feel the emotional pain of your contradiction.  Perhaps you should investigate and learn the facts for yourself instead of falling for the anti-immigration rhetoric of your Minutemen friends.

It really saddens me when people stagnate and accept the bad ideas all around them.  There are good ideas out there, you just have to find them and spread them around.

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