How is an Administration supposed to respond to a Humanitarian Crisis?
By: Riley Mulcahy
The images coming out of Texas in the past weeks are beyond disturbing. Due to a lack of communication between Mexico and the US, and the many disasters Haiti has dealt with in the last month, thousands of asylum refugees have been displaced and held in US detention centers. The scene is eerily similar to the handling of immigrants seeking asylum at the Southern Border during the previous administration. However, there has not been a mapped out solution to the problem that will protect, house, and feed the refugees. Instead, blame is being pointed in all directions.
To say that life in Haiti has been difficult in the past few months is most certainly an understatement. According to The Washington Post, a devastating earthquake killing more than 2,000 people and leaving many without safe drinking water, an assassinated president wreaking political chaos, and an accusation of the prime minister’s involvement in the crime leaves little to no question of the severity of the problem. But in a country that finds it hard to house the millions of homeless on American streets, how can America plan to provide refuge to thousands of people in dire need?
The question above is impossible to answer, and the lack of one definite answer makes it easy for politicians to place blame on one another. This issue is nuanced because of the thousands of lives it affects, and any discussion must recognize the gravity of the situation and the need to shelter thousands of displaced individuals. When there is a conversation about immigration in general, there is either a willful or blind criminalization of the people in question, regardless of the struggles of a refugee or an immigrant, and conservative politicians are the most aggressive in their mistreatment of immigrants. Despite the infusion of Christian doctrine they preach, and along with their desire to make sure the United States is a “Christian nation,” they refuse to follow the principles that Jesus teaches in the Bible.
It is completely possible to approach the situation of an influx of refugees with dignity and respect. Instead, images of Border Control agents whipping refugees on horses are the norm. Biden and Harris are not immune to public scrutiny. There is a valid criticism that the response in Texas by Border Control agents has been awful. After all of the Trump administration’s backlash, the use of detention centers showcases a lack of self-awareness on Biden’s part. Yes, Democrats won in 2020 narrowly. However, it is essential to note that obstructionists like Senators Siemmna and Manchin make it painfully apparent that Biden and his team can afford to make massive humanitarian mistakes such as these.
To feel outraged in this crisis is understandable; it is one of the only correct responses in this situation. Regardless of your political affiliation, one must acknowledge that crucial errors have been made, and Biden’s legacy of Trump’s mistakes is not something to be proud of. The most humanitarian response is to accept all of the refugees and support them financially. Although that is what I believe should happen, it is not possible to take on every refugee—the process of picking who stays and who goes is brutal. However, refugees living under bridges on freeways is never an acceptable solution to any problem. To remedy this awful situation, Biden must be able to prove that he is more than competent in his job. In other words, Biden was elected based on Trump’s inability to do basic functions of the job of being the president, and Biden has brought a sense of normalcy into the White House. However, to help the thousands of refugees, Biden must step up and prove that he is a more than capable leader to come up with a humane and ethical solution with the whole world watching him.
Melanie Moyer '22,