Some of this year’s crop of politicians tell us that illegal or undocumented immigrants pose a deadly threat to our country. I say that anti-immigrant rhetoric is the more dangerous threat. It has been deadly before, here and in other countries. It can easily become deadly again.
You can watch the rhetorical escalation up the ladder — or down the slippery slope, choose your metaphor — toward danger.
Step one: It is perfectly reasonable for those concerned about illegal immigration to express concern about our nation’s ability to secure its borders, especially from those who might pose a real threat. As one who regularly waits in lines to pass through border controls, I get it. In a nation-state world, borders matter. All nations attempt to secure their borders. The United States has a right and a need to secure its borders.
Last month, an encounter between Michelle Obama and a Latina child in a suburban Maryland school brought into sharp relief one of the most pressing issues surrounding U.S.