Open Letter to Governor Hickenlooper 5

I sent this to the governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper today, after seeing the AP story about a Trump administration draft memo regarding mobilization of the National Guard to be used to round up undocumented immigrants. Yes, I am aware that we’re talking a draft, but I find it seriously horrifying that this is even being talked about as an option, however off-handedly or unseriously. This is not a thing you fucking joke about.

Anyway, that prompted me to write and send the following message today. I’m sharing it in the hope that others will feel encouraged to send similar messages.

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Dear Governor Hickenlooper:

Per the Associated Press today, a draft memo from the Trump Administration showed they’re thinking about using the National Guard to round up undocumented immigrants. Considering the absolutely tragic and shameful history of our own state when it comes to the National Guard being mobilized against our citizens and residents (i.e.: the Ludlow Massacre), this calls on us all to speak firmly against this notion before it can gather steam.

Beyond that, undocumented immigrants are a vital part of Colorado society. It would be far better if they could have a path to legal citizenship or permanent residency, but lack of national will does not change the enormous contributions they make to Colorado daily. We should be respecting and protecting all of our residents, whether they have papers or not.

I urge you to speak out in strong support of undocumented Coloradans, and do everything in your power to keep their families from being torn apart by these unfair and racist policies we keep seeing from Washington DC. Make us a sanctuary state; while I know we can’t stop ICE, we can refuse to aide and abet the destruction of families and the victimization of innocent people who are integral to the fabric of Colorado.

With a lack of national will, it falls to us to step up and show our strength of spirit and compassion. I know Colorado is better than what our national government is currently trying to become.

Thank you.

5 thoughts on “Open Letter to Governor Hickenlooper

  1. Reply decayingorbits Feb 18,2017 17:38

    You do realize President Obama mobilized the National Guard along the border to assist DHS with immigration enforcement, right? For several years in fact. That the new Sceretary of DHS might consider leveraging those same resources does seem to be all that controversial. Unless, of course, it is important for it to be controversial now.

    • Reply Alex Feb 18,2017 20:27

      Two points:
      1) I didn’t like the way Obama handled immigration either. This is not the first time I have written complaints to the government in this regard.

      but more importantly,

      2) Considering the roll out on the “no really it’s not a Muslim ban no actually I guess it is whoopsie” we already saw, I do not trust these people to do anything that might be bad but ordinary in a normal administration and now make it as malicious, terrible, and incompetent as possible while hurting the maxiumum number of brown people.

      Also, along the border is one thing to be unhappy about. But the draft memo (and yes, I still do realize it’s a draft) sounded like it was expanding far beyond that, into non-border states (including Colorado) and directly involving the Guard in rounding up people, which to the best of my knowledge is beyond what the Obama administration did.

  2. Reply decayingorbits Feb 23,2017 04:55

    Can I ask you a serious question? Do you believe the United States should have completely unrestricted and undocumented immigration? If you do, do you believe there would be any negative repercussions from having such a policy? And at what point — and for what parts of society — should the rule of law apply? I came to America because it had all the things my home country didn’t. But the fact that America has laws that were enforced was the most important to me.

    • Reply Alex Feb 23,2017 06:01

      I don’t. I think immigration should be more open than it is, but that it would be far better if we knew who was in the country. But I also want there to be immigration reform that will have a path to legal residency for all (or almost all, since I do know that not every undocumented immigrant is a perfect angel) current undocumented immigrants. The system for immigrants at the moment to come in and get residency is hideously expensive and Byzantine and ridiculously lengthy for many, and needs reform, but the political will is completely lacking. The issue with how things are done now is that there are huge sectors of some industries that benefit immensely from the flow of undocumented labor (eg: agriculture, construction, basic service). That’s a major factor in why we still have no immigration reform, with popular opinion so readily manipulated by often racist appeals to paranoia and fear about immigrants stealing jobs that legal residents who are able to demand basic labor law compliance aren’t actually interested in working anyway.

      So basically, what I want is reform to make the system sensical and humane. What I want is a path to citizenship for people who have been working hard and directly or indirectly paying taxes into a system they are not benefiting from. I am interested in the rule of law, make no mistake about that, but not blindly when the law is unjust or applied so often in an unjust way. Rule of law is incredibly important, but the laws also need to be good laws that actually serve people and society as a whole. As someone whose life once would have been quite illegal thanks to laws aimed at attacking homosexual and trans individuals, and who is still at risk from bigoted lawmakers who dislike lgbtq people, I have Feelings about this. There are plenty of examples in American history that aren’t personally about me that show again and again that the rule of bad laws hurts people whom the majority would love to ignore and needs to be challenged vigorously from the ground up.

      But At this point, my sympathies are completely with the undocumented immigrants I encounter every day, because while I suppose you could say it’s all their fault for entering the country illegally (ignoring for now situations like childhood arrival, or undocumented immigrants who have American citizen children not for some anchor baby nonsense, but because life is a thing that happens), I find far more fault with our current immigration system and politicians who promulgate lies about innocent people because it lets them score cheap points.

      Hope that makes sense. Only just woke up for a minute, but couldn’t leave this alone without answering it. Because it is a very important and valid question.

  3. Reply JohnD Feb 24,2017 08:17

    I wish that the folks who are against undocumented workers would stop focusing on the first part of the epithet and start looking at the second. The reason that people come here, through proper channels or not, is because our businesses hire them. So why punish the folks who are acting like good free-market capitalists (see a need, fill it, make money)? Why not punish the folks who illegally hire them?

    Let’s see some businesses hit with multi-million dollar fines for employing undocumented workers. That will stop that problem, pretty quickly.

    And then let’s find a way to start letting more people in, not fewer. I’m old enough to remember the Vietnamese Boat People (yes, I’m ancient. Deal with it.). We took in refugees from a war, refugees whose lives were threatened (sound familiar?). And in return, we got 800,000 new American citizens who have contributed to our country in ways large and small. Are we so pusillanimous now that we can not match the bravery of our parents?

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