A Sunday Manifesto
Not only has immigration policy been torn away from the common sense of communities who live along the border between the USA and Mexico, but the moral responsibility for leadership in this realm has also been outsourced. This morning’s New York Times reports:
On some of the biggest government projects, Bush administration officials have sought to shift some decision making to contractors. When Michael P. Jackson, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, addressed potential bidders on the huge Secure Border Initiative last year, he explained the new approach.
“This is an unusual invitation,” said Mr. Jackson, a contracting executive before joining the agency. “We’re asking you to come back and tell us how to do our business.”
Boeing, which won the $80 million first phase of the estimated $2 billion project, is assigned not only to develop technology but also to propose how to use it, which includes assigning roles to different government agencies and contractors. Homeland Security officials insist that they will make all final decisions, but the department’s inspector general, Richard L. Skinner, reported bluntly in November that “the department does not have the capacity needed to effectively plan, oversee and execute the SBInet program.”
On the first day of a two-week border caravan that will traverse the USA border with Mexico, Jay Johnson-Castro reported on a “pathetic immigration system” that is grinding people’s lives past the point of no return into unmarked, mass graves along the USA border with Mexico.
As we see from the evidence above, and with our own eyes at the T. Don Hutto prison for immigrant families, such brutal chaos brought down upon the common life is happening in a context of actual chaos in responsibility from leadership.
Wherever we find such a situation we find the duality of crisis revealed as both horror and opportunity. It is time this week to seize the opportunity. We will not be ruled by profiteers. We will not accept a dominion of free trade without free people. Furthermore, there is no reason to expect that the chaos of profiteering can rule over the long run–if the people stay aware and active.
And, finally, the shocking brutality of power as revealed in the three-month imprisonment of the Ibrahim children, will ensure that the people do not fall to sleep unawares.–gm