In a recent irresponsible statement in reference to the government shut-down over President Trump’s wall, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he didn’t want a border wall to be the symbol of America, that he wanted the Statue of Liberty to be that symbol. In this context, it is impossible to interpret Schumer’s words as anything but a weaselly, wink-wink, coded endorsement of open borders. When the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, the U.S. had few limitations on immigration. Non-citizens could vote in most states. The population was about 50 million, or about 1/7 of what it is today. The famous poem by Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus,” is not part of the statue, nor is it official U.S. policy. Today it resides in the Statue of Liberty Museum. In short, it was a different country, with different problems and priorities.
Now comes the terribly sad story of two young Saudi sisters who apparently committed suicide by drowning themselves in the Hudson River rather than return to their country, where women are second class citizens. Should such a story have any relevance at all to U.S. immigration and asylum policy? Should how much a non-citizen wants to live here be a factor in what the U.S. decides is the best criteria for allowing an immigrant to arrive and stay? If the two sisters could be granted asylum because they were women in a culture hostile to women, why not all Saudi women? Why not all Muslim women who are “yearning to be free”?
The public and social media just aren’t logically and ethically equipped to consider this issue rationally. On Professor Turley’s blog, after he related the story of two women’s tragic act, some commenters wrote things like…
“It’s just not fair that the law does not apply to illegal immigrants, who are welcomed with open arms in sanctuary cities, but girls like this didn’t get the help they needed.”
What’s wrong is that illegal immigrants are shielded from the law, not that these young women couldn’t get asylum.
What is the point of a “women’s movement” if girls like these have nowhere to turn? Time to remove ourselves militarily from the medieval Middle East and serve as a refuge for women seeking freedom.
The U.S. shouldn’t be the world’s policeman, but it should be the world’s abused women’s shelter. Is that the idea?