If my Facebook feed is any indication, there is no more pressing topic right now than immigration. Hunger, poverty, unemployment, war, economic illiteracy, scientific illiteracy, actual illiteracy, oppressive government regimes at home and abroad, all pale in comparison to the issue of immigration – whether a group of people from the general vicinity of point A ought to be able to hang out in the general vicinity of point B.
Overnight, an astounding percentage of people have become experts in international relations and have apparently figured out the precise course of action that the world needs to take in order to ensure maximum happiness and safety for everybody involved.
It’s a little amusing that so many people from a wide variety of backgrounds all are completely convinced that they know exactly what to do and have detailed understanding of what life is like halfway around the world, in a culture quite different from their own.
What’s more amusing is the utter lack of logical thought and abundance of prejudice and backwards thinking spouted by both insufferable progressives and backwards reactionaries. All refugees are the same, an entire group of people are perfectly uniform, no matter what side is being presented – either refugees are evil people, hell-bent on destroying Western civilization and accepting them into the country will spell doom for us all, or every single refugee is a compassionate, caring human being and not accepting them is tantamount to genocide of the highest order.
Humanity is incredibly diverse, even small groups of humans have wildly differing characteristics. Not all refugees are the same. Not all people are the same. We cannot act like refugees are a uniform group of people lest we erase their individuality and humanity. People are unpredictable – what the future will hold is not certain and when it comes to the actions of thousands, it is impossible to predict the results of immigration policy.
The more people think an issue is cut and dried, the more simple and straightforward people believe an issue to be, the more complicated it actually is. When faced with almost unanswerable questions full of uncertainty, people simplify things to the point of absurdity.
When it comes to the issue of letting refugees into the country, there is no easy answer. There is no single right answer. The information that is required to make a proper decision is unknowable.
This doesn’t stop anybody from having an opinion and fiercely fighting for it, though. Any number of completely unrelated arguments are put forth, from one’s position on the Black Lives Matter movement to one’s position on abortion, from proper Republican values to proper Democratic values to being a good Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew, there are nearly as many terrible arguments as there are people making arguments.
I have no idea what the proper course of action is. I have my own opinions on what I’d like to see, but arguing for or against a position that will affect thousands and thousands of people from a standpoint of what I want is nothing short of epic selfishness. My preferences are wholly irrelevant.
Fighting on Facebook or debating in person solves nothing and will have no effect on the undeniable fact that pain and misery and human suffering exists in abundance. The only progress will come from people taking a stand and working to change the world. Don’t want refugees? Work to make life in the war-torn corners of the globe safe so refugees have no reason to come to the U.S. Want refugees? Open your home to them, help them get jobs and give them guidance to be successful in society. Get off your lazy rear and do something.