Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Many nations, ONE WORLD.

In viewing some extremely anti-immigrant banter, I felt the need to address it and to enlighten. 
Immigration and anti-immigrant fear or resentment is not unique to the United States of America, to Great Britain, to Costa Rica, to Switzerland, etc.  It is not even unique to our generations-it has existed for a very long time.  There have always been people interested in traveling and moving to other places for opportunities sometimes beyond our own comprehension.  They are escaping tyranny or an abusive past, a homeland run by drug lords or oppressive governments or a town that no one ever leaves and therefore makes the inhabitant who desires something different for his or her life feel empty and without purpose. 
There are rules in place to cross borders, this I understand quite well.  But what many do not understand is that what many of the "powerful nations" take for granted, the people of the rest of the world are denied.  It is more often than not an extreme process to gain access to many of the "elite countries" of the world (I use quotation marks not to be confrontational, but to remind us that there are many elite things about each and every place on Earth, so to call a nation a specific word does not mean it is the only one or group, or definition). 
Remember this the next time you travel to another country and do not have to spend months of your time preparing documents, making and paying for phonecalls to get appointments, driving/taking buses/flying/walking to official embassies, saving months or years worth of your earnings simply to pay a visa application fee (that will not be returned if you are denied).  You did not have to pay the money to travel back and forth to a specific location in your own country multiple times for permissions, stamps, visas, appointments, and documentation (probably missing work and/or school and losing money in the process).  You did not miss your loved ones on the other side of the border because you could not get to them until a piece of paper was stamped.  It is not your "right" to enter the country you are visiting if you want to take the stance on "border control."  You are privileged if you can buy a plane ticket, get on a plane or boat or in a car, etc. and step into another country without a visa.  There are people around the world who would give anything to have that opportunity but who are denied it because of where they were born, their economic incapacity to literally pay thousands of dollars to travel or to petition for a visitor's visa or a green card (when they make as little as a dollar a day in some places).  So do I understand why someone would risk his or her life to enter another country illegally when there is a system in place that literally could take them an entire lifetime to save for let alone navigate?  Yes.  I wish there were no borders.
“...and it strikes her, as she walks, that borders, like hatred,
are exaggerated precisely because otherwise they would cease to exist altogether. ”
Colum McCann, Zoli
I love this quote because it reminds me of how the world was (and could be) if we were to recognize our equality and our desires to have the freedom to live and dream and work and play and travel where we desire, doing harm to no one in the process because borders did not exist and we encroached nowhere, but we merely coexisted or passed through. 
Borders are man-made, people exist naturally in this world and for no reason but pure fate and luck are born where they are.  Would you deny them the chance to see the world because you are too coward to share the beauty that you enjoy?  Would you feel it their right to deny you access to the world that we all inhabit if they chose not to let YOU in?  Imagine a world without borders.
Many nations, ONE WORLD.

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