Joyce needs to be part of solutions

This administration is utilizing the drug problem to vilify populations of Latin Americans.

These populations are desperate to escape violence and abject poverty in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. They risk dying of dehydration and other dangers to present themselves for asylum in the United States.

Our country treats them as criminals, putting families in dangerously crowded facilities, in conditions we condemn for factory farm chickens.

Those who seek to stem the tide of death by providing water are being tried for felonies. Is this what we are now?

Our nation has engaged in taking children from their parents as a deterrent, with no way to return them. The callous disregard of innocent children shocked the conscience of the nation, but little has changed.

Ironically, the administration recently decided to hold some 1400 migrant children in a facility that housed Japanese Americans during World War II. Presently there are over 40,000 children in custody.

Congressman John Joyce argues for the wall and militarization at the border. Meanwhile, the complaint is that we have a lack of labor here that is impeding growth. He also voted no on funds to flood areas, voted down the bill to lower prescription drug costs, opposed the bill to block withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change, voted against restoring net neutrality and voted against ending U.S. aid to Saudi forces who are murdering civilians in Yemen.

He also voted against expanding voting rights, expanding ethics rules and requiring candidates to disclose tax returns. Where is that transparency he promised –especially when the favor of the president is at stake.

Work with the countries that are dealing with the cartels. Hold the pharmaceutical companies accountable for their misrepresentation of the known addictiveness of these drugs.

How much money will we put in tent cities, prisons and ICE? The wall, turned down by Congress, will cost us billions and add to the trillions in national debt. Technology has rendered it obsolete.

It is a rallying cry, nothing more. How about adding judges to hear asylum claims and expedite the paperwork required? No one is advocating for a totally open border.

Isn’t treating human beings with dignity and fairness, and avoiding avarice, ineptitude and disregard for human life, part of our DNA as a country?

There has been little discussion of drug use prevention, the systemic hopelessness, the economic disparities, or lack of affordable long-term treatment. This is complex; it will take complex and multi-faceted approaches.

Joyce engages with law enforcement only, here and at the border. That is a view in search of a rationale, not a search for answers and insight.

While the problem of climate in crisis is ignored, it is estimated that by 2050 much of earth will be uninhabitable if we stay this course. The flow of refugees may become beyond imaginable, to the point of destabilizing governments.

Much of the U.S. could be in search of a safe place to live.

I wonder who will give us asylum.

Important issues need to be dealt with, not with slogans, or ill-conceived sound bites, but with thought-out, multi-faceted, evidence-based and ethically sound policy.

Carol Taylor

Altoona

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