Recently on my social media pages, I shared a meme about the problem the American government is faced with when it comes to illegal aliens crossing into the Southern United States. The issue is incredibly polarizing and because it is, understanding how each faction perceives the issue is the starting point to fact-finding and then finding solutions to the issue.
This was the meme I posted with one word in the status update / tweet: Discuss.
What happened on Facebook?
Once the meme was posted to my Facebook Timeline with the word “discuss” some of my Indigenous Facebook friends insisted that the meme was racist against Indigenous peoples. By virtue of posting such a meme on my Timeline, in their opinion, I was racist. Their shock and dismay was clear by their public and private messages.
What happened on Twitter?
Once the meme was posted to my Twitter feed with the word “discuss” some of my Caucasian Twitter friends insisted that the meme was racist against Caucasians. By virtue of posting such a meme in my Twitter feed, in their opinion, I was racist. Their shock and dismay was clear by their public and private tweets.
Is the meme racist?
According to a Washington Times news article published on 30 March 2014, of the 195,000 illegal aliens against whom charges were filed in 2013, 68,000 of them had criminal convictions.
In other words, about 35% of illegal aliens who were charged, convicted, and set for deportation, were criminals with convictions.
What does that mean exactly?
It means that 65% of illegal aliens didn’t have criminal convictions. To put it simply, if there were 20 illegal aliens in a room, 7 of them would have criminal convictions.
Of the remaining 13 with no criminal convictions, it would be reasonable to question if there were gang or criminal ties, but no convictions for offenses they may have committed but for which they weren’t arrested, charged, tried, and convicted.
But isn’t a traffic ticket technically a conviction?
The criminal convictions weren’t for minor offenses. Even vehicular manslaughter convictions and DUI convictions were overlooked. When they talk about criminal convictions, they mean convictions for dangerous offenses — offenses such as murder and rape.
Interestingly enough, 68% of all Level 3 criminal illegal alien offenders were previously convicted of a crime in the U.S. In other words, they hadn’t left their criminal ways behind in their country of origin. They brought those criminal ways with them into the United States.
How many of those 193,000 were deported in 2013?
Homeland Security sent 125,000 of those 193,000 back to their country of origin.
You have to admit that 193,000 isn’t really a lot of illegal aliens in the grand scheme of things, right?
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report, the department went after only 25% of 722,000 potentially deportable illegal aliens they were aware of in the U.S.
But most of these illegal aliens are actually trying to get away from South American dictators, right?
In 2013, according to ICE, nearly 250,000 of those illegal aliens caught were from Mexico.
The number two spot went to Guatemala with about 47,000 illegal aliens caught.
So for every 1 person escaping from Guatemala, there were 5 crossing over from Mexico.
But doesn’t the meme imply that anyone with a tattoo is a criminal?
No, it doesn’t. What it does show is that tattoos are a recognized way in which criminals show their membership or gang affiliation, and advertise their skills, specialties, successful criminal activities, and convictions. Certain designs have an accepted meaning in criminal circles even where language is a barrier.
Yes, tattooing has been around for centuries, and doesn’t necessarily mean that the wearer is a criminal. That being said, every tattoo has significance for the person wearing it.
What cannot be overlooked is the fact that experts state that tattoos denoting gang membership — especially face tattoos — are a rising trend among gang members while incarcerated as well as when they are back out in society.
Then you’re saying the meme is accurate?
I’m saying that along with the people who look like the people on the left-hand side of the meme, there are people who look like the people on the right-hand side of the meme.
Since this is a reality, it’s important to look at what’s really coming across the U.S. borders illegally and find solutions that will separate the dangerous from the desperate.
And if asking people to discuss this issue honestly and rationally and compassionately is supposedly racist, it may be time to ask why people would rather sit in their polarized faction camp instead of address the issue head on.