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Guest Post By Jerrad Christian— A Trip Down To The Southern Border


"Border Wall" by Ana Teresa Fernández

My flight home has me at the airport at 3 am. Everything is quiet, in a stark contrast to the whirlwind of experiences swirling in my mind. As I sit on the tarmac, waiting for my flight home, the weight of the past week's encounters presses heavily on my thoughts. The responsibility to save lives, both at home and abroad, is immense, yet many who wield this power do so carelessly. The faces of those I've met— marked by danger, terror, and sadness— are imprinted on my memory. Their stories are not just tales of hardship; they are warnings of what unchecked greed and extremism can bring to our doorstep.


The opposition to freedom thrives on chaos, seeking victories born of deceit and anger rather than solutions. Leading to experiences like those affecting the people I've met this week— unimaginable challenges. They've endured the kind of suffering that hate would inflict upon us if given the chance. I am pushed to think of my opponent and their agenda, stripping children from the arms of their parents and throwing them into cages. These are not talking points; they are deep wounds that scar our collective conscience; scars that will take generations to heal.


The need for change has become overwhelming. Holding up the border bill until political games are played out is not only cruel but a betrayal of our nation’s values.


A few days ago, I woke up at 4 am and watched the sunrise. I sat on an old milk crate at the edge of a large hillside in the migrant shelter. The sky's transformation kept me company while I considered the deeper questions of our positions on border security, activism, and the enduring strength of family bonds.



I had listened to stories from people across Mexico, Central, and South America— stories of suffering intertwined with threads of hope. From these stories, two truths have taken root in my mind:

 

  1. No amount of funding can solve our issues without fundamental policy change.

  2. Our nation’s borders were never meant to hoard freedom but to protect and share it.


Instead, we often squander our freedoms, letting anger and fear dictate our actions. We withhold freedom and compassion from others, and in doing so, we diminish our own humanity.


This was a challenging  journey, though no marches through the desert, lessons from activists or border security compared to the migrants I met while they wait to enter the United States for legal asylum. There was a 70-year-old man who had worked his entire life as a mechanic, only to be forced to flee his home with his family due to violence. They were kidnapped during their journey and had to leap from a moving train and run into the desert, laying on their children to shield them from the cold night air. Another woman from Colombia had her life's work— a farm— extorted by guerillas. She had two hours to escape with whatever she could carry. These people, families, and children have endured unimaginable hardships not for conflict, but for a chance at peace and stability.



As Mr. Rogers once said, "If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person." These people have left a  part of themselves in my heart.


The wall, costing approximately $20 million per mile, is not an impenetrable barrier. We found a hole, naturally washed out under the fence, making the US just a short step away. Yet, crossing without a guide from organized criminals is perilous and often fatal. Migrants pay $8,000 to $10,000 for a chance to escape violence, with much of the violence a direct result of US policies on drugs and economics.


The history of the wall is a testament to evolving strategies that often prioritize deterrence over humanity. From the Clinton administration's initial construction to Trump’s razor wire and Biden’s added screening, each change reflects a different approach to the same problem. The walls in populated areas force migrants to brave miles of desert, a death deterrent by design.


The question often asked is, "Why don't they come here legally?" The harsh reality is that there is no feasible legal way. Work visas have a 25-year wait for Mexicans, and asylum seekers must be on American soil to apply, forcing them into unlawful crossings or months of homelessness awaiting an appointment.


As my flight prepares for takeoff, I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose. The stories I’ve heard and the people I’ve met underscore the urgent need for change. We must move beyond walls and policies that dehumanize and towards solutions that reflect our values of compassion, justice, and shared humanity. The journey for change is long, but it is one we must undertake together, for the sake of all those yearning for a better world.




Jerrad Christian is the progressive Democrat running for an increasingly swingy congressional seat ancestral and eastern Ohio against do-nothing incumbent Troy Balderson. Please consider contributing what you can to Jerrad’s campaign here.

2 comentários


Well done, Jerrad, for your excellent contribution, and a well done DownWithTyranny for having you.

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Convidado:
21 de mai.

"The opposition to freedom thrives on chaos, seeking victories born of deceit and anger rather than solutions."

The opposition to freedoms, mostly, thrives on an utter dearth of opposition. Sure, the nazis foment chaos, stupidity, hate and offer lies to inflame... but they would fail miserably were it not for:

  1. no tangible opposition whatsoever. SOME words. that's all

  2. all who vote being dumber than shit resulting in zero opposition to the hate and chaos.


"We withhold freedom and compassion from others, and in doing so, we diminish our own humanity." Should be "We ALLOW the 'others' to withhold freedoms and compassion, and in doing so, we diminish our own humanity."


this presumes we even HAVE a lick of humanity to…


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