Upon the discussion of illegal immigration, specifically people from one nation working in another state while being undocumented, a common argument against immigrants is that the act is itself illegal. Regardless of the reasons why one would chose to leave their home and their lives to travel to a new land, the issue of legality as an argument against such individuals is a funny one. There are places in this world were it is illegal for women to show their faces in public. In many developed countries, there were times when it was legal to own slaves, or illegal for a person from one race to sit at the same table or drink from the same water fountain of someone from another race. It was once illegal to divorce and in many places, it is still illegal to admit to being a homosexual. Although both realms are somewhat subjective, it can be argued that legality does not necessarily equivocate with what is morally right.

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“We’re fighting them terrorists there, so we don’t have to fight them here,” is a common nonsensical catch phrase used in many variations during the Bush presidency from 2000 until 2008. In the past few years, the exact opposite has happened. United States policy and military training has left the war theaters of the middle east. With military style weapons and training given to SWAT teams in municipal police departments around the country, infantry tactics are often used domestically now against US citizens in non-violent drug crimes. In some cases, this has lead to accidental deaths, police brutality and the destruction of lives for non-violent peaceful citizens.

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The concept of supporting our troops has become its own mantra in the United States. We talk about those who “sacrifice” and “defend our freedom,” in such that we should honor them for their service. We go as far as to place yellow plastic magnets on the back of our vehicles as a symbolic gesture of our support (with the money typically going to some manufacturing company in China). Even liberals have taken up the “Support our Troops” mantra by tacking on “Bring them Home” in a way to attach a degree of appeasement to the staunch advocates of continued war. But the reality is not some pretty idealized view of American bringing democracy and freedom to the world. The reality is that as a nation, we’ve accepted blanket statements and embraced nationalism without taking time to discern the facts of our history and understand all the wrong our government does in order to sustain our standard of living.

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