I’m Ashamed to be an American, Part 1

The cruelty of President Trump has no upper bound. Consider the sad case of Jimmy Aldaoud, who was deported to Iraq and died last month of diabetes.

Jimmy Deported

Jimmy’s parents were Iraqi Chaldean Catholics, a branch of the Roman Catholic Church who trace their roots to ancient Mesopotamia. Jimmie’s parents fled Iraq 41 years ago as persecution against Christians increased under Saddam Hussein. Jimmy was born in a Greek refugee camp, then brought to the United States as an infant. Jimmy was a lawful permanent resident, not like his sisters who were born here and are US citizens.

To be honest, Jimmy was not a saint. He suffered from schizophrenia and other mental health issues, was homeless often, and had over twenty criminal convictions on his record. Being a permanent resident, he was ordered deported more than once. He was a Type 1 diabetic, requiring insulin and other care to survive. He spent a year and a half in ICE detention.

Trump’s Nazi-like obsession to get rid of all non-white immigrants led to a final decision to deport Jimmy to Iraq last month. Jimmy had never lived in Iraq, did not speak Arabic, did not know anybody there. He was homeless in Iraq, sleeping on airport benches, unable to get the medical care he needed. He died in just two weeks of insulin shock. Ironically, the ICE have allowed his body to be returned to the United States for burial.

I see no difference between deporting this man to a country he has never lived in, could not speak the language, had no family there, with a deadly medical condition and just having an ICE officer enter his cell and shooting him dead. In either case, the result is the same.

What discourages me is the so called Evangelical Christians who are OK with this. Any reading of the Gospels would tell you that Jesus always taught compassion and kindness to the vulnerable. Let’s not forget that Jesus and his family were refugees themselves, when they fled to Egypt to escape King Herod’s wrath. We should have kept Jimmy Aldaoud here in the United States, provided him medical care, and worked to rehabilitate him. Even if that failed, living his life in a US jail would have been better than deporting him to certain death.

How have we become so cruel?

 

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