We are approaching the holiday season and there is a feeling of gratitude and wanting to sing and enjoy life. Nevertheless is impossible to disregard the many concerns that surround us, locally, nationally and worldwide. There are so many issues to be concerned about that choosing where to be active is difficult.
If we look at the local panorama, we see people gathering to oppose the construction of an immigration detention center in Elkhart County. The private prison industry is a shameful side of this country. CoreCivic, the company with the local proposal, argues that they bring many jobs to the area, not only with the construction but also with the ongoing work afterwards. People who have researched the issue have found that the jobs are low paying ones and later the company brings their own administrators from outside the area.
Besides the impact to the local economy in terms of devaluation of the surrounding land, the impact on local businesses has to be taken into consideration. Nobody wants a prison as neighbor, and businesses will not want to come to or expand in Elkhart County. After years in which a good number of the population has worked creating an environment of inclusiveness and diversity this comes like a demolition plan to all that we have worked for and dreamed of.
Not only do we have to worry about this, now we have to analyze the impact of the new tax laws on the middle class and small businesses. So if someone had plans for expansion or moving ahead, better put them on hold until the full extent of the law is known. Also affected are the people who will see their health insurance disappear or become too expensive to have. All these things create thoughts of uncertainty and even danger, so there is little space for celebration.
Nationally and worldwide we see the country going into a dangerous zone confronting North Korea and also isolating itself from allies. United States has many enemies and standing alone is not safe for the people who live here. Insulting and degrading people from other races, religions, nationalities, etc., as the current administration has done, is not making the country stronger or safer.
So maybe we can start singing Christmas Carrols, decorating the house, streets and buildings. We can even go about from store to store buying presents, and maybe have some leftover for charities or far away relatives and friends. Sometime along the way maybe people will remember about the ones who have suffered from fires, hurricanes, floods, and collections will be made to get something to the victims, always thinking that it has not happened to us. It is something that happens to others and they should fend for themselves. After all the holidays come only once a year and we have to celebrate.
The others…will go through scarcity, and uncertainty. The ones who have been told they have to leave the country because their TPS has expired and they have a year to get ready to leave, or the Dreamers who have lived here most of their lives and do not know if they are to be the next to leave. The others… also are the families of young people who have enlisted in the military and now may have to face death or partial death when they come back wounded.
There certainly are many things to take action on. Engage in letter writing to oppose the prison, ask for a moratorium for TPS holders, demand a stop to inflammatory twitters that disrupt the national and international peace, demand a review of the new tax laws.
Take your pick and start being active. Just remember, this is our country, our state, our county and our life, so we have to do something about it even if we are getting ready for the holidays.
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