Agree to Disagree

Is it possible?

I’m not sure. After engaging in an online discussion about healthcare and undocumented immigrants, I’m left feeling…


Not just because of dissenting opinions. I’m used to that. But the way in which people communicate with each other. And the fact that a more peaceful future seems so far away.

On my part, I understand my friend’s initial point. She believes that American citizens should have affordable or subsidized healthcare options over undocumented immigrants. And cites her own story, during a time when she could not afford insurance.

However, the conversation in the comments section took a dirty turn away from the concept of America taking care of it’s citizens first. Instead, becoming a dumping ground of justifications for the why it should be that way. Not simply because Americans are all deserving of accessible healthcare. Which I can agree with. But focused more on the deceitful nature of the undocumented immigrants being granted Medicaid. Illegal law breakers who ostensibly do not deserve good until other people have better.

How quickly we get from A to B to C.

Citizenship is not an easy process. As an Asian adoptee, who now lives in Ecuador, I know that it can take years for someone in the United States to dot their i’s and cross their t’s. In that time, laws and policies can change. Money can run out. Time and resources grow thin. In the blink of an eye, what brought you here could be rescinded.


It is certainly legal. But is it right. When it displaces hundreds of thousands of people with the swish of a signature.

My hope was that somewhere along the line, people would be able to see the logic in that. That immigration reform is necessary, in as much as health care reform is. And that getting angry at people, criminalizing them solely because of their legal status, is really damaging to the fabric of our existence.

That you can have your opinion on the system. And stop.

Go no further.

It’s like saying I like blue socks more than red. More power to you. But let’s not delve into why red is so inherently deficient or wrong, perpetuating hate for red socks that is largely based on sock color alone. Let’s focus on liking blue socks. And in that, realize that maybe both blue socks and red socks have their fair share of troubles. Not because of red socks. But because of the sock company.

Because our history is filled with hate based on sock color. Not to mention administrations that used legislation as a means of justifying discriminatory behavior. The mass genocide of Native Americans. Slavery. Chinese railroad workers. Internment camps.

Yes, legal. But I think we can all agree that it doesn’t make it right.

Today we face a resurgence of white nationalism – an identity that before today, would have been shameful to admit to. Walls. Muslim bans. And the everyday oppression of black people, who can’t go to a park, swim at a pool, walk down the street, without having the cops called on them by someone who assumes they’re up to no good.

It’s sick.

And all the more important that we admonish stereotypes that marginalize and reduce an entire class of disadvantaged people to less than human by way of institutionalized racism. Because laws are variable and at the whim of a system that has failed us in the past. A system that has made atrocities against mankind completely legal once before. And will again if we let it.

So yes, I see you and your point. I agree change is needed. That America has a lot of problems that need to be fixed. That priority when it comes to benefits should be given to citizens.

But what happens when things don’t go exactly as hoped?

And therein lies the rub. When two people can see the same point. Agree on it. But be diametrically opposed to the thought processes and convictions surrounding it.

Are undocumented immigrants good people or bad people?

Because that’s really what the question became.

One side who firmly believes that they are bad. Each and every one of them. Because they have broken the law. They don’t pay taxes. And they are taking what’s not theirs to begin with. Another side that says good. And sees their nuanced existence as equal to their own. One that celebrates their success, despite failures that may still be in other areas. And does not blame them or feel anger towards them because of it.

The world we live in will never be fair. But until we can move past the whole us versus them mentality. We’re all fucking doomed.

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