By: Kevin Chiucchini

This Thursday, Armstrong had the pleasure of having his comrade and co-host Kevin Q join him live in our nation’s capital after braving the cold front in New York City. For the first hour of the show, we were joined by RJ Hauman, Director of Government Relations with F.A.I.R. (Federation for American Immigration Reform). We were later joined by Maya Franklin, Biomedical Communications Manager at the American Red Cross, who reminded us the importance of blood donating, especially the winter blood shortage.

With a government shutdown looming and with Donald Trump’s miscommunication with his chief of staff, John Kelly, about the proposed “border wall”, many Americans are left scratching their head wondering where do we go from here? Mr. Hauman gave a very fair argument about his organization’s position on controlling levels of legal immigration, while stopping illegal immigration in the future by improving border security and through more thorough background checks. Mr. Hauman stood by the claim that a border wall was an effective deterrent to border crossing, although some of the callers felt it was more symbolic that effective. Kevin was concerned about the President’s stubbornness on the wall issue and questioned whether the wall was for economic or criminal reasons.

For the most part, many of the people that choose to break the law by entering this country illegally do so for economic opportunities. There was a polarized and passionate reaction from the listeners and callers about the issue of immigration, and specifically how it affects the African-American community. The biggest reaction came from the continued use by the guests and some callers of the word illegal aliens. Many callers felt that the term “illegal aliens” was derogatory term for “brown people”, although Army and Q were quick to remind them that immigration, both legal and illegal comes from many different ethnicities and nationalities, not just the Latin-American community. Alien simply means foreign and is used on legal documents as well. Allowing a group to prohibit people from saying a word because a small minority feels it is derogatory seems more dangerous than allowing the word to be said freely.

Regardless of how you feel, it’s the American way to accept people of any race, creed, or color on the condition that they’re willing to pledge allegiance to our country, respect their local, state and federal laws and pay the required amount of taxes. It becomes a moral dilemma and can be quite disturbing when children and young adults are taken from their homes because of their immigration status, regardless if they had a choice in moving or even being born here. Many of the people that stay here come by work and student visas. They may then go on to become illegal by overstaying or not returning to their home country. Once again, we come to the debate of total amnesty, partial amnesty or increased raids. Only this time much more is at stake. We must try and have faith in our congressional representatives and senators that we can find a better solution than a government shutdown. In the words of some old wise man, “No man is fit to command until he’s first learned to command himself”.