If today’s demonstration in Verona is any indication, the movement to ban migrant children from communities across the nation does not enjoy broad support. A report that such children were being administered at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Detention Center brought an immediate effort to organize a local protest for today.
But one story in Verona was that the counter-demonstration brought out just as many people who support following the laws regarding the processing of migrant children. Another story is that both groups got along without incident mostly by ignoring each other. They marched to the protest site, the highway 612 I-81 overpass, on opposite sides of the west bound lane. At the bridge, they kept their integrity, left and right of center.
Local tea party leader Dr. Edward Long claimed no role in organizing today’s protest when contacted by the local newspaper. However, if t-shirt slogans and bumper stickers are any indication, the protesters share most of the tea party attitudes and political perceptions. Virginia Organizing member Barbara Lee indicated that group was involved in the counter-demonstration.
The press was there. The interviews were the normal shallow questions about the questions of the day. One interview with a woman who said she legally immigrated from Canada demonstrated a typical personal anecdotal depth of knowledge that is so lazily generalized. Her chief complaint seemed to stem from the requirement for her to have gone through a laborious and costly process to immigrate that migrants were managing to avoid. How quickly she has adapted the conservative attitude Lowell mentioned at the end of his piece about Senator Warren just yesterday. But the fact is that migrants who enter without application stand to face a much more laborious and costly experience with far less chance of success.
The other subject in which the protesters seem completely steeped is the human trafficking aspect of the issue. However, it seemed they were mixing and matching trafficking and transportation together so that it made more sense to them. Scratching the surface of any aspect of the current migrant situation does neither side of the debate any favors.
What should be apparent to all sides of this issue is that our current immigration system is antiquated and ineffective. They should be at their Congressional Representative’s office demanding immigration reform, not grandstanding on a bridge shouting into the wind. And there won’t be any progress at all if both sides continue to ignore each other.