Monday, October 4, 2010
People With No Names - The Undocumented #23
On Sept. 29th I heard from a dear friend, who along with her husband and 4 children, is an immigrant in the U.K. On the surface you might wonder what this has to do with the American immigration "problem". Turns out, this suspicion and mistrust of "outsiders" is a timeless and worldwide phenomenon. My friend and her family are gainfully employed, fully involved and integrated in their village and only wish to do good in their adopted homeland. But this universal suspicion and penalizing of outsiders persists in the face of the obvious goodwill of specific people. People move around the globe, impelled by various social, intellectual and economic circumstances...and the native born instinctively re-act to repel "foreign invaders". It occurred to me that we are socially recapitulating what our physical bodies are programmed to do. Our bodies are programmed to 'reject' anything that is not immediately recognized as belonging to them. In fact, the term for the is "foreign bodies". The physical response to a foreign body is: 1) alert the body that a foreign agent is present, 2) surround it with white cells (at this point it often gets ugly and festers), and 3) expel/reject it.