Meantime the “Big Ditch” is alive with teams and scrapers, and the canyon resounds with blasting. It awes me to see how big this scheme is…. The finished section, so far hardly more than a half mile, eighty feet wide at the top, fifty at the bottom. The twelve-foot banks slope back at the “angle of repose,” which means the angle at which dirt and pebbles stop rolling.
– Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
At our Immigrant Sanctuary meeting last night, we heard about the 700-1,000 new arrivals per year in Alameda County, the terrifying situations they are forced to flee in their home countries, deep traumas compounded by their abysmal living conditions now, and the unshakable anxiety with which their days pass. Either because of government restrictions or their own fear of deportation, these immigrants receive no cash aid, food, housing or education. They do have access to medical care, but, unwilling to reveal their illegal status and risk being torn away from their families, they will avoid showing up at a public clinic until illness has progressed to a desperate stage, often beyond treatment. The safety net for them is thin, and in many cases, nonexistent.
The ramped-up detention and deportation aimed at these people by ICE and our Chaos President is based on the perceived threat that they pose to our national security. So ICE is cleared to blast away, and let the rocks fall where they may. Their bosses in Washington are willing to risk the pain and suffering these immigrant families will go through: when the dust clears and the pebbles stop rolling, they say as objectively as a canal engineer, we’ll just see what angle of repose results from all our blasting.
In a way, the President is performing the same operation in Washington DC: the explosive developments in just the past eight days have sent dirt and debris flying in all directions. Not a day goes by without some new, spectacular revelation, and it’s exhausting just to write about them. Suspicious firings, false and contradictory explanations from the White House, mis-directions via the Justice Department, threats of “tapes,” attempts to obstruct justice, and on and on: it awes me to see how big this scheme is. What will be the angle of repose? The news has been jaw-dropping, really. And how ironic is it that those poor immigrants are seen to pose some sort of threat to national security, when, the day after firing the FBI director who is investigating his campaign’s links to Russia, the Chaos President is spilling national secrets to known Russian spies right in the Oval Office?
Excuse me, I dropped my jaw in the other room- be back soon.