“No room at the inn” — U.S. policies provoke immigration but refuses to accommodate the victims

The Christmas story highlights a young family — Joseph and Mary who was 9 months pregnant — who were forced by the oppressive undemocratic government that ruled over them to travel to a distant place.  But there was “no room at the inn,” so they had no choice but to stay in a stable, where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

This iconic story of gross injustice keeps playing out nowadays with different characters and new ironies.

For many decades the U.S. has supported brutal right-wing governments (sometimes overthrowing democracies in order to install those oppressive regimes) in Latin America and elsewhere in the world.  U.S. presidents and Congresses have lavishly funded their extremely brutal military and police forces.  Sometimes the U.S. has funded their “death squads.”  Reagan’s CIA even created and funded the “Contras,” terrorist gangs that tried to violently overthrow Nicaragua’s government.  The CIA even created a manual teaching the “Contras” how to assassinate local officials.

For many decades U.S. businesses have exploited other countries to extract their natural resources and hurt local environments — and they have supported extremely wealthy plantation owners at the expense of small farmers — and they have violently attacked workers who wanted to organize labor unions.  Many people have had to flee their home countries in order to escape violence caused by the U.S. government and businesses.

The U.S.’s fossil fuel companies and our inefficient transportation system have caused horrible disruptions to the earth’s climate and caused droughts, floods, and other problems, so many small farmers can no longer earn livings.  Many have had to flee because of climate disruption.

But when the victims of U.S. policies try to immigrate to the U.S., our government — including powerful politicians in both of the two big parties — uses cruelty to prevent them from coming here.  International law guarantees people’s right to seek asylum if they are in danger, but the U.S. violates international law in denying asylum.  Most recently Trump and Biden have both violated international law.  Both parties in Congress are complicit too.  The U.S. government tells these refugees there is “no room in the inn.”

Trump spent four years cruelly oppressing immigrants.  Biden continued some of Trump’s policies.  Recently Biden has escalated them.  Biden has even been building more of Trump’s Wall.

Top officials in Biden’s administration have admitted that their war in Ukraine is intended to weaken Russia.  In order to get Congress’s Republicans to fund his war in Ukraine, Biden and other high-ranking Democrats are offering to revive more of Trump’s cruelty to immigrants as part of the funding package for more war.


I’m writing this on Christmas Day, 2023.  In mid-January our government will pay lip service to Martin Luther King, Jr., who — in April 1967 — denounced the U.S. government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”  King identified the three worst evils:  war, racism, poverty.  The U.S. government has been promoting all three for a very long time.  Regardless of who is President — and regardless of which party controls the House or the Senate — the U.S. lavishly funds more war and refuses to end poverty.  Racism is embedded in both of those two evils.

We must organize a strategically savvy nonviolent grassroots movement to solve the problems — and to make sure that immigrants will have room at the inn.


















About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at https://parallaxperspectives.org He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093 glen@parallaxperspectives.org