GAME DEVELOPER Alex Schwartz’s justification for creating Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration — to illustrate the difficulties of navigating immigration laws — is woefully inadequate (“Immigration game hits wrong note with advocates,’’ Business, Feb. 8). Although he is correct that our broken immigration system prevents most intending immigrants from being able to enter the United States legally, his attempt at satire cruelly mocks a vulnerable population that faces extortion, theft, rape, murder, torture, assault, and other dangers as it crosses the border.
Women, children, torture survivors, and other asylum seekers are among those who cross into this country every day, and many of them have valid claims to residency in the United States. Having escaped from persecution, war, natural disasters, and other humanitarian crises, many people have no other option but to seek residency here. The alternative for them is frequently death.
Schwartz’s trivialization of their border-crossing experiences brings to mind Mahatma Gandhi’s oft-quoted observation that “a nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.’’ I doubt he would find the inclusion of desperate and suffering people in a video game sequence to be a meritorious indicator of US strength and magnanimity.
The writer is director of the asylum program for Physicians for Human Rights.