The surge of children overwhelming our border patrols from Central America is also challenging our capacity as good, noble and generous Americans. At the very least, it is showing how deep the scarcity mentality of many Americans really is.
Dallas, when County Judge Clay Jenkins said that Dallas County could take at least 2000 refugees, the cry and vicious attacks on the response pages of the Dallas Morning News would have made you think that we lived in another time and another place. There are those who are simply 'sick' of there tax dollars going to take care of someone else's kids. Others, mindful, or unmindful of the dangers these children face if shipped back home, call cruelly for them to be put on buses and sent back to where they belong. Other, more venal, racists talk about the diseases they spread asking will our children catch them too.
Alan Bean's post is enlightening. It reminded me of something Jesus said: Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. (Luke 6:38)
I do not suggest any easy answer posed by the 'inconvenience' of these children. I just simply believe that while we figure out what ever solution is to be had, we do the most honorable thing and take care of them. American's are no leaner than they have been in the past. We have no less luxury than we have had. In other countries when war breaks out and refugees flee to neighboring borders, America not only implores the host nation to take them, we fly over by military transport, food and medicine. We do not call them, as do some of the critics of these children have, 'criminals'.
I'm not ashamed to be an American. I'm ashamed of being numbered with some of these people who call themselves Americans...
Here is an excerpt of Bean's post. Read the complete version here.
"...the sheer number of children, many of them girls under thirteen, has simply overwhelmed the immigration infrastructure. So the youngsters from Central America are now being warehoused in grossly overcrowded shelters. It can take a year to schedule an immigration hearing, and that was before the amazing uptick in child immigration from Central America began in earnest this past October."
"The Obama administration is looking for ways to override the compassionate regulations passed in simpler times. The president wants to ensure that children who qualify as legitimate refugees are allowed to remain in the country; but how do we make that call without incurring additional delays? Providing more immigration judges is a Band-aid solution at best."
"Republican critics blame the child migration on the president’s decision to allow undocumented Americans who came to the United States as children to remain in the country. Obama’s executive order doesn’t apply to the children from Central America, of course, but do the folks in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador know that? Maybe not."
"Others see the current crisis as a bi-product of mass deportation. With Obama earning a reputation as the deporter-in-chief, it is argued, the coyotes who make their living shepherding undocumented people across the border have lost a large percentage of their Mexican clientele, and have gone looking for clients in Latin America."
"Most observers agree that the rise of violent gangs is a major factor driving the exodus of children from Central America. A quick glance at international “intentional homicide” ratestells you everything you have to know about this phenomenon."
"In the United States, 4.8 people per 100,000 population are murdered in an average year. That’s high. Really high. In Canada, the figure is 1.6 per 100,000. In the United Kingdom it is 1.0. For decades, criminologists have been asking why the American homicide rate is between four and six times higher than most Western democracies and the majority of third-world countries."
"An intentional homicide rate of 4.8 may be shockingly high by conventional standards, but in Guatemala the rate is 39.9, in El Salvador it’s 41.2 and in Honduras, the most violent nation on the face of the earth, it’s a jaw-dropping 90.4; almost 20 times the American rate."
"It doesn’t help that, throughout the 20th century, American foreign policy in Central America has been firmly on the side of oligarchs and death squads (many of whom were trained on American soil). Decades of political upheaval and brutal civil war have left these countries with little stability. With the worldwide recession of 2008, the three nations that are sending us their “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, descended into chaos and armed gangs have filled the void."
"Consider what would make you send your ten year-old daughter on a dangerous trek across Central America and Mexico knowing that physical and sexual assault would likely be part of the ordeal? Only a desperate family pressed to the utter brink would make that kind of decision."
"In other words, every unaccompanied child languishing in American detention shelters qualifies as a refugee, no matter how the definition is drawn."
"Hillary Clinton thinks we should send these kids back to their countries of origin. Apparently, Ms. Clinton is far more concerned about becoming president than she is about the children. She is clearly pandering to public opinion, assuming that normal voters like you and me won’t cut these kids any slack. This might not apply to Latino voters who often identify with these children; but since the Republican Party seems hell-bent on alienating the Latino electorate, Clinton believes she will eventually be forgiven."
"Are we as heartless as Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton seem to believe...?"