There is a knock on your door and you open it to discover a 7 year old child alone, cold, hungry and in shock. What do you do? Do you slam the door?...tell her to go away?...sic your dog on her?...call the National Guard? Or do you invite her in and wrap her in a blanket, give her some food and drink? Do you make her feel safe while trying to figure out where she came from? You do call the police and social services in the hope they can find her family and knowing she will be kept warm and protected. Questions about how she got to your door and why she is alone and where she came from would all be secondary to meeting her immediate needs. Right?
It’s baffling to me how a humanitarian crisis has morphed into an existential threat to our nation's security, and yet it is what is happening since thousands of unaccompanied minor children began washing up on the shores of this great country seeking asylum. The rhetoric and hyperbole from regressives borders on the maniacal. One Texas congressman likens the children to an invading army while invoking images of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day and calls on the state's governor to use all force, including warships, to stem this human tide. Another southern member of Congress claims the children are carrying the Ebola virus and could cause an American pandemic. Regressive talk radio talks in dystopian terms of the end of all our borders and the collapse of American culture if these children are not stopped and force used to deter any future attempts to enter this nation. Our infrastructure and institutions are on the verge of imploding due to this children's crusade.
Huh? These flights of fancy and fact-less frenzy would be the stuff of great satire were it not for the serious crisis occurring and the fact some Americans are buying into this nightmare scenario. The conspiracy theories are flying fast and furious. These children are coming here at President Obama's behest to become a new voting block for the Democratic Party. (considering the average age is about 9-11, those elections they will tilt Obama's way would appear to be quite a few years hence) This human tidal wave is a result of a 2012 law signed by Obama slowing the deportation of some children by this nation. (in reality it is a 2008 law signed by George W. Bush which mandates that undocumented children be protected and placed with any family which can be found in this country) This crisis is a result of borders which are not secure and they are not secure because Obama wants more and more new immigrants to bolster his political power. (under this president, the budget for the Border Patrol has increased dramatically to its highest level ever and there are more border patrol agents now than at any time in history and the numbers continues to climb) There is even talk by the likes of Sarah Palin and others that this is an impeachable offense because Obama is deliberately undermining the strength and security of the nation by encouraging or ignoring all these children at our border.
When the real facts are examined, the reason for this mass movement of children is readily apparent. The highest percentage of children are coming from nations like Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. These also happen to be the most violent and unstable nations in Central America. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says Honduras has the highest murder rate in the entire world. Crime and mayhem from drug gangs and criminal wars, along with crushing poverty, has trapped these children and their families in the middle of it all. (as proof look at a nation like Nicaragua which has a low homicide rate and rate of violence...very few of the children appearing at our borders are from there or from other more stable and less violent nations in the area)
Texas governor Rick Perry wants to put the National Guard (with fixed bayonet's?) on the Texas border. Under questioning on Fox News of all places, Perry had to admit the Guard could not arrest anyone or hold these children and it was unlikely they were going to shoot them (right?) so what good would they do? Perry said they could scare the kids and send a message back to their homes so no more will venture forth. I'm sorry? These unaccompanied minors, some as young as three years old, have trekked over thousands of miles of mountains and deserts, against all odds, to escape abuse and violence, but the sight of some soldiers is going to frighten them enough to get them to turn back or not to leave in the first place?
The U.S. has facilities to handle about 8,000 children and families at any given time. There are not enough camps and bases and old prisons to hold them all right now. There are not enough medical personnel to evaluate them for illness and disease and not enough food and beds. Obama is asking for billions to remedy this, but regressives say it's too much money and are refusing to pass his request. (Perry, along with El Rushbo have shouted about a looming health crisis because these children haven't been vaccinated against things like measles and chicken pox. Ironically, because of free health care, the children from Guatemala are more likely to be vaccinated than children in Texas)
Perhaps the most disturbing image among all the news footage, more disturbing than shoeless, hungry, emaciated children begging for help while some of their companions lie dead on the desert floor, is the picture of crowds of angry white Americans attacking buses carrying the children, screaming at them and refusing to allow them to be sheltered in their communities. (this is happening all over the nation from California to Michigan) What is it they are so angry about? What threat do these children represent? Who have they offended by risking their lives to escape violence, abuse and poverty?
All of these children need to be kept safe, warm, fed and clothed. They then need to be evaluated to see if they have family in this country and why they fled and what dangers they would face if repatriated back to their homes. It is not going to be quick or clean but it is the right moral choice to make in a "Christian" nation.
The "invasion" of these children shows the real moral fault lines in this nation and again they fall along racial and economic concerns. These are the same racial and economic concerns which created the No Nothing Party, the Klan, the Chinese Exclusion Acts, Japanese internment camps and the signs saying" no Irish need apply". Lady Liberty carries a torch to light the way for those children. Who among you wants to snuff that out?