The Refugee Crisis on the U.S. Southern Border (or Illegal Immigration, Parts 2 and 3)

So, by now you’ve all heard about it, seen it on the news or read about it on another website: tens of thousands of middle school and high school age children wading across the U. S. southern border illegally.  Also young mothers with toddlers are crossing the Rio Grande into south Texas.  Border Patrol isn’t allowed to send them back.  Immigration officials are overwhelmed.  So, these children are being housed on Air, Naval and Army Bases and young mothers with babes in arms are being bussed to Arizona, to San Diego and set free.

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What happens to them on the way from their country of origin to the border?  Are they fed? Do they get enough water?  Do they get to take a bath?  We don’t know.  How do they get from their country of origin to the U.S. border?  Several reports indicate that one route involves stowing away on a train controlled by violent Mexican gang MS-13.  Other reports indicate that these children, many of them innocent before their journey toward the U.S., are guided through Mexico by Los Zetas, the Gulf Cartel and other criminal enterprises. And there are reports of various kinds of abuse being visited upon these innocent children while they make their way from their country of origin to the USA.

Overwhelmed Border Patrol and Immigration centers in southern Texas are now busing the teens and mothers to Arizona and other places to be released on the their own, sometimes without being seen by a doctor.  And some of them have lice or malaria or other diseases that have been eradicated in the U.S. by  vaccinations and good hygiene.  No one on the receiving end is being notified, so Churches and civic clubs are gathering at the bus stations with food, water, clothes and trying to help these young mothers with toddlers.  These are compassionate people doing what Americans do, solving the problem in front of them, helping others.

But let me tell you about the children who are entering the country without parents.  They’re being warehoused in large rooms, going days without showers. Because the facilities available are overwhelmed.  And why are there reports of Border and Immigration agents being denied to take their phones into these holding areas?  Why are there reports of news media and Congressmen being told to stay away?  Is there something there that someone doesn’t want the U. S. public to know? Do they also want to keep it from the parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and other Latin American countries who have sent or are planning to send their children to the U.S.?

If we as generous Americans wanted to help all the impoverished orphan children of Latin America, maybe we could.  There are plenty of couples in the U.S. who can’t have children who would gladly adopt… as long as the health records check out.  There are plenty of middle class and upper class families who would adopt a child in addition to their own biological children.  There are adoption agencies who bring children legally from Asia and Pacific nations, surely there are adoption agencies who could bring children from Latin America.  Or what about child sponsorship charities (like Worldvision) who provide food and clothing to poor children?  There’s a system out there.  We could care for these children legally in their countries of origin or bring them here legally.

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But for some reason, these children and young mothers, by the thousands, they’re hiking through Mexico to the U. S.  Why?  We’re told that it’s gang violence and poverty in their countries of origin.  Poor, violent countries in Latin America have been that way for decades.  Belize, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, they’re making a go of it.  Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and other countries have been impoverished and violent for decades.  So why now? Why are they coming now?

Reports indicate that newspapers and television broadcasts in Guatemala and other Latin American countries are encouraging parents to send their tweens and teens, encouraging mothers to bring their toddlers and babies.  Okay, but again, why?

Could it be because the Establishment Republicans, in the person of the outgoing House Majority Leader, said we would not turn away children? Could it be because the leadership in the Department of Homeland Security has directed the Border Patrol to stop turning these people away?   I know people who work with the Border Patrol.  This isn’t something that started at some local office in Cincinnati, Ohio. Or in smalltown, Texas.

Maybe the outgoing House Majority Leader meant children who were brought here by their parents years ago.  But in Latin America, it’s being interpreted as, “Send your kids.  Send them now.”  I mean it must be interpreted that way, because that’s what’s happening.  And it also must be that someone higher up in DHS has tied the hands of the Border Patrol from doing their job.

The most humane course of action is to prevent these innocents from being trafficked thru Mexico by criminal gangs who may abuse them.  How could we do that?  The same way we stopped the influx from Brazil in the early part of the last decade:  Send them back to the country of origin when they get here.  If they know the door is closed at this end, parents will not take the desperate measure of sending their kids with criminals.

Secretary Jeh Johnson, you can fix this.  With a stroke of the pen, you can allow your brave Border Patrol Agents and your courageous Immigration Agents to do the jobs they hired on to do.  They weren’t hired to be baby-sitters, or elementary school teachers.  They were hired to secure the Borders of the U.S.  Let them do their jobs, Mr. Secretary.   We could bus all the children back to their parents and grandparents in their countries of origin almost as easily as we bus them to AZ and for a lot less expense and trouble than housing children in military barracks.  If we send them back to where they came from, they will stop coming here. I said it before, I’m saying it again.  Fix this Mr. Secretary.

Part 1 on Immigration is under the label Politics on my main page.

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If you’re new to my blog, please check out some of my other posts.

If you or your parents or grandparents were immigrants, or you know immigrants, sound off in the comments.

Views and opinions expressed in these writings are my own, unless attributed or documented to someone else, and either way are not necessarily those of my employers.

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