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View Diary: Republicans give up on immigration reform, Latinos (96 comments)

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  •  On this issue, I think he's done all he can... (11+ / 0-)

    I am certainly critical of Obama on many issues, and I grant you that immigration reform is not a top priority for me. I do believe we need reform, though, and the President and most congressional Democrats have made clear their desire to get something done. And just like it would be unproductive and impractical to deport the millions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants who have settled here, I also think it's unproductive and impractical to not address the enforcement aspect of immigration reform. We can't allow everyone who wants to settle here to do so, and the lax enforcement of companies that knowingly hire undocumented aliens creates a bad incentive where it becomes seen as easier to come in illegally than to do it the right, legal way.

    So, without Congress, he is doing what he can, via executive action, to create a more humane policy for those who have settled and lived here without trouble, while also addressing the flow of new undocumented immigrants.

    What else can he do?

    •  Accelerating the deportation of children (10+ / 0-)

      doesn't sound like creating a more humane policy.

      Marx was an optimist.

      by psnyder on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 12:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's not what he is doing (10+ / 0-)

        He is accelerating the re-introduction of children that are at the border caught in the act of trying to enter the country illegally back to their homes of origin.

        That it his job, TO EXECUTE THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES.  And when children or adults are caught at the border, they are returned to the countries of origin.

        •  He needs to NOT send them back to possible deat... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nmjardine, suzq, cybersaur, mchristi314

          He needs to NOT send them back to possible death and find them a place here, period! Most have family here that can take them and that needs to be done now.

          •  He can not legally do that. (0+ / 0-)

            They are caught by border patrol.  They must be returned.  I understand their families are here, but the laws of the land are clear.

            I'm sorry but that is the reality.  Otherwise, ALL undocumented workers could say they have families here, where would that reason stop?

            •  The laws of the land are clear? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nmjardine, mchristi314, ladybug53

              Yes, I suppose they are. But the law does not say that someone who crosses without papers is automatically deported.  It has never said that.

              Under the law that set up the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, unaccompanied children must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.  DHHS holds them until they are: (1) returned home; (2) released to relatives here, usually with a charging document and a court date; (3) found to be victims of abuse or neglect at immediate risk and placed in the foster care system - a tiny minority of kids.

              Under the law, those who can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution have the right to seek asylum.  By UNHCR's own admission, there are a number of Central American kids who do fit that description.

              The laws have not substantively changed since 2004, and neither has the Administration's response.  What has changed is that the conditions in Central America have become much worse, pushing more kids northward.  

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 02:18:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And the problem is? (0+ / 0-)

              Seriously, what would be the problem with that? Why should we be upholding a law that has inhumane results? It's not true that everyone who is caught by the border patrol must be returned. Why shouldn't we, for example, interpret reasons for granting asylum as broadly and liberally as possible?

          •  If the President does what you are suggesting, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nmjardine, KayCeSF, artmartin

            more children will be risking being abused or even raped as they leave their parents in many cases and make that death defying trip to the U.S.

            Before they even reach the United States, children face extreme hazards while traveling across Mexico and trying to cross the border. Smugglers often rob, abuse and abandon them; girls are sometimes raped. But more divided families are calculating that the risk is worth it. Once the children reach the border, some parents are instructing them to surrender to once-feared U.S. Border Patrol agents as soon as they can.
            Then when they arrive, if their extended family refuse to take them in, what then? Will they then live on the streets? Some of these families will experience added burdens when these children arrive.
            Even when long-separated families are successfully united, they often face daunting adjustment problems. There are stepfathers and younger siblings whom the newly arrived teenagers have never met. There are language barriers and old feelings of anger, jealousy and abandonment. There are crowded apartments and long workdays that offer little chance for special attention. And often, there are the added tensions and uncertainty of the parents being illegal.
            Your notion of the President going down to the border with these children's extended relatives and saying "Come let me reunite you with your family," sounds great but is that realistic? Would he be able to provide subsidies or financial help for some of these family members to care for these children?

            A problem currently facing the U.S. government is how to correctly house the kids when they arrive in holding locations, and I think the President is seeking funding to do just that. But he and everyone who care for these children should, as the President has done, dissuade families in the nations of their origin from sending them on such a dangerous adventure.

            I don't think you have thought this out....

            •  I agree. We cannot allow it to become acceptable.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NedSparks

              We have to make clear that we're not going to allow parents in Central America to send their kids, undocumented and unaccompanied, to the US. In the best case scenario, we are talking about relatives who can support the kids financially and safely. In those cases, the right way for that to happen would be via foreign adoption. If it's a family, and they meet the criteria for asylum, they should apply and have it granted to them.

              The unofficial, illegal way means kids are being placed into the custody of human traffickers, affiliated with incredibly dangerous criminal organizations. Not only does this allow those awful groups to profit from the misery of others, there is a huge potential for abuse, and I certainly imagine some of those kids will be diverted into prostitution or indentured servitude. How exactly does a parent stuck in Honduras or El Salvador ensure their child's safety or prevent such scenarios? The hell are the parents going to do if it does happen? Take on the cartels?

              We need CIR badly, and the President and most Democrats have made clear they're ready to make it happen. Until then, the President can't/shouldn't just let this type of immigration slide. I believe he's doing the best he can here.

          •  Reunite them with their family (0+ / 0-)

            and send them all back.

      •  What do you suggest we do with those kids? (6+ / 0-)

        Serious question...

        •  Place them with family members in the US. He wo... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nmjardine, suzq, mchristi314

          Place them with family members in the US. He would be a hero if he would personally go down to the border and have pictures of him taken of him personally picking up one of those kids and placing it in the arms of his or her mom, aunt, cousin or whomever they could find to raise the child here.

          A hero!! This are kids and the American people will not just stand still and watch tens of thousands of kids thrown out to go to violence.

          •  The people who would take these kids in... (4+ / 0-)

            How do we know they're fit to take them in? What happens the first time a child is placed into a home, and the kid ends up being abused?

            We just cannot and should not allow people to send their kids up here, unaccompanied. It's completely unacceptable and dangerous. Not to mention it supports the human trafficking activities of organized criminal gangs.

            If these kids have family members willing to take them in, why not go through the formal adoption process instead of just sending them up through the border, undocumented, and dealing with coyotes and other criminal gangs?

            •  Do you know how much money it would (0+ / 0-)

              cost an undocumented family to go through the formal adoption process??? They are here already, so do you advocate sending them back?  All tens of thousands of them?  Do you have any idea how mad that will make people to see that?

              •  It makes me plenty mad to see parents... (0+ / 0-)

                Sending their children to some coyote to deliver them to the United States. They can't afford the adoption process, but they'd be able to support a child? Without the safety net that they can't get access to, or minimum wage and other labor laws that don't apply to them because of their undocumented status?

                Yes, I advocate sending unaccompanied children found at the border back to their parents. Just like I supported Elian Gonzalez being re-patriated back to Cuba.

                •  It's not about adoption (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  nmjardine, mchristi314

                  In most cases, the parents are here - the kids were in El Salvador with guardians.  The parents don't need to adopt the kids, but they have exactly zero chance of seeing them again unless and until CIR is passed.

                  It's not a question of adoption.  That's essentially irrelevant in this situation.

                  “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

                  by ivorybill on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 02:20:24 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'd say that if the parents are already here... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ivorybill

                    And they've established roots and have followed the law, then their kids should be re-united, and the family allowed to stay via executive action, pending CIR that gives them a process to stay. If they haven't laid down roots, or have committed violent or serious crimes, I think they should probably be deported.

                    I was thinking of situations where the kids are sent by their parents via coyotes or other human traffickers, to hopefully get taken in by other relatives. In those cases, I generally think that if the kids are detained at the border or while crossing, they should be sent back to their parents in their home country. I just can't see allowing that type of thing to become normal or accepted.

              •  How much more affordable is it? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                artmartin

                To pay a coyote to get your kid to the U.S. than for a formal adoption? I'm not being snarky, I just don't know how much a formal, foreign adoption costs.

                I do know people who have come via coyotes through Mexico. One woman I met in Guatemala told me it cost her friend $5000 USD to go from Guatemala City, through to the U.S. side of the border. My ex girlfriend came illegally with her parents from Sonora, Mexico. I believe it cost around $2000 a person. This was back in the 80's.

        •  Do what we have been doing: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nmjardine, Phoenix Woman, ladybug53

          (1)  Screen, interview, assess and make a "best interests of the child" determination.  In many cases, that means going back to Honduras or El Salvador.  In others, that means being released to relatives here.

          (2)  Provide the kid with an attorney.  No child should be in immigration court without an attorney.

          (3) Children who demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution, or serious abuse or neglect, are eligible for immigration relief under the Refugee Act and for Special Immigrant Juvenile Visas.  

          Families are sending their kids now for a number of reasons.  First, the gang violence is worse - note that the kids coming north are coming from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - and not from Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia or Venezuela, all of which are safer at the moment.  There is a connection between violence and kids moving north.

          Second, parents have given up on comprehensive immigration reform.  Parents have been waiting more than 8 years since CIR was introduced into the senate, and nothing is happening.  Many, many parents think "if I don't get my kid up here now, they will spend their entire childhood without me".  The very failure of CIR is what is sparking this unregulated, undocumented flow.

          Finally, undocumented parents won't go to the courts to "adopt" their kids, because they can't bring them up here legally even if they could adopt them... and anyway, they are their kids so they don't need to adopt them.  They are here, have built a life, and are forced to be apart from their kids in some cases for their entire childhood.  It is civil disobedience born of desperation.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:30:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is why we can not re-unite ALL these (0+ / 0-)
            because they can't bring them up here legally
            kids with their parents.  

            We need to definitely do the enumerated items above but in the end, we as a country can not allow all those undocumented children into this country.  That would be openly violating immigration laws..

            •  But we don't let them all in (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nmjardine, Phoenix Woman, ladybug53

              The kids still go to immigration court.  In many cases, they are deported.  

              What we cannot do is to take a teenager from Guatemala, turn him around at the border, and hand him over to the tender mercies of the Zetas, or corrupt Mexican officials.  You can't just turn teenagers around and force them across the border without review or some legal process, which is what the restrictionists and the GOP want us to do.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 01:54:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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