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The humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied minors from Central America arriving at our Southwest border has brought out the worst in some of our politicians.

The amount of double-speak coming from fork-tongued conservatives on this issue is sickening. It wraps faux-concern around unwavering, and even emboldened, anti-immigrant, border-militarization rhetoric.

So begins this terrific column in today's New York Times.

Blow sets up what he wants to offer by quoting a by-now well known exchange between Sean Hannity and Ted Cruz that is patently inaccurate and for a man supposedly as bright as Cruz stunning in its dishonesty, the one where Cruz while acknowledging the humanitartian nature of the crisis says

This is the direct consequence of President Obama’s lawlessness.
Blow responds with the necessary context, one Cruz surely knows, that the 2012 Executive Order to which he refers, that allows Dream Act eligible students to be taken out of the deportation process and granted work permits, was not amnesty, as then Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano made clear, but rather a redirection of resources that are limited to higher priority cases.   Here I might add that one reason those resources are limited has  been the obstinacy of House and some Senate Republicans in providing the resources necessary, at least in part because they want a political issue.

But there is more of importance in this column.

The issue is unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

The President is, according to Blow, in taking this action enforcing a law passed by the Congress and signed by George W. Bush that was meant to protect children from human trafficking.  Republicans like Cruz want to argue that by doing this the Obama administration is encouraging the sending of these children from Central America.

Blow responds bluntly:

But one can’t call the president and his administration lawless on the one hand, then blame them for proper law enforcement on the other.
Congress of course can "fix" the problem they created, but as Blow points out  
To follow that line of reasoning, one must also accept the premise that the whole of a law designed to protect children arriving alone from dangerous parts of the world is not noble and humane. I reject that logic.
How are we supposed to hold our heads high on humanitarian issues if, in our haste for a fix and our fixation on deterrence, we return even a few children to a place where their lives are in danger?The children are primarily coming from three nations:  Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The projected number of such arrivals for the Federal Fiscal Year ending September 30 is 90,000, an increase of 20,000 over the previous year.  In a nation of over 300 million that is a miniscule number, although it does place strains on border communities.  It is one well within the capability of the United States to address.

Those children coming from Guatemala do so primarily for economic reasons, coming as they do from poor rural areas.  The source of this statement is a survey done for Homeland Security by Pew.  By contrast, Salvadoran and Honduran children come from "extremely violent regions" so that whatever the perceived risks of traveling to the US they are seen as less than the dangers of staying home.  Blow points out that the biggest source is certain urban areas of Honduras, a nation he describes as "the murder capital of the world" (and links you to a source for that statement.

Blow points out that if the reason for the surge were the appeal of amnesty we would be seeing children from all of Central America, especially Mexico, but we are not.

I am of Eastern European Jewish background.  Some of my family migrated to the United States to get away from pogroms.  Some of my schoolmates growing up were descended from young people who traveled alone if there were even one relative or acquaintance in the US in order to escape being drafted in the army of Czarist Russia.  Other came because they could not get educations in Eastern Europe because of their religious heritage.  Those Jewish parents wanted safety and a better life for their children.

Perhaps that predisposes me towards the parents sending their children.

Last night my wife and I had a conversation about the effort by Dallas County to find homes for some of these children.  I am 68, she is 57 and a cancer survivor, and neither of us speaks Spanish.  We would almost certainly be rejected, and the hours we work would probably make us an unsuitable home for younger children.  But we were move enough to consider it even though we reluctantly decided not to explore it.

Perhaps that is why the ending of Blow's column spoke so powerfully to me when I read it this morning.  I wish I could quote the final five paragraphs.  Blow powerfully lays out
the Hobson's choice between the dangers of remaining at home and those of traveling, entrusted to a "coyote":

There are no easy answers for them and their families, no safe happy places where childhood innocence is protected.
He argues that we should treat this children, following the instructions of their parents, doing as they are told, with compassion.  These children dream of a better tomorrow.
They dream as any child dreams — of happiness and horrors.

And their parents are no doubt like any parents, forced to make the most wrenching of decisions, sometimes about whether to leave a child in a never-ending hell or have them risk a hellish journey to a better place.

No parent makes such a choice lightly.

Read Blow's column.

Pass it on.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

    by teacherken on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 04:18:19 AM PDT

  •  I was really looking forward to link to Bush (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, atdnext

    and this law so I could show it to the CONS I know........

    Furthermore, they basically argue that because the administration is enforcing the law, one signed by President George W. Bush

  •  This is typical GOP screetching (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, atdnext, Gooserock, Silencio, veatchdd

    The President's Inept.  He's a Dictator.  He's not a good politician.  He's able to steal any election he wants.  He causes all these problems because of laws he enforces.  He causes all these problems because he doesn't enforce any laws.

    An incoherent mob has more purpose than the current GOP and their "complaints" about the President.

    •  Their Purposeless Won Them the Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and a nearly Democrat proof House, and has made passing progressive policy nationally and in 30 states almost impossible.

      Don't confuse unreasonable argumentation with unreasonable thinking. They're better at figuring out electoral strategy in one off year than we've done over the last 40.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 05:54:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Ken. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, teacherken, northerntier

    I am gonna promote my little diary from yesterday on how...
    You can help immigrant children right now.
    (also please rec so it can be back up) or at least (click this diary folks)

  •  It's horrifying to see people treat... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexMex, northerntier, Silencio

    Children like garbage in need of disposal. It's so revolting to witness. And it's sorrowful to think that our political scene has become this distorted.

    And don't get me started on the G-O-TEA hypocrites who are screaming at the President now (when they failed to even allow comprehensive immigration reform onto the House floor)...

  •  And in a similar vein, from Dallas Morning News: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, teacherken, jfromga

    Obama’s immigration problem is also Perry’s, and Cornyn’s, and McCain’s
    By Tod Robberson / Editorial Writer
    10:58 am on July 9, 2014

    The roar of indignant Republican outrage from the likes of Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. John McCain of Arizona makes it sound as if the current flood of illegal immigration is all President Barack Obama’s fault. The fact is, it’s everyone’s fault in both parties and in both houses of Congress.

    Everyone wants results — now. But, amazingly, you can’t demand immediate results to fix a problem that both parties, especially the Republicans, have allowed to grow and fester for years without adequate attention. The fact is, President George W. Bush pressed hard for comprehensive immigration reform back in 2007, but his own party blocked his efforts. Obama has pressed again and again for reform, but the GOP blocked him. Heck, the House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, lost his seat in large part because he was mistakenly portrayed by the tea party as being “soft” on immigration.

    Robberson calls out each of the three and gives quotes showing their hypocrisy and pointing the finger at the GOP's lack of action, previously and now, on immigration.  Read it all.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 06:00:27 AM PDT

  •  Teacherken, you don't have to speak (0+ / 0-)

    Spanish! Also, most of the child immigrants have a parent with them, so if you take in the  parent then that would solve your other issue of 'unsuitable home for younger children'.

    Many people talk of helping those less fortunate but find excuses. I know you are not one of those people.

    Please keep us updated on your efforts!

    •  several issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      they are seeking places only for unaccompanied  children

      we could put up and care for one child.  We have neither the space nor the resources to take on more

      we are at this point more likely to simply make a financial contribution to help the effort.  We discussed it again and decided with our current employment it would not make sense for us to take on a child even were we approved, which for reasons noted we would expect would not happen

      "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

      by teacherken on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 07:11:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Didn't mean to make you walk back (0+ / 0-)

        your offer.

        I'm sorry to hear that.

        •  you didn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          we discussed what it would mean and came to the realization that even were we acceptable we were not sure we could provide the time with the child/adolescent to make it worth.

          Which is unfortunate because we live in a school district (Arlington VA) with a superb school system which is prepared to handle English language learners.  We have a Contitutional Officer (Commissioner of Revenue) and a County Board member who are themselves immigrants, the first from Guyana and the 2nd from someplace in Central America (drawing a blank right now) and a State Delegate whose father was born in Venezuela.  We know all of the - hell, I know all of those who are elected from all or part of Arlington County - and know we would have their support in doing this, and as a former employee of the COunty Government I know where to turn for resources.

          But I will be leaving the house at 5:00 in the morning to go to my new teaching job come fall, and am likely to be gone for 12 hours.  My wife is scheduled for four ten hour days a week, when her energy allows her.  How would we get a child to school?  Who would be there when s/he returns home?

          Were I retired we would definitely make the attempt.  So don't worry, your words had no impact upon our decision.

          "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

          by teacherken on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:21:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I just watched a less (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional, lordcopper

      fortunate mother who spoke before Paul Ryan's committee.

      She was articulate, married, with three children and has to be dependent on food stamps even though both she and her husband are working  She is not an immigrant. She is an American citizen of African decent.

      I read or hear so many agreeing that immigrants be allowed to enter and remain in this country because their parents or fore-parents were also immigrants.

      Yet ,these very immigrants once they came to this land of the free , killed, maimed , wrote and enforced housing restrictions, union restrictions, job restrictions, on a population of people who were already in this country long before their arrival, but , who never benefited from their free labor  building this country, that all these other immigrants took  freely while denying these peoples access.

      This is the blatant hypocrisy and callousness that is so reprehensible.

      Those who are invading the USA for economic reasons, if there are parents with children, process them and send them back home. For children without parents , take care of them, locate relatives and send them back to their parents.

      For those who are fleeing the same violence that so many are experiencing here in the good ole USA, take care of the children, but, cut off foreign aid or impose sanctions until the leaders of those countries do their job and take care of their own people, like we need to be doing in this country.


  •  In my social media circles... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...a handful of TEActivists are asserting that POTUS is paying human traffickers to round up children and young mothers to flood the border. They differ as to the ultimate objective. No one is asserting we should be shooting them on sight...yet.

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 07:12:16 AM PDT

  •  Apparently the right wing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    misinterpreted Jesus in the Bible when he said "suffer the children...".

    Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

    by kenwards on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 07:22:16 AM PDT

  •  How about the Crisis of Children Across Town (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional, lordcopper

    Don't know about your county, but mine has had a list of children it's trying to place for decades.  They've long had a web site with photos and stories and for some reason these kids never get 15 minutes of fame or crocodile tears.  They're usually too old to look cuddly and often come with the various side effects of child abuse and neglect.  

    We do not need to import abused children.  They are already here, they were born here, and it would be helpful to your county for you to give them a home first so they'd have room to take others.  

    Because when it comes to returning kids to where they are in danger, you're county is doing it every day.

    •  Apparently the offer was just talk anyway. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      See above.

      •  again, you misread (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan, IT Professional, jfromga

        we decided we cannot personally provide the situation and time necessary, but we are contributing out of our somewhat limited financial resources to help -  resources limited because we are already partially picking up expenses for a family member and also for a friend in a situation of personal crisis.  Otherwise we would be far more generous.

        "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman

        by teacherken on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:23:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and so the truth is (0+ / 0-)

      we don't have enough charity in our hearts for children in this country, and to prove it, we need to oppose charity for children in other countries.

      Seems to me a backwards position,  meet a lack of compassion with less compassion.  That will force everyone to realize we have the resources to do both, we just choose to squander them on the rich, and wars, and giveaways to big corporations who have bought their congresspersons.

      An unrighted wrong is not a reason to deny righteous behavior to others.  If you buy into the idea that we can only help some, our kind of some, then you buy the right wing position.

  •  Thanks Ken nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 08:03:37 AM PDT

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