America’s Response to Child Refugees on the Border is Downright Shameful

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In this Wednesday July 9, 2014 photo, Iraqi refugee children from Mosul stay at a temporary camp for refugees who fled from Mosul and other towns outside Irbil, northern Iraq, nearly a month after Islamic militants took over the country's second largest city. (AP Photo)
In this July 9, 2014 photo, Iraqi refugee children from Mosul stay at a temporary camp for refugees who fled from Mosul and other towns outside Irbil, northern Iraq, nearly a month after Islamic militants took over the country's second largest city. (AP Photo)

Those seething with so much rage and xenophobia that they’d hurl ugly epithets in the faces of children fleeing bloody violence in Central America bring shame to the whole nation. But the response of mainstream America hasn’t been much better.

The media’s characterization of what’s going on at our southern border as a “crisis,” politicians pointing fingers at one another and Washington’s refusal to provide the resources necessary to care for a small wave of refugees — not to mention the bipartisan push to send them back home — is just as shameful when one considers the context.

In June, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that in 2013, the global population of refugees from war and persecution hit 51.2 million — exceeding 50 million for the first time since World War II.

Half of them were children.

The vast majority were “internally displaced persons,” homeless people within their home countries. Many live in fetid refugee camps run by underfunded NGOs, where they face continuing privation and abuse.

There are over ten million refugees in Africa, and five million in Asia. More than six million people have been displaced for years, and in some cases decades. The UN estimates that 6.3 million people have been displaced in Syria alone.

The US has had a hand in this global crisis. According to the UNHCR, Afghanistan accounts for the world’s largest population of refugees; in Iraq, many of the two million people who fled the country after the US-led invasion in 2003 are now returning, despite the fact that many of its 1.7 million internally displaced citizens remain homeless, and more than one million new refugees have fled ISIS, or The Islamic State. Iraq has also absorbed about one million refugees from Syria.

Many countries with nowhere near the wealth or infrastructure of the United States have kept their borders open on humanitarian grounds, including Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. The BBC reported in June that “the UN is concerned that the burden of caring for refugees is increasingly falling on the countries with the least resources. Developing countries are host to 86% of the world’s refugees, with wealthy countries caring for just 14%.”

This immense global tragedy rarely even makes the evening news here. But step back and contrast those grisly statistics with what Americans are casually referring to as a “crisis.”

Of the world’s almost 12 million international refugees (and people living in what the UNHCR calls “refugee-like situations”), less than 400,000  – or three percent — are in Latin America.

Refugees by continent, 2007-2011. (Source: World Bank calculations based on UNHRC data.)

In recent years, 20,000 to 40,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at our Southern border, and nobody paid much attention. This year, that number is projected to exceed 60,000 — an estimated 36 percent of whom have a parent in this country —  and that uptick is causing a national freakout.

It’s anything but a crisis. The US is not only one of the world’s wealthiest countries, we also have one of the lowest population densities in the developed world.

To the degree that there is a crisis on the Southern border, it’s one of our own making: Border Patrol has been overwhelmed by the spike in detainees, especially children, and Congress refuses to devote the modest resources required to care for them in a dignified way. (As economist Dean Baker pointed out, Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to address the spike in refugees — most of which would be spent sending them back to a bloodbath rather than caring for them — represents just one-tenth of 1 percent of the federal budget.)

This is not our finest hour.

Joshua Holland is a senior digital producer for BillMoyers.com. He’s the author of The Fifteen Biggest Lies About the Economy (and Everything Else the Right Doesn’t Want You to Know about Taxes, Jobs and Corporate America) (Wiley: 2010), and host of Politics and Reality Radio. Follow him on Twitter or drop him an email at hollandj [at] moyersmedia [dot] com.
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  • Piobair

    Welcome to Glenbeckistan, where we fund and train the death squads that drag their parents away in the night, gang-rape their economies with NAFTA, carpet-bomb their
    agrarian societies with dirt-cheap government-subsidized surplus Big Ag corn, then terrorize small children and bravely do photo ops with automatic weapons at the border as if it were North Korea.
    Just when I think that I couldn’t possibly be more ashamed of America, somebody steps up to prove me wrong.

  • Erwin Dale Brown

    The governments of the countries that these children should be waiting at the boarder to take all their children home so they can provide for them. The US should pull all aid to any country that doesn’t do the right thing for their own children. The people of America should not have to provide one single penny to facilitate their immediate move back to the countries they came from. Aren’t you tired of getting screwed by these people?

  • Mike_N

    Yes, because it’s dirt-poor refugee children from impoverished or war-torn countries who are really screwing America. Obviously.

  • Madeleine Beauboeuf

    My husband and I are different cultures and foreign perceptions of our country are incredibly
    difficult to clarify. Mexican, south Americans, central Americans,
    central Caribbeans , for the most part want to be here to have what
    most Americans have…..but with an understanding that once you get here
    it will somehow be handed to you without having had to work for
    it……traveling to these places for visits brings you face to face
    with people who will ask you to get them a house or a car or a myriad of
    tools, clothing, jewelry…when the need to allow reality to put the
    brakes on their wishes, anger and disappointment ensue, because we are
    told me do to have money and lots of it, and so they are upset that we
    cannot do it because we don’t like them or don’t want to be nice to
    them. Many times, no amount of explaining brings anything any clearer.
    It is assumed that once they arrive to the US they will be given a
    “catalog” in which they can pick and chose what they want and it will be
    delivered just because they don’t have it yet and they want it and are
    entitled to it because they are now in this country. Children who arrive near death from starvation from Haiti are NEVER allowed to stay and are sent back right away. All these children we see on the news coming from central america do not have red hair and bloated bellies from starvation and the clothing they are wearing do not look like pieces of tattered and torn pieces of fabric like those who come from Haiti. Shame on us is right.

  • KARockhound

    Wait a minute…did you READ the article? I’m continuously amazed by the blatant narcissistic comments of idiots like yourself. I bet you kick starving animals too!

  • Anonymous

    This is precisely the same attitude that was on display in 1939, when we turned away a rusty ship carrying 937 Jewish refugees from Germany, about a quarter of whom would then be murdered in German concentration camps.

    It should go without saying that if their governments had the capacity to protect them, they wouldn’t be refugees begging for sanctuary.

    As for us being “ripped off” by those in Latin America, time to read up on NAFTA, Reagan’s dirty wars and maybe Smedley Butler’s “War Is a Racket.”

  • John Salmeier

    Illegal Immigrant “Children” Include MS-13 Gang Members.

    Mr. Moyes can we release them into YOUR home? Will YOU sponsor these “innocent” MS-13 members in YOUR own home?

  • Anonymous

    They’re as “legal” as you are. Look up the United States Refugee Act of 1980 — ignorance of the law is no excuse.

  • laura

    Glenbeckistan! Perfect! Don’t forget to add to that list of fine ‘Glenbeckistan’ activities;
    1. – ‘provide the funding and planes including cia/special forces training for the formation of the drug cartels (ref: “Narcolandia”) – Iran Contra scandal…Reagan admin.)

    2. – while also providing the best market through the decades for the drug industry built on these counties war/nafta destroyed internal economies (a magnificent narco war mess (of which these children are refugees).

    3. – and to top it off…provide with impunity fine money laundering services (through big banks and American Stock Market) and making a fine profit doing so.

    All of this enters in to this refugee situation. These children should be cared for with kindness…of course.
    ..

  • Anonymous

    Criminal gangs are legal??? What law did you read???

  • Anonymous

    You probably approved of Castro opening his prisons & shipping his criminals to this country back in the 70′s They were running free in the this country doing all sorts of crimes. You & Carter are bleeding hearts.. OK but you approve of gangs invading our borders?? Don’t we have enough of our own… like those killing hundreds of people in Chicago..You want to take the country down.. fine do it without me.

  • Anonymous

    You got it wrong.. the hundreds of billions of dollars the Treasury get are from those wealthy & corporations you refer to..With that money the govt funds food stamps, welfare payment etc.. So thank those folks for their taxes so we can have govt hand outs.

  • Anonymous

    Refugees surrendering themselves on the border aren’t “illegal.” They can apply for asylum. These people are fleeing the gangs — if they aren’t, their asylum petitions will be denied.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t recall having formed a strong opinion about the Mariel boatlift as an 11-year-old. But thanks for playing non-sequitur!

  • Anonymous

    Do you understand that there are indeed gang members coming into this country with the kids.. Carter allowed Castro to send us his criminals … we have seen this play out before. Do you seriously think gang members are going to apply for asylum once they are here??? They will do the the Cuban’s did.. get lost in the country.

  • Anonymous

    I understand that there’s always that possibility. And it’s a justification for not showing compassion to children fleeing brutal violence. But mostly it’s a red herring. Gang members are heavily tattooed and can’t just blend in with 10-year-olds.

    We’re dealing with 1/1000th of the global refugee population. Countries dealing with much more severe refugee flows also need to ascertain that there aren’t bad actors among them. This is doable — it’s done all the time. What makes us so incompetent that we can’t tell a hardened gangster from a terrified refugee kid?

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Mariel, when Cuba intentionally emptied its prisons. And you do know that Jimmy Carter hasn’t been president for 30 years, right?

  • A Ole Grandma

    EXACTLY Lady Avenger. If the writer of this article watched a few imbedded REAL REPORTERS he would find out that these “kids” also work for the cartel’s carrying drugs and also killing people! They have been interviewed while they are working, carrying their issued guns, some that came from America originally to help THEM fight their drug wars. Go figure, the guns get to the cartel “kids” to go and massacre unsuspecting, and get brought back to the USA to be sold back to our street gangs up here. Its spot on that the worse gangs now in the USA are from Honduran and El Salvador, and its not little ole Mexico anymore. Mr. Holland you really need to become familiar with what gangs are where and what Governments and policing agencies are doing something about it and who are NOT.
    If we are giving them some 20 + million a year to help fight the drug wars on their end we could have leveled every forest and everywhere they grow this stuff. But their government says NO, as does the Sand Countries who are number one in opium….NO they say do NOT ruin our drugs as the people will have no income to buy food and care for their famlies. Otherwise the families all work for the cartels and the cartels kept them fed and a roof over their heads. Now do you get that? So our Government is feeding cash to the cartels as the armies are not able to burn out crops on either side of this planet, and they are NOT allowed to go in with the weapons we give them and whatever else they might be able to buy before they give our money to the Cartels. So what can America do cause we as a country are so addicted to their drugs? They have houses and houses in each area doing nothing but making meth? We can get them OUT of our country, keep them out, of all ages, mothers, kids, fathers, grandmothers, etc. If they are smart enough to run a country with a Cartel then they are smart enough to get the Cartel out of there and learn how to manufacture, grow, and take care of themselves. Let their Government worry about it cause Our Government cannot even worry about us anymore. Regardless of what figures Mr. Holland throws up there it remains that the USA is going to be a 3rd world country soon, and even sooner if we are expected to take in every Tom, Dick and Harry who was unfortunately born to the wrong country, where they cannot organize and take down the drug cartels. If we had all of our issues taken care of here, I would be the first one to say, “hey toss South American some yearly money to help pay for some better medical supplies at their hospitals. but until this country and its people are prospering again, we cannot afford to give anything to anyone;

  • Ignatz

    So people think that the appropriate response to a child who is fleeing violence and comes to you for help is to send him back to those who would harm him? People think AMERICA should do that?

    No America that I grew up in would EVER do that. That would be that action of a nation that no decent human being could respect.

    If you REALLY think that’s what we should do – please stop pretending to Christian. You’re a disgrace.

  • Asphalt Angel

    Joshua, I have no idea what the solution is. I really don’t; however, I do agree something has to be done. That being said…
    Many Americans and others who move and tour to Central America, see typical crime however, not necessarily the “bloodbaths.” This “crisis” has been created by the current administration and the Fast and Furious Scandal. Few people mind legal immigration, however, it’s the illegals who are the issue here. And the 1980 law nor the one signed by Bush mean nothing with Obama in the White House. He has told the world over that he doesn’t need congress for anything…he has a pen and a phone and he can do anything. So why doesn’t he??? Because he doesn’t care. He’s holding the American people hostage to get what he wants. This is what happens when someone is placed in a position of power who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
    In addition, these children and “refugees” aren’t walking from Central American and Mexico. They’re getting rides to the border and are being passed through by the Mexican government!! Also, why doesn’t Mexico take them? Using your logic, they aren’t full either. However, Mexico has one of the strictest border policies in the Americas!!! Yet, you don’t castigate them.
    Lastly, we send BILLIONS in monies, food, medical supplies, etc every year to these countries for aid. Yet, they keep pushing for more. Even Christ said give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a life time. We taught them to fish…they’d rather have handouts. Now what?

  • Idontthinkso

    “Crisis” or not, it’s our own doing. What you fail to realize or bother mentioning – what everyone in the media seems to be willfully ignoring – is that this is entirely our CAFTA chickens coming home to roost. We’ve systematically destroyed rural economies in Central America, and forced open the floodgates for race-to-the-bottom apparel industry labor practices. The 800 pound neoliberal American gorilla has given the young people of Central America no other option besides joining gangs or fleeing northward.

  • Idontthinkso

    The history you need to learn from is this: the Carter and Reagan administrations dumped an inordinate amount of military aid into El Salvador in the 70s and 80s to prop up right wing regimes in the face of popular leftist revolt. Without our “aid,” their civil war likely wouldn’t have been nearly as brutal or as prolonged. We also wouldn’t have been forced to take in Salvadoran refugees, who started the MS13 gang in Los Angeles in order to protect the Salvadoran refugee community from the Latino and African American gangs already established. It’s our disastrous foreign policy and trade policy (and yes, drug policy) that’s created this problem in the first place.

  • Idontthinkso

    Taught them to fish? Try: we destroyed their economies.

  • beenthere

    Of course, compassion is the order of the day – but our amnesia since the 1980′s is almost medically miraculous – Lady Avenger’s comments are so right – less than 10 minutes of googling leads to articles detailing our government’s involvement in the very conditions that lead our neighbors to flee! How much better to address the issues of employment, wages, rule of law and violence throughout North and Central America instead of the preposterous notion that all of Central America’s poor can move here! Believe me, refugee status here is simply poverty in a new urban setting – more gangs, more violence, more opportunity for drug involvement. This while those with money will quietly go on with business as usual – in fact, business booming, as it has since the the ’80′s – if you prefer, just watch an old episode of Miami Vice!

  • Anonymous

    I agree… our foreign policy has not always been right.. but on the wrong side. i.e. Batista’s Cuba; Markos Philipines to site 2 cases of us goofing up big time.

  • Anonymous

    Are you serious ???

  • Anonymous

    Dead serious if you understand where the treasury gets its money. This past year it received more tax money than any previous year.. yet we still will have about 550 billion deficit ..Almost 50% of Americans pay no taxes..Allot received tax credits from the treasury. One thing liberals are great at & than is giving away other people’s money.. but as a whole they are far less charitable with their own money. Where do you think govt gets its money???

  • Anonymous

    They get a lot of it from the poppy fields of Afghanistan

  • Pauline Procopy

    it is inhumane the way these children are treated. a lot of blame to pass around, and this country does have room and buildings and facilities not in use anymore to help out. the hate only fuels more hate. it doesn’t seem like such a great country for these children. sad.

  • donna tee

    In that case they can’t be considered as you said “as legal as you are” being that the person to whom you were referring has legal citizenship. Why would you say that?

  • BETTY

    WELL, IF THEY WOULD PAY A LIVING WAGE THEN A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE ON WELFARE.

  • AnnaFrieda

    Really? They stole the land from the natives and when the natives “objected” they were slaughtered and those who managed to survive where shoved onto reservations. Talk about the ultimate wanting free things. And now the descendants of those land-grabbing whites self-righteously drape themselves in the flag and are furious at other people doing the same thing. Namely, showing up uninvited, wanting a better life. Such hypocrites.

  • BETTY

    KARMA. AS AN AMERICAN INDIAN I CAN ONLY SAY THAT, WELL, YOU KNOW.

  • Underdog

    In an economic sense, if you thought of children as resources and not burdens, you would find them home, educate them, and raise them to become valuable american citizens. Compassion and economics don’t actually need to conflict.

  • Skxawng

    You seem to be laboring under the delusion that the average American has something to do with the effects in South America. We don’t. The military-industrial complex does. I’m an American and for 35 years I have voted for individuals that would have reduced the effectiveness of these companies. Don’t go ramming the responsibility for this issue down my throat.

  • Skxawng

    They aren’t surrendering on the border. They are sneaking in and disappearing North.

  • Missy Moo

    Much of the land owned by native tribes had been snatched from other tribes prior to the white man arriving in this country so it wasn’t originally theirs either.

  • Anonymous

    “This “crisis” has been created by the current administration and the Fast and Furious Scandal.”

    No, it really hasn’t.

  • Anonymous

    You’re welcome to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

    “One key difference the recent arrivals are displaying from their predecessors: They’re not bothering to sneak deeper into Texas, opting instead to turn themselves in and allow U.S. policy toward immigrant youth decide their fate, said Chris Cabrera, a McAllen-based Border Patrol agent and vice president of the local chapter of the National Border Patrol Council.”

    “‘We’re seeing record numbers of children coming across,’ he said. ‘We’re dealing with so many of them turning themselves in that it makes it hard for our agents to focus on anything else.’”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/17/children-surge-immigration-texas/10643609/

  • Asphalt Angel

    Yes, it really has. There has always been immigration issues, but nothing like this since WWII, the Potato Famine in Ireland, and creating a new country.

  • Asphalt Angel

    Yes, those gang members do blend in…those tattoos, even American kids have them. That point’s moot. Go take a look in the classrooms and tell me what you see. Those gang members are there…even adults are trying to pass off as students. Go look…tell me YOU can tell the difference.

  • Asphalt Angel

    New questions…where do we draw the line? Just how many do we let in? When do we stop? At what point do U.S. kids get taken care of? Many of these people are coming from Central America, how are they getting through Mexico, a country with a more strict immigration policy than the U.S? Those people aren’t walking! Just how much money needs to be spent? We send billions, we pay billions here for their care and education. Where do we draw the line?

  • Anonymous

    If you want to know why so many Americans are not willing to share their “largess” with thousands of children from Latin America who represent nothing but a financial burden on our system of safety nets, perhaps you should find out how many Americans remain gainfully employed and feel sanguine about their future. I believe in being compassionate, but I think our efforts and our money would be better spent via diplomatic measures with the countries whose citizens are fleeing them. We are not solving any problems by accepting thousands of illegal immigrants–we are putting a Band-aid on it at the expense of everyone.

  • cactusue

    I agree and the backlash as I interpret is that the American public is tired of being manipulated and I feel this was planned to move the immigration bill in favor of amnesty. The Republicans keep asking for funds to control the border and it ends up as football so the Democrats can build their base of voters. This happens money runs out and the Republicans are played as heartless again to control the border with more personnel.

    Yes we need to take care of these people but when do we close the door and help the people in Detroit or the veterans who have put their life on the line. Americans are out of work unfgortunately those seeking safety on the border are low skilled and will rely on public assistance that are strained already. This is not sustainable efforts should be in stabilizing South America and not drain the coffers in the USA. Then being a large block that will work for nothing Americans again are out of work and if I remember as least 21 billion dollars is sent back to Mexico when many are on public assistance and there are many other issues lowering legal immigration levels.

  • Anonymous

    Walk a mile the shoes of Americans who don’t know where their next meal, next paycheck or next job is coming from. Violence, poverty and need flourish in the US. The instinct for self-preservation is not born of hypocrisy.

  • Gregory M Eastman

    Cause keeping them at home to be raped, tortured or killed is much more responsible parenting

  • Terry Elwell

    Essentially this article says America should be ruled by the UN because America is a terrorist nation. Also, we have lots of room & lots of money, so we should take in the WHOLE world. Poppycock—if we did this—it wouldn’t be long before America would be one of the poorest nations. America as helped & freed more nations than any in the history of mankind. Yes–America has made mistakes–hasn’t everybody? Nobody faults kids;however, we are a nation of rules, laws, and borders. These rules, laws, & borders must be fully implemented if we are to stay the ‘United States of America”

  • Anonymous

    Claptrap. What would Jesus say? My favorite Bible School song is: “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

  • Anonymous

    “allowed”? I was in Key West during the Mariel boatlift. Castro’s soldiers forced people with boats to get relatives in Cuba to take whomever the soldiers, at gun point, forced onto their boats. In the first couple of days the refugees on the boats were taken care of by the people of Key West, then the Guv sent in the National Guard, and then Carter sent in the US military and others. You are factually impaired.

  • Anonymous

    Asphalt, please stop fantasizing. Thank-you. Gangs are American creation, too. Crips, Bloods ring a bell?

  • Anonymous

    So babies and children who are grade school age are gang members?

  • Terry Elwell

    Yes Jesus not only “Little Children”, he loved all of man. Enough that he died for their sins. Has absolutely nothing to do with this situation. By the way, let’s send say a 1/2 dozen of these kids to your house for you to take care of.

  • Terry Elwell

    Well….News flash…These are “White” kids. There is NO “Brown” race.

  • Anonymous

    “Essentially this article says America should be ruled by the UN because America is a terrorist nation.” LOL. Awesome reading there.

  • Anonymous

    There’s no “amnesty” in the immigration bill. But that’s off-topic anyway.

  • Anonymous

    A citizen is no more “legal” than someone with a green card or refugee status. Just different papers.

  • Anonymous

    The reality is that immigration declined dramatically during the downturn, but feel free to hold on to your myths.

    This isn’t an immigration story.

  • Anonymous

    “hy have the bordering state law enforcement agencies be complaining about the numbers & crimes associated with them.” Because they don’t have the resources they need. That’s the point — I wrote it was only a “crisis” in the sense that we’re causing it to be a crisis.

  • Terry Elwell

    I can read. I can read quite well in fact. I can also read between the lines also. Tell me—who is going to pay for all this?

  • Anonymous

    “Almost 50% of Americans pay no taxes..”

    One of the most persistent right-wing myths. It’s always surprising to me that anyone could be so gullible as to believe it. It’s so obviously false.

    http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/04/13/fox-and-drudge-sucker-tea-partiers-with-a-big-lie-about-taxes

  • Kim Cocciolillo

    It is a shame they are children….BUT….I wonder if the people that say American’s should be ashamed would like to live in a 3rd world country? There are rules governing the USA, we cannot & should not just allow everyone to enter our country. I am sick of hearing this……….there are so many American children living in poverty, going hungry, what about education????It is harder & harder for Americans to get into college, let alone apply for financial aide. Why because people that did not follow the “rules”, that come into our country improperly, learn pretty fast how to “use” our system, they get, healthcare, welfare, housing, & education. Charity begins at home! Clean up & help Americans that need it. We cannot help everyone, it is impossible!

  • Anonymous

    The best way to help the folks struggling is for more job creation.. Put pay checks in their hands.to build self esteem being self sufficent . As more people are employed supply & demand for labor would positively affect the wage level.

  • Marsa Hightower

    Contact the nearest Catholic Charities. They are doing a wonderful job via their vast network in setting up resources for these children.

  • cactusue
  • Anonymous

    Ft McCoy in Wi had allot of the criminal types warehoused & they were breaking out into society in the area . You obviously were closer to the point of origin.. It was report that Castro sent his convicts to us. The big point Carter sending the National Guard. Obama does not feel that is necessary according to his speech in Texas. At least Carter reacted

  • Anonymous

    When most of our border guards are tending to the “babies & children” the gangs & terrorist have an opening to enter our country.. Sheriffs have complained about this.

  • Anonymous

    We are not causing the “crisis”.. The folks crossing the borders are causing the crisis & it is the Fef gov job to protect our borders..

  • Anonymous

    He read between the lines :-) I love how people do that. SMH

  • Colin Robinson

    I think you’re focusing in the wrong direction. The problem is not immigrants, they are very minor. The problem is in the house passing bills that give a 1/4 trillion in tax cuts to the rich without any provisions to pay for it and absolutely refusing to extend unemployment benefit.
    Try having some basic human empathy and care for the dispossessed as opposed to the uber rich who might have to cut back a bit if they pay tax.

    Although, to be fair, most of them won’t have to cut back, their money goes into offshore accounts. It’s not put back into the economy is it?

  • Brena L Hadjian

    Me too.

  • Anonymous

    I have one other suggestion for all of you damning these kids. The M13 gang in Southern California is partially responsible for this problem. Why don’t some of you trot on out to LA and take that gang on?

  • Anonymous

    Please refer to the Trafficking law that George Bush re-authorized in 2008. That law makes it legal for these kids to seek asylum here.

  • Anonymous

    Hey you hate them so much, despite their right by US law to seek asylum here but damn if you want to go after a responsible party, you can find the gang in LA who helped the Cartels in this effort and maybe you can take them on? Do something useful instead of sitting behind your computer and bitching.

  • Anonymous

    Try reading this Act, it is what allows these kids to come here. Haiti is not included in the Act that George Bush re-authorized in 2008
    William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.

  • donna tee

    Why don’t we then , just give back all Native Americans the land that they deserve? After all we did still the other 50 per cent from them. Seems odd to me that you want to give fully half of the country to Mexico but neglect the fact that the people seeking asylum today are actually NOT Mexican but from Central America. When you decide to grant land rights to Mexico it will become the decision of Mexico what may or may not be done with their land.

  • moderator

    To the community,

    If you cannot make your points without personal attacks, you will be unable to participate in our community and your comments will be deleted.

    Moderator

  • Asphalt Angel

    You’re right. It isn’t. It’s an invasion.

  • Asphalt Angel

    OMG! Gangs have been around for THOUSANDS of years!! Please, put your nose in a history book and pay attention!!

  • Asphalt Angel

    Since we are one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we are often ASKED for help from the world. But tell me, just how solid have their economies been though the decades and centuries?? They weren’t…

  • Janet

    Can you explain to me why it is the responsibility of the rich, self made or inherited, to take care of the rest of us and share their money with us Why do they need to pay such a high percentage for taxes instead of everyone paying the same percentage. Are they now responsible for housing, feeding, medical care, etc for the people coming here illegally, minors included, plus the people who live in the ghettos and everyone on assistance? I can see wanting them to reinvest in our country and I can even understand why they might move money overseas with the ever increasing taxation in this country. I seriously would like to understand how you come to the conclusion that the rich need to pay more…punishing them for becoming rich?

  • Owen Johnson

    Well, you got at least most of that right, although I suspect your talk of “job creation” would be another RW talking point in favor of tax breaks for the rich. Job creation comes with demand for goods and services and that demand comes from people earning and spending money. Employers won’t create jobs, no matter how much corporate welfare they get, unless people are spending what they currently don’t have.

  • David L. Allison

    Thank you Colin. Rational comments are infrequent enough about issues such as this that I felt a quick commendation from at least one person was important.

  • Emmette Coleman

    There is oil in Mexico.
    tinyurl.com/punw9zy

  • Owen Johnson

    I take exception to your claims. I happen to live in Mexico currently and the vast majority of Mexicans are good, honorable and hard-working people, not looking for handouts from anyone. Same with people in South America, where believe it or not, most economies are growing and the people are doing better as time goes on. Countries we used to call “3rd World” are growing middle classes, unlike the USA.

  • Owen Johnson

    Really? Five and ten year old kids are gang members already? You sure they’re not really terrorists from the Middle East, trained in explosives and shoulder fired missiles? Sheesh!

  • Emmette Coleman

    Considering our drug war, I have to agree, or at least partly agree.

  • Owen Johnson

    And let’s be realistic, those gang members in the border states have been there a long time. They don’t cross the border on Monday and commit crimes in the drug trade on Tuesday. It’s an import/export business and that means it takes people on both sides of the border to make it work.

    Absolutely, Joshua, the police don’t have the manpower to combat all the crime in any high-crime areas. Even with jobs being created in the US, public sector jobs have shrunk: police, teachers, firefighters etc. Thanks to the economic collapse and austerity.

  • Emmette Coleman

    I don’t think John was referring to 5 and ten 10 year old children, I think he was referring to 15 and 18 year old “children”.

  • Owen Johnson

    “This is not our finest hour.”
    Understatement of the year? Reading some of the comments here, I see what the “crisis” really is and it has nothing to do with a bunch of kids from Central America.

  • Anonymous

    My Uncle
    Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
    with a laptop. visit their website C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Olga O. Pina

    Why don’t we all read the bill signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008?

  • JonThomas

    Not your finest hour either.

  • JonThomas

    Thank you Owen, summed up in 1 sentence! Well said.

  • Anonymous

    I do not advocate tax breaks for the rich.. Capital investment by the private sector needs to be encouraged so there is job creation.. No all jobs produce products totally consumed in this country.. i.e. Harley Davidson bikes go into overseas markets. I follow your point about the demand side..however the 800 Billion dollar stimulus bill did not prove that approach accurate. I suspect a blend of supply side & demand side might work out best. Corporations, which are owned by enlarge by the citizens via 401c, IRS, & pension funds, as well as individual accounts are over taxed in general.. However there are loop holes for those that are politically contacted. What I’m trying to say is the politicians have messed up the tax system & we need to get people in office to correct it… rather than just talk about it.

  • JonThomas

    LOL… too bad the American Indians didn’t have a border fence at Plymouth Rock!

  • Colin Robinson

    There was a comment made in reply to this which asked me why the rich should pay more in taxes, “punishing them for becoming rich”. It has been deleted for some reason but I will still answer it.

    First off, simple empathy. If you have so much money you can’t spend it all then why allow children to starve? That’s part of being a human being.

    But you don’t have to appeal to a person’s better nature, frankly, if you have to ask the question then you don’t have one.

    By the rich being taxed on their income they frequently choose to invest it to avoid paying tax on it. This goes back into the economy and boosts the economy for all.

    The rich did NOT get rich by just their ‘own hard work’. Without the massive federal and state investment in infrastructure and education there would be no opportunity for the rich to get rich. No matter how much of a business genius you are if there are no roads, no communications, no schools, no hospitals then you’re not going to go very far.

    Without workers no business is going to go very far, this is why the rich should pay tax for education and healthcare. It is in their best interests to have a healthy, educated workforce.

    Plus, of course, the rich such as the Waltons should pay massive taxes to cover the amount the rest of the taxpayers have to pay to make up for the abysmal wages they pay!

    It takes a special kind of soul to declare that someone should be allowed to keep their 100s of billions that they have no use for when they make so much money by paying the people who keep their business running poverty wages.

    I can see wanting them to reinvest in our country and I can even understand why they might move money overseas with the ever increasing taxation in this country.

    It appears that you don’t grasp that money that is reinvested in the country is actually tax free. If a company makes a billion dollars in gross profit and reinvests that billion dollars in a new factory their profit for tax purposes is zero. IOW, they pay no tax.

    So this idea that low tax rates encourage investment is insane.

  • Anonymous

    I guess it’s a free and open discussion.

    From the link: “We’re supposed to support unlimited immigration because we sinned…”

    When one begins with such a blatant strawman, it has to be because one doesn’t have a good argument about the actual issues at hand.

  • Anonymous

    Invaders tend not to be children, and don’t turn themselves into the authorities. See: all invasions throughout history.

  • Anonymous

    How about shame on people who dishonestly claim that the law isn’t being upheld? The issue at hand are swamped immigration courts and detention centers.

  • JonThomas

    I, for one, thank you for taking part in these discussions. It’s refreshing to have such give and take. If I wanted to be spake at, I’d go to the squawk box for my news and non-discourse…

    Since you wrote the article, it’s only proper that you are engaged. Now, if people could only realize that you are a real person, and learn to discuss issues instead of reacting as if they are throwing shoes at the television…

  • Denny Merrigan

    Two words: Elian Gonzalez.

  • Helen Rogers

    Not all of these children have parents. MANY have been murdered and the children are coming here in the hopes of finding other family and safety.

  • donna tee

    The people who launched this exodus of unattended children know exactly what they are doing. Those who patrol the border have to turn their attentions away from the bad guys who wish to creep into the USA so that they might attend to unaccompanied children. This is the genius on the part of the bad guys and trust me…they will succeed. You people who don’t see this are a bit too simple for my taste and this nation will suffer.

  • donna tee

    How is that rational? You don’t even know the conditions for these people. Trust me…..these children are being used as a distraction….and frankly the bad guys will win in end. The images presented here are of children who do not seem to be deprived in any way and frankly they seem as white as any white American.

  • donna tee

    I am for the first time in my life seriously contemplating leaving the Democratic Party. I love this country…I can’t sit back and watch this happen. I am a huge Obama supporter but…this issue is a game-changer for me.

  • Anonymous

    this is so depressing. What an ugly country the U.S. has become.

  • Anonymous

    Sending these children back is tantamount to sending them into the ovens at Auschwitz. Have we not learned anything? ….this article made me weep.

  • Danielle Hensley

    It IS shameless to call another human illegal, and to justify it repeatedly. It IS shameless to attempt to justify hatred, contempt, disdain….where are you on the spectrum? I feel that the U.S. should take responsibility for OUR BS systems of oppression, and the citizens here need to understand that we, and the “illegals” have a common enemy. MNCs.

  • Danielle Hensley

    How is that relevant? They are legally able to seek asylum, regardless of their skin color. Wow. Thank you Colin….one day people will stop conflating inequality with immigration fear, I hope.

  • Danielle Hensley

    Underdog – that is why so many families need a class like I took, resource management…explained insurance, budgeting, credit…things that young adults need to know. Many American families do not even know how to value each other. Kids in broken homes end up broken teenagers, who are considered “hard to handle” …often send to “camps” or “alternate schools” or “the military” I agree that is what SHOULD be done, but it isn’t what happens in practice. I had to teach myself many life skills, and I had a stable roof over my head and community support. “Education” in this country is in shambles…

  • Danielle Hensley

    1950s IRAQ was a beautiful country, with a vibrant middle class. Do some reading; the U.S. is young and ignorant.

  • Danielle Hensley

    So, for those who missed the underlying point…..if YOU are purchasing textiles, clothing, bed sheets….see where they were made. YOU may be funding the next wave of refugees/poverty/”development” in Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Honduras, etc.. Do not purchase goods that were made off the backs of other humans suffering under slave labor practices.

  • Danielle Hensley

    That is as irrelevant as saying African tribes sold each other, so Euro/Anglo slavery was no big deal. So WHAT? SO? This country was not available for the taking, and your racism is showing. It’s okay for white Euro immigrants, who “built the country” (bs – Chinese, etc. slave labor built the country) to come here, but not those brown kids, with their open hands. Offering your hand is a symbol of willingness to join in cooperaton….perhaps we should do the same with these refugees.

  • Anonymous

    like
    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

  • Anonymous

    From the Greatest Generation to the Worst. So much for progress.

  • pennyroyal

    The “Greatest Generation” wasn’t the greatest. That’s a feel good marketing ploy by the MSM (Tom Brokaw made his name on this). And this isn’t the worst generation.
    The Republicans, the hate-and-block-Obama-at-all-costs, close down the government for 2 months, the party of hate, and now Nativism, must be held responsible for their wrong-doing here. Their complete lack of any human decency and integrity is harming this nation. They are truly anti-American in their disdain for the values we as a nation say we hold.

  • pennyroyal

    we are all Ugly Americans now.

  • pennyroyal

    No, you are wrong. These children are so desperate to live, to not be abused, including sexually, to not be murdered, that they will do anything to escape. And it’s the USA and its neglect and bad policies in Central America that we must look at now. This situation didn’t get this bad over night and building walls won’t work.
    Our prime directive as human beings is to protect the young generation. Let’s do it and not fall into the old wrangling arguments and lack of action.

  • Anonymous

    Contact Catholic Charities, they can probably help you or tell you who can. They are working with getting the children settled. If you’re in Arizona, you can probably contact Citizens for a Better Arizona who actively work on immigration issues.

  • niteshade

    So these bad guy’s got together and figured out how to move 40, 000 kids accross our border? You want to see simple find a mirror.

  • Anonymous

    It is necessary to pull children out the river flowing by your town, but it is also necessary to send some people upstream to find out why they children are in the river! We owe it to these children. Did anything we do help put them there?

    The violence in their home countries gets a passing mention, if that. Is it due to drug gangs? Who is creating the demand for drugs? Does U.S drug policy play any role in this?

    The poverty in their home countries is also mentioned. In what ways has and does the U.S. contribute to or alleviate this poverty? How have our foreign policy and trade
    agreements shaped Latin America? What can we do to help create an American Dream that is about all the Americas, not mainly North America.

  • JC

    You might want to pass these questions to the multinational corporations (mostly headquartered here in the U.S.A.) who created low-wage, resource acquisitions in the Americas years ago. It’s no wonder that there is mass poverty, strife, and wanton drug/ gang cartels sprouting up to take advantage of the weak. The U.S. has the demand for drugs. The U.S. bears responsibility for a lot of this situation because Congress passes tax exemptions to corporations who continue to reap profits on the backs of these families in Central America. Think about that the next time you purchase a mango from Safeway or any other large grocery outlet…..
    It’s no wonder they want to escape the oppression and violence in their own countries….our forefathers did the same. We owe them.

  • Anonymous

    Well, if we are as bad as you say we are, why does anyone want to come here at all? Ridiculous answer and you are not providing any real solutions to the plight of these children.

  • Anonymous

    Tom Brokaw made his name long before he wrote that book.

  • BETTY

    MAYBE IMMIGRATION. I, TOO, WOULD LIKE TO HELP.

  • BETTY

    YOU MAY WANT TO START WITH THE IRAN-CONTRA MESS THAT REAGAN WAS INVOLVED IN. THERE YOU WILL FIND THE ANSWER.

  • BETTY

    WELL, PAT. AS AN AMERICAN INDIAN, I COULD SAY THE SAME THING TO YOU. YOU GO BACK FIRST.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say anything about beheadings or cutting people up, although we do have quite a number of serial killers and mass murderers in our midst for which a lot of people make a lot of silly excuses. The trillions spent in Iraq are…spent. My comment relates to the fact that some of us, dear countryman, are completely broke and are frightened about the future.

  • BETTY

    THANK-YOU, SUSAN. TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH.

  • BETTY

    THANK-YOU, COLIN. IT AMAZES ME HOW SO MANY PEOPLE CANNOT GRASP THIS SIMPLE EQUATION.

  • BETTY

    DONNA, I REALLY WISH YOU WOULD EDUCATE YOURSELF A LITTLE BETTER BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING ELSE. IT’S OK NOT TO KNOW SOMETHING BUT IT’S SAD, INDEED, TO NOT FIND THE ANSWER.

  • Joan Harris

    The Catholic Church needs to rethink it’s rejection of birth control…in the meantime we mustn’t turn our backs on the children. I support my Catholic church’s efforts in helping the children.

  • arareruby

    If they stay they are being forced to join the drug gangs. Like in africa when children were kidnapped and forced to become soldiers. Send them back you send them to certain death.

  • HoosierGramps

    More evidence that it’s poor people that share the most.

  • pennyroyal

    He was a second tier newsman, if that’s what you mean.

  • Stephanie Schiffman Marushia

    That’s actually tough because of the HUGE backlog in our immigration courts and the fact that children who can’t contribute to their own advocacy/defense are not entitled to lawyers.

  • Stephanie Schiffman Marushia

    Did you transcribe that directly from Fox “News” or did it take a few repetitions of hearing it there and talk radio so you could regurgitate it? I’d like your source for gang claims.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    You have given much thought to the subject. Unfortunately, our federal government in Congress probably find this too mundane to do any better than use this as an election football, tossing it back and forth without regard to the feelings and welfare of those involved. Congress is mostly only WASPs (white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant) who don’t have internal compass or direction. Their GOD is MONEY, GREED, and POWER. Since these migrants offer nothing to their GOD, they have no concern in the matter. These lives only become throw-aways of no consequence.
    Since the situation in Chicago is a product of this “GOD,” it is worth mentioning, but discussion needs to be addressed in a separate topic area.
    Since these migrants represent a very small fraction of the total population of this country, it seems to make no sense to make an example of them. But, that is what these politicians have chosen to do. If they had their druthers, the GOP would line them up at the border and execute them without regard. Why don’t they handle this situation as they do others — when funding allocated to this task runs out, stop interfering, and let these children continue on their way to find their future. Since Congress is so worried about money, let these children make their own destiny. Do to them as they do to their own citizens — turn your back on them and let them go. After all, how many spies and traitors could there be in their ranks?

  • Anonymous

    What evidence do you have for your claim that these toddlers are responsible for gang violence? Or are you just making this up?

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Vote your conscience in the next elections. Be extremely careful in examining the background and voting habits of your “representatives” in Congress. Speak your feelings to your current politicians. Let them know what you want. NOW is the time to put them on notice about your feelings since the mid-term elections are soon upon you.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Consider the other alternative very carefully. It is NOT the Democratic party that is against assimilating these children into our population. That virtue falls to the GOP who have as their GOD MONEY, GREED, and POWER, none of which is contributed by these migrants. Watch what your current “representatives” in Congress do and let them know your feelings on the matter.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    If you want productive citizens, then we should only allow in those who have a kilo of heroin under their arm because they will become an immediate producer of wealth. Give them a free pass to Washington DC for where those drugs are destined.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Our representatives in Congress could care less about these children just as they don’t care about you. They are only concerned with MONEY, GREED, and POWER. Since neither you or these children will contribute to their GOD, you don’t count. Do you want to count — vote your conscience, but examine it first.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Answer: upcoming mid-term elections where useless politicians are looking for a cause as a plank in their otherwise empty platform.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    That is the myth of Reagan’s “TINKLE-ON” economics still being repeated by the GOP decades after proven wrong. But, not to worry because the GOP is constantly changing the tax code one line at a time to totally eliminate any and all taxes on their income.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    It’s a local bias caused by suppression of the black population who live in job-free, grocery-free, opportunity-free war zones created by politicians who don’t care.

  • Thaddeus Kozubal

    Life is so complicated. Politicians should just handle the situation as they do all others:

    when the funding runs out, turn your back on the problem and let the children find their own way and destiny. That’s what they do to you as a citizen.

  • Nick Danger

    Oh, they are so cute. Send them back, now.

  • Nick Danger

    What a stupid answer. That was in 1983. This is 2014. That is 31 years later. Only idiots go back to 1983 and say today is inevitable. We solve problems today, and this problem is solved by sending the illegals back. NOW.

  • Nick Danger

    I’m a native American too. I was born here. You have no more moral right to be here than I do, so deal with it. We kicked your butts, and you are a loser along with your entire culture. Too bad, buddy.

  • Nick Danger

    Absolutely right, and this new crop of illegals is going to suck up more resources. Billions of dollars, and for what? Nothing. Send them home, NOW.

  • http://trrishp.blogspot.com trrish

    The money for special ed is a completely different fund and it is underfunded just about anywhere. The kids in your school aren’t taking it from him. He wouldn’t be getting it with or without them. -Mom of LD kid

  • EthanAllen1

    “I can also read between the lines also.” – Terry Elwell
    You appear to have a problem with:
    “Take only as directed!”
    Do you also read between the words…..also?
    As Usual,
    EA

  • EthanAllen1

    Well said!!!!
    “Work is love made visible.” – KG
    As Usual,
    EA

  • EthanAllen1

    Well said!!

  • John Michael Hutton

    Those countries are the way they are because of drugs and the market for those drugs in the U.S.

  • John Michael Hutton

    None of those countries you mentioned have been deluged with ILLEGAL MEXICAN ALIENS have they? NOne of these countries take in a fraction of legal immigrants that the United States does each and every year and who in their right minds if they weren’t fleeing death and destruction would ever want to go to those countries in the first place. By the way, aren’t there any other countries between here and there that could take in these children???????

  • John Michael Hutton

    IF the Catholic church used 10% of their wealth, the could feed every starving child in the world for at least 10 years. And yet the cause of all of these kids is unfettered sex and abortion and birth control could help alleviate this problem. But then, who the hell would fight the wars.

  • Joan Harris

    Amen!

  • Sarah

    The US is not the only country they’re fleeing to, and they’re not Mexicans, they’re from Central America.

  • Michael

    History and religious tradition teach us that when we abuse or ignore our neighbors, we invite disaster. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” is not just an ethical recommendation: it is also the conclusion derived from millennia of human suffering and loss.

  • Anonymous

    Immigration and the flight from famine, war, drought and other human crises are time-honored traditions and remedies that go back as far as Joseph and his brethren.
    Intellectually honest economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, admits this unpopular thesis in his _The Age of Uncertainty_. It scores no political points, but it states a fundamental truth about the human condition.
    To remain in geographical territories ravaged by natural and man-made disasters is sheer suicide. Is empathy dead?
    Be well.

  • RUNSWITHWOLVES

    THIS IS FOR DSHBAIRD. THERE IS NO REPLY BUTTON FOR HER. MAYBE WHEN THE WHITES CAME TO THIS COUNTRY THEY DID NOT EXPECT ALL OF THESE THINGS BUT THEY AS HECK WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE INDIANS HELPING THEM OUT.

  • Katie Zelle

    Does anyone know of things individuals can do to help? I used to live in Dallas, where some children are being housed. I keep thinking that were I still there, I would try to volunteer in some way, as surely they need teachers. (I am certified in Texas and bilingual) However, I now live within an easy drive of the Canadian rather than Mexican border and wish there was some way I could make a difference.

  • Steven Michaels

    If we don’t help them we prove our loss of integrity

  • Kimmy

    If these children were white they wouldn’t be treated this way and the USA would be taking them in and none of us would be making a big deal out of this. Children are children, we need to care for them.

  • Kim Cocciolillo

    You are right the problem is not with immigrants. Because immigrants follow the proper protocol to become citizens. One of the many problems the US has is illegal entry into the country. I have more than basic human empathy, but travel through the US & look at the number of children here that are homeless, starving, sick & uneducated through no fault of their own. People want to ignore these children. It is a fact that illegals work under the table, drive without insurance, get free medical & other aid, demand things are written in languages other than English, etc etc etc. Go sneak into another country Italy, Poland, Greece how about Mexico & demand English paperwork & teachers for your children. Yeah, see how that works out for you

  • Colin Robinson

    You’re right, I should have specified ‘illegal immigrants’, I figured that was clear from context.
    The arguments remain the same. The problems caused by illegal immigrants are very, very minor compared to the problems by congress diverting the country’s wealth to the already rich.

    As for the rest of your points, an appallingly low minimum wage, no universal healthcare, (only developed country in the world without one and the US still pays more taxpayers money on healthcare than all the rest), and I find it unbelievable that an illegal can demand anything from the ‘government’ without revealing they are illegal.

    It is my impression that illegals generally live with even poorer social care than american citizens.

  • Kim Cocciolillo

    I know it well……Sec. 212. Interim assistance for children.
    Interim:

    in or for the intervening period; provisional or temporary.
    “an interim arrangement”synonyms:provisional, temporary, pro tem, stopgap, short-term, fill-in, caretaker, acting, transitional, makeshift, improvised, impromptu More
    It does NOT mean forever or get everything for free