I’ve been listening with increasing horror to the reports from the southern U.S. border and wondering who we are as Americans and what we have become as a nation of principled people.
In this politically polarized era when we try to blame some political faction for everything, we can’t admit that some things are NOT initiated inside the U.S. Some things happen outside our political power to control. And when they do, they can affect our country.
This is happening. In Central America, a surge of violence over the last year or so has led thousands of families to fear for the well-being of their children. Those who think they may have an option – those who have family members living and working somewhere in the United States – think they may be able to send those children to America to live with family members here.
There seems to be a lot of effort to cast blame – it was President Obama who said the “Dreamers” would not be deported. It was President Bush who signed the legislation that required unaccompanied minors to have a court hearing before being deported. But in reality, nobody seems focused on the reality –that these are CHILDREN at our borders who are in need of protection and care. And we don’t seem to have a way to deal with that.
A Dallas County, Texas judge has pushed for opening a detention facility and establishing a program to seek foster parents across the country to help these kids. A California county has turned back buses and urged the border patrol to shoot children as they attempt to cross.
I got an email that I will call for lack of a better word, hate mail, that called the influx of children an “Obama-led illegal invasion” of the country and suggested that these children pose a threat to the American way of life.
The American way of life that cannot find compassion for children is incomprehensible to me. The idea that the people who gather to turn back buses filled with vulnerable children and suggest that a Border Patrol that is “truly American” would shoot them as they come across the border is reprehensible to me.
Yes, these kids strain the social services communities of the cities involved, primarily in Texas where social services mean bring your own toilet paper. But this country is bigger and better than Texas or Riverside, California.
Step up, real Americans. These children could well have been your great grandparents. Do the right thing. Stand with the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” And let these “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore” come here.
“Lift your lamp beside the golden door.”
I dare you.