In the past several months, we have seen an influx of young children coming to the United States being met by border patrol agents. Upwards of 52,000 undocumented children have come from the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. These children are fleeing their countries to take a dangerous journey to the United States in order to flee the violent conditions of their countries.
This increase in immigrant children reaching the border has brought up the debate about immigration reform. Is this a call to pass comprehensive immigration reform? Is President Obama doing enough to secure the border?
The truth is that there are two different issues going on here. Of course there are 11 million undocumented Americans who are already in the United States. Many of them have been here for years, brought to this country as children. We should pass comprehensive immigration reform so that our dreamers have access to the rights and privileges that all Americans do.
But this problem is a little bit different. This is more of a refugee situation. The Republicans are describing this as another situation where the “illegals” are sneaking across the border and that it is President Obama’s fault for not securing the border. However, these children are going right up to border security and are essentially turning themselves in. In essence, these children are coming to our doorstep asking for help. Instead of protesting and calling for the immediate deportation of these children, perhaps it would be best to find a more effective and humane solution to this crisis.
Now, the Real Talk…
This is not an immigration problem, this is a humanitarian crisis. These are kids that are escaping violence in their own countries and have come to America for help. I disagree with President Obama and many Republicans for pushing to speed up deportations. If these children are being sent by their parents to the United States to escape the mass violence in their countries, do we really think that it is right to send them back to places that we know are not safe? That is completely immoral and we should be ashamed if this takes place.
We need to make an effort to fix the humanitarian crisis. These kids aren’t coming here to sneak over the border to have access to the American dream, whatever that means to us these days. Therefore, the United States should take some time to assist the countries where these kids are coming from so that when they do return it is much safer than it is now.
It is ironic that the leaders of America, many of them Republican, always feel the need to get involved in issues overseas that do not concern us. They often look to assert American power and influence to control certain areas of the world and certain resources that do not belong to us. How about our leaders decide to use what power and influence they think we have to a great humanitarian cause. How about instead of funding unnecessary wars and conflict in the Middle East, we use some of that money to assist kids who have been sent to us to ask for help. If a child of a neighbor comes over asking for help because there is violence in their home, you don’t tell that kid to go away. You will do whatever you can to help, so that when that kid goes back home he or she is not going back to a dangerous situation. The same logic should apply in this border situation and we should assist these countries so that these kids have a safe home to return to.
With all of the right wing protests of “the illegals” entering our country, we really need to start acting like we all are human beings. We must remember that we are all a nation of immigrants. If you really think about it, we are all illegal immigrants, as this land was occupied by the Native Americans long before Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. Let’s start actually being the caring Americans we pretend to be and help out those in need. This is a humanitarian crisis that can be fixed if we stop making this into another political issue.
New York Times – Obama to Seen Funds to Stem Border Crossings and Speed Deportations
NBC News – Obama on Border Crisis: ‘This Isn’t Theater’
*Credit The Huffington Post and NBC News for the photos.