To gain perspective on the humanitarian crisis at the border, put yourself in the shoes of a child refugee.
What if my son were a child refugee? How bad would life have to be to send him to another country with only his mother? Or even worse, as his mother is pretty damn resourceful, on his own? With strangers?
Amongst all the posturing regarding the mess at the U.S. Border, the actual human factor of the crisis is lost in the shuffle. In order to gain a new perspective on it, you need to imagine yourself in the shoes of the refugees.
The majority of the migrants are women and children. They are desperate, scared, penniless, and exhausted. They are seeking asylum from the lands they are fleeing. They need help. Instead, they are facing demonstrations of hatred.
A preening conservative talk show host accompanies the Governor of Texas on a border patrol. They pose next to a heavy machine gun after multiple criticisms of the President’s “photo ops.” They are trying to catch exhausted and frightened children with a heavy machine gun. Insanity.
Cliven Bundy had a militia come running, as well as that same conservative talk show host, when the Federal Government tried to stop him from taking advantage of them. Members of that militia went on to kill two police officers. Now they aim to patrol the border, and protect it from exhausted and frightened children. Insanity.
Meanwhile in Detroit, Americans are protesting having their water shut off. They are getting detained en masse. Where is the militia to protect them?
Bundy’s racism is long exposed. The type of people who supported him are filled with hatred. They won’t help the people of Detroit, but they will hunt refugee children at the border. And neither group of people resembles them. Coincidence? No. Those screaming about deportation, and how we should refuse to help refugees may not all be racists and bigots, but the racists and bigots are the ones supporting this cause more than anyone. Period.
Then you have Sarah Palin clamoring for Obama’s impeachment over the border crisis. Disregarding Palin’s irrelevance, let’s show how badly she has misunderstood what she advocates. Again.
Look into the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Then go check out the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. See who was President when the law was passed? Not Obama. Who then reauthorized and voted for it?
The 2008 law, which passed both chambers of Congress by unanimous consent and was signed into law by President George W. Bush, dictates exactly how children caught crossing the border without their parents must be treated.
“For children coming from ‘contiguous countries’ (that’s Mexico and Canada) a Border Patrol officer has the authority to determine whether the child is eligible to stay in the country. Because the child can be directly and safely handed over to officials from his or her home country, the process can move very quickly.
But for children from all other countries, any repatriation to their home country involves a plane flight and more preparation. The law dictates that after being caught, the child must be turned over within 72 hours to the Department of Health and Human Services to care for them and find them safe housing.
HHS is also urged to find them legal counsel and child advocates who can explain the process of applying for asylum or identifying other ways to stay in the country.”
In other words, Obama is following the letter of the law to a “T.” And for those who say the President isn’t doing enough to secure the borders, how were all these people detained in the first place? Never mind the record number of deportations under this current administration.
Sarah Palin is not just wrong, she is blatantly misrepresenting history, reality, and the law of the land. Insanity.
It’s no secret I am an immigrant to the USA. I’ve written about my experiences, and I’m no stranger to discrimination. If an English-speaking white man like me, applying from a privileged position at that, is facing scorn because I’m an immigrant, then I can’t even imagine how tough others have had it. These refugees, already terrified, have got to be out of their minds with fear after that awful hate rally waiting for them in Murrieta.
Our son is the light of our life. He makes my wife sing. He makes me do silly dances. We both live for his laughter. As I’ve written before, he has changed everything. We can barely watch the news, for all the horrors it broadcasts. Children killed. Children abandoned. And now, child refugees.
Republicans, backed by a bigoted conservative base, are railing against Obama and using this humanitarian crisis as a weapon, just like they did with Benghazi. Oh, right, remember Benghazi? All that noise the GOP made about it? They aren’t talking about it anymore. Why? Because they were wrong.
Conservatives tried to stand on the backs of four dead Americans in order to score political points against the President. Now they are using refugees, many of whom are just children, to do the same thing. Once again, a minority of hateful bigots looks to represent the nation.
How many more clues do the rest of us need to tune out the GOP? They just don’t stop being wrong. They just don’t stop being awful. They don’t want to spend money on resolving this issue because they are spending money on, drum roll, investigating Benghazi! Again! Insanity.
This after wasting Billions of dollars, let’s say that again, BILLIONS, on a government shutdown and repeated fruitless repeal attempts of the Affordable Care Act. Which is working, by the way, despite all of their lies. Conservative priorities are, to say the least, a twisted mess. Tune them out.
In the meantime, regarding the refugees at our borders fleeing violence and murder, look to those who are trying to help them. Those are the people we need to focus on. Those are the stories we need to hear.
Imagine that’s your son, your daughter. They are children, and they need our help. If we turn these refugees away, we can never say the USA is the greatest country in the world. Ever again. And even worse, America will be denying the soul of it’s foundation.
Don’t believe me? Check the Statue of Liberty.
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus