At the US-Mexico Border: Children at the Border are Refugees, Not Criminals

Photo courtesy of Mr TGT at Flickr.com

Photo courtesy of Mr TGT at Flickr.com

 

I got an email with this statement from CredoAction.com about the developing illegal immigration crisis at the US-Mexican border:

There’s a growing humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border as tens of thousands of children flee gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador and brave a dangerous border crossing in search of safety.

The Obama administration requested $3.7 billion from Congress to apprehend, care for and remove unaccompanied minors. At the announcement, a White House official even told reporters that the administration plans to work with Congress to speed up the deportation of these children.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Joe Garcia recently returned from a bipartisan visit to the Rio Grande Valley. They talked to refugees and border officials alike and concluded “many thousands of these children are bona fide refugees fleeing dangerous situations. They are deserving of protection under international and domestic law.”

In a statement released by Reps. Lofgren, Jackson Lee, and Garcia, they noted:

“Countless children – even toddlers – are currently being held in holding cells in Border Patrol stations that were never designed to care for them. We saw one 3-year old child who had been held for 12 days…”

The United Nations is increasing pressure on the United States to accept more of the children currently ineligible for asylum by pushing for many of them to be treated as “refugees displaced by armed conflict.” This is a complicated situation that will take plenty of both resources and patience in order to be sorted out. What’s not needed is for Republicans to use their usual “There’s not enough money in the budget” excuse to deny funding for important human services, nor do we need their usual xenophobia. Their thinly veiled contempt for immigrants (legal or illegal) from non-European nations too often gets in the way of common-sense solutions to immigration reform.

Whether they like it or not, America is the land of immigrants. The days of a mostly white America are slowly coming to a close. If you truly love America, you love it no matter what it looks like or how it changes.

Make your voice and your values heard by signing this petition: Tell President Obama and Sec. Johnson that child refugees deserve humane treatment with appropriate legal protections, not deportation.

For more information, go to:

Lawmakers deplore conditions at humanitarian border crisis,” Representative Zoe Lofgren, July 3, 2014

Obama Requests $3.7 Billion To Deal With Border Crisis,” Huffington Post, July 8, 2014

UN Enters Immigration Debate, Pushes For Fleeing Central Americans To Be Treated As Refugees,” Huffington Post, July 8, 2014

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7 thoughts on “At the US-Mexico Border: Children at the Border are Refugees, Not Criminals

  1. I feel exactly the same way. Those unfortunate kids are refugees. This is, first and foremost, a humanitarian issue.

    Last year, when hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fled into Jordan and Turkey, those nations accepted them. In comparison, America seems far less compassionate. Once, we stood proudly atop the moral high ground. Not any more.

    • The Obama admin. should be ashamed that we haven’t treated refugees the way Jordan and Turkey have, especially since I’m sure we have more resources than they do.

  2. parents shouldn’t be abandoning their children period. this is tramatic for the poor kids, and all nations are a land of immigration, people have been moving from place to place for thousands of years, the difference is the immigrants came as a family and supported themselves and obeyed the laws of the land they resided in. they did not abandon their family members onto other people who have no responsibility to care for them anymore then if some one came to your or my door and dropped off a kid, they deserve to go to jail or a least be forced to take responsibility for the child they bore and take them back. I have sympathy for the kids I really do but we cannot be taking other peoples’ kids it is not fair to the kid or those forced to pay for their care and not fair to people who act responsible who do what it right in caring for their own family and lives. who are thus forced to pay for these kids.

    • Just like refugees from so many other places, the home countries where they come from (in this case, Latin America) are violent and chaotic, so I wouldn’t expect that families would necessarily come in an orderly fashion. They are practically running for their lives. I’m not surprised that children come by themselves, either. Who knows why the parents don’t come, too- maybe the parents aren’t able to make it. Either way, the humane thing to do is give these people proper shelter until a more permanent solution is found. We can’t just ship them back like luggage- they are human beings who deserve compassion. This country has the resources to handle this.

      • yes they are, but are you willing to house some of them? because the gov has no money for this. they can print up more money but that comes out of your money, you will be paying for it. are you willing to pay for it yourself in terms of lower value of your money, reduced purchasing power and increased prices at the supermarket? so if your serious about your beliefs will you offer your home, offer some money or volunteer to help them.?are you willing to put your money and time where your mouth is? not trying to attack you there this is just a reality check. you cannot always help someone else if it is beyond your ability or resources and sometimes you have to tell a hungry person no. it sucks,I agree I wish I had the resources to help every person that needs it but I cannot, you have to prioritize. you have to be realistic. glad you care I really do but your not in touch with reality of the situation. you forget it is the government of those countries they are fleeing that has to bear a big part of the responsibility for the situation and they should be bearing the costs don’t you think? have them send money and resources to care fo these people. it would be fair don’t you think?

  3. roberta4949, if you are really so in touch with reality then you must realize that this mess was created by our government’s foreign policy toward Latin America. The U.S. has destabilized Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and the list goes on. It is us (our government) that has created this situation. WE are responsible for undermining these countries and now you say we have no money to correct the problem we created?

    We seem to have enough money to bomb every Tom, Dick, and Harry but not enough money to do the right thing for a change!

    “You have to prioritize”, roberta4949 and HELP people rather than murder them as we keep doing all over the world.

    • I completely agree with tubularsock on this. Conservatives always claim that we don’t have money for things they don’t care about, including the humane treatment of our fellow human beings. When it comes to war and Wall Street, there’s more than enough. It’s not about there not being enough money, it’s how this country budgets money. And by the way, if the rich were paying their fair share of taxes, we’d have even more money.

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