I am typically not what I would consider a political person, I am more human interest, and usually if a news item captures my interest it is because I feel things are being handled in an unjust manner. As I contemplate an issue that concerns children, I have to wonder am I cold hearted and cruel or realistic?
What I am referring to is the issue that has been making the news about all the undocumented children from El Salvador, Guatemala, the Honduras and Central America being brought into this country as refugees. While I can feel compassion for the fact that these children are coming from a bad situation, I also feel it is inappropriate to take in children from other countries when we have children in our own country who are living in poverty, hungry, and growing up in areas where gangs and violence prevail and the quality of education is lacking. Why can we provide federal funding to support another country’s children before we have used that funding to provide for our own American born children?
There are approximately 30,300 children that have been placed with sponsors in the United States since January 2014. That number does not include the status of approximately 2,500 children from Central America being housed on U.S. Military facilities in several states, and the Defense Department has agreed to house an additional 5,000 at other facilities. The undocumented children that are being brought into this country are going to be classified as refugees and the procedure as an “humanitarian crisis.” Why can’t the legislators recognize that we have children and adults in our own country that deserve such treatment and to provide them with the equivalent services would help to rise them out of their situation would be a humanitarian gesture?
What am I referring to? Although these children are being dispersed throughout the country, their care is being financed by the Federal government. The children range in age from six (6) years old to seventeen (17) years old and will be provided with educational classes and the cost of their medical care will be covered by a federal health care program. I guess it is supposed to make the American citizens feel better because their individual states aren’t paying for it, but in reality it is our Federal tax dollars at work providing care to members of a foreign country.
Each undocumented person that is brought into this country must have an immigration hearing, but when will that be? As of this month there are approximately 375,000 cases before the immigration courts. With such a backlog already in existence it is possible that in places such as California immigrant children could wait three years or more for their hearing, and the situation is likely to become worse. Immigration lawyers and judges are said to be setting hearings for 2017.
What does this mean? Thousands of immigrant children are being brought into this country to protect them from a life of poverty and violence, with our own government providing them with not only an education and medical care, but our tax money is paying for the court staff, judges, court recorders, and attorneys are handling cases on a pro bono basis to represent these children.
Please let me make one clarifying point, I have no objection to people who immigrate into this country in a legal manner, and many of those who do so are very well educated, productive, members of our society. What I have an issue with is providing financial aid and services to those from another country before we make sure that our own American born citizens are taken care of.
What is your opinion? Am I cold hearted and cruel not to want to take in thousands of children? Am I being realistic in thinking that we should take care of our own American children and families before we take on those from another country? I would love to hear the thoughts of many on this subject.