Our southern border is in chaos. There are thousands of unaccompanied children coming into the US from Mexico but most of these children are from Central American countries. While we can surely point fingers (politicians on both sides have a hand in it) there are some realities we must face. Illegal or not, they are here. Many arrived dehydrated, hungry, and dirty while some have lice and contagious diseases. Whether you believe they should stay or be deported, it is best to make sure they are fed, given water, and allowed to bathe and be treated for medical conditions. This is a compassionate response from a compassionate nation. Then comes another challenge, what next? Some of these children have relatives living in the US and those families can be contacted and the proper proceedings can be started to get the children visas to stay. For those without family it will most likely be deportation back to their home country. Right now one of the problems with this situation is that our government is being quite secretive. Our own congressional members are being turned away by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as if they are regular citizens. DHS should remember that is must answer to Congress. These children are not coming here to be put in concentration camps.
The next issue is housing. The facilities at the border are inadequate to keep such a large number of people so what do you do with them? Our government has decided to not only take them to military bases but will bus them around the country far away from the border. This plan has been met with resistance. One town did not want an abandoned college to house these illegal aliens so the idea was scrapped. There was even a report that there was a resort that was thought to be closed but was found to be booked. In a community near San Diego there was a protest against the bussing of the illegals that people blocked the street and the buses had to turn back. Many blame the situation on a law signed by then President George W. Bush that granted special protections to unaccompanied minors from countries other than Canada and Mexico, but President Obama’s executive order to enforce the “Dream Act” without it passing Congress has added more fuel to this fire. Representatives in Washington are trying to overturn that law so it would be easier to deport these children. Democrats in the Senate are resisting this move and blaming the influx on Republicans not passing immigration reform. The recent crisis is not just something that happened it is actually the culmination of years of patches but no real fixes. The other thing we must ask, if the Executive Branch will not enforce current law, can we trust it to enforce a new one?
Since the enactment of the first immigration plan in the 1970’s the goal has been to secure the border but time after time the politicians have failed to do this simple thing. On the Republican side the business lobby likes the cheaper labor that comes across the border and on the Democrat side they believe that most of the immigrants will vote for them. Many times the issue of border security is brought up and both sides just give lip service. It is time to secure the border and erect the fence that will keep those who cross illegally out. We should have ways for those who wish to work here to do so. Right now, among those coming across our southern border are people from Arabic countries as well as members of the violent MS-13 gang. This seriously undermines our national security which is job #1 for the Federal Government.