One of the things about writing this blog is I don't let a silly little thing like lack of experience or knowledge stop me from writing about something. In most cases, I'm just too lazy to do the research. However, in the case of what's been going on in
Murrieta, CA, I have in fact made efforts to read up on this story and actually gather some facts before voicing my opinion.
But despite this reading, this research, I feel there's something I'm missing, something I'm not quite grasping. So bear with me as I review what I do know or understand to be true while I try to figure out the missing pieces.
- There has a been a surge off illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico to the United States.
- The bulk of this surge comes from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, 3 Latin America countries mired in poverty and consumed by violence.
- A large number of these illegal immigrants are children, mostly unaccompanied, numbering in the tens of thousands.
- Federal facilities in Texas are being overwhelmed so plans have been made to distribute some of these immigrants to facilities in other states. One of those is located in Murrieta, CA.
Protests have flared up in Murrieta against bringing these immigrants to the facility there. “We need to stop these busloads of illegals,” said Liz Herger, who was one of about 75 protesters who showed up to oppose the expected transfer Friday. “We are an economically depressed area and we already don’t have jobs … who's gonna take care of them? We're not going to.”
And this is the point where I am missing crucial information. Are these illegal immigrants being released by the Feds "into the wild" as it were to fend as best they can with whatever resources are available at the local level? If that is the case, then maybe....just maybe...the rage in Murrieta is perhaps justified.
But at the heart of this issue is that we're talking about 50 thousand plus children who have escaped a world of hunger and violence to find a chance at something better. The politics of immigration be damned, isn't our first duty as Americans...no, scratch that...isn't our first duty as human beings to do what we can to help? Is the best solution really to stand in front of buses with angry shouts and defiant protest signs, telling kids they are not welcomed here?
And as always, this comes down to politics. Immigration reform is a particularly sore point with the far right Tea Party nut cases in the GOP; they're idea of reform is more barbed wire with machine guns trained on anyone desperate enough to come through.
The thing is people still want to come here because America still represents the best chance, the best hope for a better life, a life of freedom and opportunity. Yes, we need to manage who gets in and how, not only to the benefit and protection of citizens already here but for the benefit and protection of those who seek to pursue this American Dream.
But on the backs of thousands and thousands of hungry and frightened children, is this really the right time to draw a hard line on immigration? Yes, our resources are tight but these are people in need. No, we may not have as much as we like or even need when it comes to money and jobs but in the end, we must do what we can. We must give what we can. These things must be done when people are in need.
Unless I'm missing something here.
I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You