The government has no conscience beyond what its politics dictate.
This is evident in the situation we have on our southern border, with thousands of unaccompanied children living in military and border patrol facilities. As many as 50,000 such children have crossed over our border since October 2013, much higher than at this point last year. Reports say this is due to increased violence in their countries of origin, primarily El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. According to CNN, the government may be sending millions to these countries to reintegrate children that the Obama administration will be seeking to deport on Monday.
An LA Times story cites misinformation by smugglers as part of the reason for the uptick in children crossing unaccompanied. A 2008 law in particular may be mischaracterized in light of increased violence as a way children can come and stay in spite of crossing illegally. But why is this an issue now, in 2014? And is the government seeking to bring those parents who have sent their children alone on a traumatic journey, to the US?
Consider that a parent in the US would be prosecuted for the worst kind of child abuse, and typically are, for trafficking their children in any form. Now consider that the government is reportedly seeking to bring the parents of these trafficked children to the US (as heard on the Sean Hannity Show on 6/3/14). Also consider that the government is potentially releasing children to adults who claim to be relatives with no ID or documentation of any kind.
What is the meaning of this?
If this is true, it is one case among many of people in government doing what is politically expedient instead of what is clearly humane and respectful, and in doing so, being inconsistent and divorced from any sort of values. It has been noted by Al Jazeera that VP Biden addressed the dangers in sending children unaccompanied from Central America to the US during a meeting with leaders of the three countries on June 20th. But the effectiveness of this, as well as the effectiveness of any efforts promised to be taken to stem this crisis, is dependent on:
The true intent of the government
The true intent of the foreign governments
And finding the true solution to the problem.
Lack of confidence in the intentions and abilities of all parties is the big reason a workable solution won’t be forthcoming.
I believe in all of these:
Children deserve to be protected and cared for. I just don’t think this is as much of a consideration for these children as it is for children domestically, where our states are responsible for child welfare and in some cases go to the far extreme of encroaching on parents’ rights.
Our immigration system is not working. I just think it is because our current laws aren’t enforced consistently enough to make the system work.
A bold statement should be made to stem or stop this kind of child endangerment of sending unaccompanied children with strangers who do not have the best interest of the children at heart. I just don’t think we should send millions to those countries to ameliorate the sting of deporting children.
And to follow up the last point, our system is being overrun and can’t continue to address this volume of children or adults coming into the country in this way. Just look at the concerns for health and safety in the make-shift processing facilities to see that this is true. So is don’t think we should try to find and bring in parents (to the extent that parentage could actually be verified) as the solution to unaccompanied children.
Money and effort would be better spent putting the burden back on the countries of origin (there again, if a country of origin can be determined, as none of this population would likely have documentation) and holding them accountable. This would take more than throwing money at the problem, which I suspect would be the way the $100 million that is intended for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras would be used. It would take cooperation, communication, and a strong sense of purpose, which is something government can’t provide. Because the conscience of government is dependent on the dictates of its politics.
As in human relationships, we can’t have effective work between nations when our nation doesn’t have a firm grasp of its boundaries. I’m talking about more than our borders, I talking about our ideals and values, which seem to be eroded at every turn. Ideals and values to to be useful only as they can turn public sentiment in the direction of one party or the other’s policies.
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. (Deuteronomy 10:18)
We can protect and serve children.
We can preserve our rights as American citizens.
We can uphold our ideal that the US is a beacon of hope and that the downtrodden and endangered of the world have a home here.
We don’t have to upend our current system to do any of these things.
We need God back in government. Because the government has no conscience beyond what its politics dictate. It’s we the people with the help of God that can determine the simple solutions for complex situations we face in society today.
I attended a two-day training on trauma informed care earlier this week. I don’t know what level of awareness is being used in addressing these children and families coming across the border, but I fear the politics and attention complicate giving good care. Long miles, threats to life and limb, physical and sexual abuse, being trafficked- all are traumatic events that have to be dealt with when addressing the needs of these children. Volunteers need oriented and professionals should be employing trauma informed care.
Let me play this out for you. We have illegal immigrants that we provide mental health care to in my area. Children who have experienced life-threatening trauma often experience PTSD symptoms like reliving or reenacting their trauma, or dissociating when reminded of,the trauma they experienced. Children who are passed through a checkpoint and placed with a reported relative or a foster placement without being screened or treated for trauma exposure land in our schools. When unexplained aggression or threats of harm to self or others come out, trauma is the last thing that comes to mind. Children enter the mental health system, either without insurance or having somehow obtained state insurance. And aside from the burden placed on the systems of care, the children have gone for days or weeks without sensitivity as to the complications they have adjusting to “normal life” in a home. Aggression or threats are viewed as being ungrateful,defiant, and insolent, when it is really a consequence of having constantly been in danger over a period of time.
If this is accurate, it should be an eye-opener as to how we have arrived where we are with this crisis.
Based on my remarks in this post, you should know I’m glad that private charity is helping care for the kids. But the debate over whether charity is having the effect of condoning illegal immigration must be taking it’s toll on Glenn. And as I’ve mentioned above as well, the attention being brought along with the charity may hinder progress in some ways. He media response, more than the charitable work, may end up being counterproductive in staunching illegal immigration and child trafficking.
The same concerns continue to arise, this one I mentioned in the main body of this article:
And again- who are the sponsors these children are being released to? Gov. Haslam in my home state of Tennessee is demanding answers from President Obama after finding out that 760 children that are here illegally were relocated by the federal government.