FUN FAX: Child refugees from Central America are far more likely to be vaccinated than kids in Texas. http://t.co/xQ4cVUY8tb
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) July 12, 2014
Despite the ginned-up hysteria about scabies-ridden, drug-resistant-TB-carrying gangbangers being bused to our sacred borders, there are smarter discussions to be had about the children fleeing gang violence in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
Commentor Martin phrased it well:
This is not an immigration crisis. This is a refugee crisis, and it needs to be spoken of as one.
These are not people that have decided to run to the US as a choice for a better life, these are people that are fleeing violence at home. They’re little different than the refugees piled up along the borders of Syria. They’re different only in the sense that they didn’t stop in Mexico but continued all the way to the US – probably due in part to the fact that Mexico’s drug crime problem is only marginally better than the rest of Central America’s. So the calls for sending them across the border is simply one to turn our refugee crisis into Mexico’s refugee crisis. That’s not going to happen because that’s not how the US treats our neighbors, regardless of who is in the White House.
Obama needs to speak directly to these point because public opinion is that these are people from Mexico crossing the border to take advantage of our immigration system. That’s simply not the case.
Not every media outlet is spreading the ignorance — here’s a short clip [warning: autoplay] from a Boston news station, sympathetically interviewing a ten-year-old who’s recently joined his mother, whom he hadn’t seen in eight years, in a local city where “twenty percent of the students have arrived in just the last two to three years”.
And here’s some good advice from another BJ commentor:
Even though no one is making it easy to help these kids right now, there are a few things one can try. The system is a long way from offering them foster care, etc. To move that and other humane possibilities along, one would have to put tremendous pressure on Congress and the Administration, particularly the Department of Homeland Security. Try calling 202.282.8010, the office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs; and also Craig Fugate’s office at FEMA, 202.646.3900. Both offices are also reachable via mail and e-mail.
To provide short-term emergency help — kids as young as 3 are “sleeping” on concrete floors — the usual suspects have been trying to get access. The Red Cross is a good example. Another group I can recommend is Kids In Need of Defense (KIND).
And if you are, or know, a lawyer who would like to donate time to help these kids, I recommend getting in touch with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Gregory Chen, the Director of Advocacy, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via 202.507.7600.
If you have other suggestions, or resource links, post them in the comments.