No Illeagles Here!

An empty Army Reserve facility in Westminster, Md., was on the list of possible sites to house minors who illegally cross the border into the United States. (Jenna Johnson/The Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/maryland-state-police-investigate-no-illeagles-here-graffiti-as-a-hate-crime/2014/07/15/ec3b5c86-0c26-11e4-8c9a-923ecc0c7d23_story.html

An empty Army Reserve facility in Westminster, Md., was on the list of possible sites to house minors who illegally cross the border into the United States. (Jenna Johnson/The Washington Post)

First, if you’re going to spray paint something you want others to see, you should probably make sure you spell it right.

This building is a federal facility that officials were considering using as a shelter for the undocumented children lining up at our southern border. Such facilities would house these children in the custody and care of the Department of Health and Human Services as their health needs are addressed and plans to return them to their homes are developed, but apparently some local residents in Westminster, Maryland, in this case, think brown children do not belong in their town even if they’re temporarily confined to a federal facility .

Second, haters are going to hate, but children? Really? And children who have traveled thousands of miles and turned themselves in to U.S. authorities to escape from the desperate situations they face in their home countries–gangs, war, drugs, child prostitution, extreme poverty, death. What if these were undocumented fetuses? Would they generate this same response?

I don’t have a good answer for how to address the problem of thousands of children fleeing their homes in the hope of finding a safe place to live, but I do know that screaming at these children and marching armed with semiautomatic weapons while flying the Gadsden flag is not the answer.

Nor is ginning up fear with false claims that “illegal aliens suffering from diseases endemic in their countries of origin are being released into our communities,” that they are gang members or drug runners a solution.

Clearly those rallying to vilify these children are extremists; it is also true that they are racists. Although this country has a long history of vilifying immigrant groups who are seen as threats to the economic or social status of those immigrants already settled here, the opposition to immigrants from anywhere south of the US border has been particularly nasty.

Now we see a developing hysteria among some Americans in response to efforts to temporarily house and care for children from south of the US border. We’ve gone from Emma Lazarus’s “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” to get the fuck out of here in just over 110 years. In my home state, protestors shoved a group of mariachi musicians, then attacked a bus carrying children from a YMCA because they thought it was the  bus of immigrant children that the local sheriff told them would arrive. As the bus neared, Arizona Rep. Adam Kwasman tweeted: “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.” Although he later deleted the tweet and apologized for the mistake, his point is clear: get the fuck out of here!

And all this is coming from the same folks claiming this is a Christian nation. HA! I’m not a christian, but I do know that Jesus is reported to have said, “Suffer little children and forbid them not to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Hell, these folks can’t even contemplate a humane response, and neither can our government. In Congress there’s a rush to change federal law so we can ship these kids back as quickly as possible, probably even before we’re certain they won’t face any danger upon their return.

Rather than considering the well-being of these children, ship ’em back and do it yesterday. Where’s that compassion Americans are known for? When there’s a disaster don’t we usually open our wallets and send money to the Red Cross. Neighbor helping neighbor; those who can helping as best they can.

As I’ve said, I don’t know how best to address this problem, but I do know these kids need our compassion and not our hate.

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