The Child Immigration Crisis

Sin Nombre

Go into your kitchen…is there running water there? Open up your refrigerator….is it packed with food and drink? What about a shower or a toilet? Does your home have both of those things? Well, just because your house and millions of others have these basic, everyday necessities, millions more don’t. Millions of people in developing nations will never know what it’s like to have running water. They will never have the luxury of being able to open a refrigerator and select a food at random to eat. Many will never take a shower in their life, bathe yes, but not shower in private with a floor and walls around them.

When it comes to politics I’m a liberal person, just more reserved. Of all the things that I most hate in the world, ignorance is at the top of the list and sadly, ignorance is running rampant more than ever, even in a time when the world is frighteningly connected. But as I said, I’m more reserved so no, I don’t use my blog as a platform to broadcast my views and opinions. I have written editorials before but they were all related to travel in some facet. However, there is one area that I don’t feel I can be completely quiet on.

The United States is in dire circumstances where illegal immigration is concerned, specifically young children who are entering from Mexico and Central America. These young illegal immigrants flooding the country’s borders are being rounded up and “jailed” until their deportation hearings take place. Remember, these are children. Here in the United States, many vocal and ignorant people (I feel) just say “send them back.” Many will try multiple times.

I’m not writing this to say I condone individuals breaking the law. Not at all. But we’re talking about children here. You know when you’re concerned that no one is talking to your seven year old at school? Well, imagine your seven year old embarking on a thousand mile journey, one complete with murderers, thieves, rapists, and more. One that  involves walking hundreds of miles in often treacherous conditions, or riding the rooftops of trains hurtling through the countryside. These children are fleeing by the thousands for a reason. They are fleeing abject poverty. They are fleeing a cycle of violence that will never end, one they can only hope they will not get caught up in. These are children who come from families that may have nothing but their parents  know enough to want a better life for their children. Can you ever really blame a parent who just wants their child to have a good life? One without violence and hunger and poverty? I’ve lived in Mexico and Costa Rica, I’ve traveled to Nicaragua, I’ve seen the misery that human beings are forced to live in because they simply have nothing else.

Some states across the country are offering to take in the illegal child immigrants until their hearings since the border states like Texas, Arizona, and California are besieged with the issue, facing overcrowded detention centers or nowhere else to house them. In Pittsburgh, a Catholic organization, the Holy Family Institute which is located in a suburb north of the city, has offered to house some of the illegal children until their deportation hearings take place. It disgusts me to read about the utterly ignorant reaction of some of the locals here, saying cruel things like they don’t want them here, they’ll just bring the drug cartels here, etc. These are children who fled their own homes to get away from drug gangs and other abysmal things. No one is saying they will be given a green card to stay, but what about being a decent human being?

Jon Stewart said it perfectly with,

“We have always been a nation of immigrants who hate the newer immigrants.”

I can’t speak for other American cities (although it’s probably the same) but in Pittsburgh, the individuals saying these cruel things towards children are most likely the ones whose own ancestors less than 100 years encountered the same cruel and unjust discrimination and prejudice. How quickly they forget that 100 years ago, their Slovakian and Croatian ancestors would have been looked down upon by many for their exotic languages, their exotic dress, and their cultural differences.

To those who rail against the illegal child immigrants-keep your vitriolic hate for those who deserve it, not for children who don’t.

Sin Nombre

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