Children at the Border

Posted in: Social Justice
Tags:

A true humanitiarian crisis has developed at our southern border.  The number of unaccompanied children trying to enter the United States has more than doubled since October, 2011 with the majority of the increase coming from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.  Children from Mexico represent the largest number, but the gap is steadily narrowing between Mexico and the other three.

The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) released an in-depth study of over 400 children representing the 4 countries who were either apprehended by US border patrol or detained at a port of entry.  The study, Children on the Run, documents that well over half of these children qualify for asylum protection according to accepted international standards.  UAC_UNHCR_Children on the Run_Full Report

As Christians, our response must flow from the Gospel.  The Catholic Bishops of Texas have said that, “We must not lose sight of the fact that these are young, scared, and desperate mothers and children. They need and deserve our protection and support. Now is not the moment for inflammatory political rhetoric, but of compassionate and orderly resolution to the conditions of these women and children who are already in a difficult humanitarian situation” (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/41198).  Similarly, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary Bishop of Seattle and Chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration stated:

“This is a very complicated problem, but its roots must be addressed, both by our government and governments in the region.  These children are extremely vulnerable to human traffickers and unscrupulous smugglers and must be protected. Over the long term, the increasing violence from gangs and organized crime in their home countries must be addressed and controlled so they can be secure in their homes.  This is an issue which should not become politicized or give cause for negative rhetoric.  It is truly a humanitarian crisis which requires a comprehensive response and cooperation between the branches of the U.S. government. Young lives are at stake.”

(http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/bishops-say-plight-of-child-immigrants-must-be-addressed)

Christ calls forth compassion from all believers.  We acknowledge that the majority of these 40,000+ children have attempted to enter the United States without proper authorization; at the same time, we more deeply acknowledge that each of them is a member of our family, the Body of Christ, seeking the kind of life God wishes for us all.

Catholic Charities organizations throughout the country have offered their services.  The reality, however, is that there’s is not much to do until the federal governement decides how to handle these children.  The United States Bishops have asked President Obama to reconsider fast-tracking deportation measures because so many of the children should be classifed as refugees due to the violence they’ve fled.

For us, then, our best reponse is to keep ourselves accurately informed and to pray for a resolution that is in the best interest of those who are most vulnerable.  As new initiatives and ideas are proposed, contact your elected officials and express your informed position.

Update…..the federal government has implemented a plan to house the children at various sites across the country.  Already, demonstrators have mobilized to support both sides of the issue, and some cities have passed legislation banning the federal government from using their facilities.

 

8 Comments for : Children at the Border
    • Paul
    • July 29, 2014
    Reply

    If only it were only true! In the aggregate, illegal immigrants crossing the border (entering the US without documentation, thus breaking the law) are simply not just “desperate mothers and children.” Unfortunately, also included are many violent gang members and others that will bring harm, criminal activity or worse directly to the United States. IF this was simply a social concern for mothers and children, no one would raise any resentment to a compassion approach. However, from the start, this movement (or rather this latest crisis) has been conceived and constructed solely for political reasons, and ultimately political gain. Not mentioning the obvious issues or pretending the processing chaos or reflection on the overall lawlessness will not make the problems go away.

    The bottom line is that the USCCB is on the wrong side of this issue. We can hope that nothing tragic happens as a direct result of this latest influx and lawlessness, but I’d not bet that is likely to happen. The Catholic Church will be held (again) as partially responsible for the aftermath.

    • mel
    • July 31, 2014
    Reply

    I applaud the Catholic Bishops for once again taking the difficult but correct stand on a divisive advocacy issue. We simply cannot close our hearts to the desparate mothers and children who need our compassion and support because we are afraid some miscreants may be thrown into the mix. I encourage anyone interested in this issue to visit El Salvador or Honduras, meet with the people and then see if you can close your hearts to them. We are the greatest country ever to exist, surely we can share some of God’s blessings with those who were born in different circumstances. I know that I did nothing to deserve the graces and riches bestowed upon me and believe that those to whom much is given, much will be expected. We are all brothers and sisters regardless of our faith community, gender preference, race or national origin.

    • Paul
    • August 28, 2014
    Reply

    Don’t close your heart, of course, but use your head, too! We have enemies (miscreants are not my concern) that are intent on great harm, and overlooking the obvious threat from the southern border will be at our peril.

    Sure, Mel, we are all brothers and sisters. However, some of our brothers and sisters insist that you and I (and our children) must give up our faith and liberty, and they are not adverse to convince you at knife point, if need be. I prefer to remain free, and if being more diligent at the border is the price, it’s a small price to pay compared to the potential destruction. If that would come to past, how will you feel then?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/08/isis_could_easily_cross_the_porous_usmexico_border.html

    • mel
    • September 9, 2014
    Reply

    I think we are getting a little off track here. Using terrorists as an excuse to close our borders to everyone is not viable. Using that argument we must quickly put a plan in place to insure that no boat from Canada lands at our beaches or Marinas as it may be carrying terrorists. How do we close off the border between Canada and Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota etc? As people of God, whose Spirit of Love dwells in all of us, yes, even children in El Salvador, Honduras and all of Latin America we are called to treat all people as family. Families love each other – NO MATTER WHAT. I am not sure what I did to deserve God’s abundant blessings upon me and my family but I think our abundance was given to us to share with those who were not born as white males and are not in a position of power and wealth. If we are so paranoid that there is a jihadist hiding in every truck brining immigrants to our borders perhaps we need to ask ourselves why so many in the world hate the US? But that is a discussion for another forum

    • Paul
    • September 22, 2014
    Reply

    Perhaps they don’t like all the golf we play? It is fiction that “so many” hate the US, although I can understand why some would find fault as the US sends 3000 American soldiers to Africa to fight the Ebola outbreak… terrible to some, no doubt. Unfortunate, but the world isn’t a grade-school playground popularity contest. I was taught to do the right thing regardless of what others thought. That’s what the US tries to do – sometimes we even get it right.

    Nonetheless, “widespread hatred of the US” or “white male power and wealth” isn’t a rational consequence for allowing a wide- open border for any nation that intends to remain sovereign. Immigrants from S. America crossing borders illegally are just being manipulated as political pawns, and the designed lawlessness around our southern border continues to be exploited by others (i.e., those looking like Hispanics versus Minnesotans) that are determined to harm or kill as many US citizens as possible.

    It is not un-Catholic, un-Christian or un-loving family to expect the US to have and enforce all of our borders, now and in the future. We should apply common sense regarding “children” and many others crossing the southern border – while we still can. If you don’t think that among the innocents are bad people, you have your head bury very deep in the sand. They are nasty people and not interested in singing Kumbuya with you or me.

    • mel
    • September 24, 2014
    Reply

    All I can now offer is a strong suggestion for everyone to read and/or listen to Fr. George’s homily for the weekend of 9/20 and 9/21 regarding the gospel reading of the landowner and the workers. I am not sure that I have ever heard a more eloquent sermon connecting the truths in the inspired word of God to our situation today. I applaud Father for taking on a touchy subject and so strongly coming out on the side of advocacy and justice. Makes me proud to be a member of our worshipping community.

    • Paul
    • October 8, 2014
    Reply

    http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/10/08/gop-rep-at-least-ten-isis-fighters-have-been-caught-coming-across-the-mexican-border/

    I realize this isn’t what is supposed to happen (in a perfect world) but again, we are dealing with fanatical people with an agenda of utter violence that will not stop.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options