Our Own Refugee Crisis

Refugee children warehoused on our southern border is not something we expect to see in our own country, but there they are, more than 50,000 kids, mostly from Central America, overwhelming border agents and child welfare officials.

How did this happen?

Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
Texas Monthly’s Erica Grieder takes a hard look and concludes that it’s a combination of the violence and poverty in Central America, among the world’s highest, and widespread belief in those countries that we stopped deporting all children. But that change only applied to children of unauthorized immigrants who have lived here continuously since 2007.
In looking through Guatemalan and Honduran news reports about the program, though, you’ll notice that they rarely mention the fine print about which minors, exactly, are eligible. It’s not that hard to imagine how people could get the impression that the United States had decided not to deport children, or why parents in these desperately poor and crime-riddled countries would be motivated to act in response.”

The Federalist’s John Daniel Davidson adds

Smugglers in Mexico are moving people into the United States for money. It’s a business proposition, and part of the smugglers’ scheme is to sell families on the idea that children and minors who get into the United States will not be deported. Mexican drug cartels are of course behind this scheme, and they’re pushing it because their traditional sources of income have become unstable.”

49 thoughts on “Our Own Refugee Crisis”

  1. We must send plane loads of them back _immediately_. Summary justice. Five plane loads to each Central American country that has generated that many souls in this crush of humanity.

    Second, we must come to an understanding with Guatemala. Unless they travel by boat or air, every one of these people travel through Guatemala. Surely they are more visible than an oz of pot.

    Finally, where are the churches and other domestic institutions while all this is going on? We should engage at that level in the affected CA countries. Give them specific anecdotal evidence of the horrors some of their teenagers have experienced in their treks.

    ad infinitum

  2. Finally, where are the churches and other domestic institutions while all this is going on?


    Yeah where are all those so-called defenders of families now

  3. Let all these kids in.

    Then start deporting rednecks.

    Anyone with a Confederate flag on their t-shirt, car/truck, or front lawn should be deported to Central America, with an English-Spanish phrase book and a good, sturdy pair of work gloves.

    They can get a job in agriculture.

  4. We are not doing these kids a favor if we, by not stemming the flow, open them to the type of continuing abuse that Jonathan Swift envisioned eons ago.

    Nash, in the interim, I’ll sign Freeport ME up for 30k semi-permanent youngsters. Put Beans on notice.

  5. There are arguments for them staying, There are arguments for sending them. back. I don’t think sending them back is the better option. How do you know where back is?

    How about developing a program to send a$sholes to those countries? Send enough and the governments will keep the kids there to stem the flow of a$shole immigration.

  6. If they’re in Freeport they have a 3 month season selling ice cream and counterfeit Nikes to tourists. They would make more in those 3 months than their parents made in the past five years.

  7. Poor wishy washy Obama, a man without an ideology, still trying to seek a “bi-partisan” solution to this crisis.

    The Republicans figured out Obama long ago…he just wants to make compromise deals. He doesn’t know how to do anything else. He has no underlying principles of governing.

    If the GOP simply refuses to deal with him, he is totally helpless.

    Get used to this an other crises to come: our government is essentially “shutdown” until the 2016 elections, which may finally put a real leader in charge.

  8. Flatus: We must send plane loads of them back _immediately_.

    to quote our wise old (or is that wise ass?) trail counselor “How do you know where back is?” and how do you find out if they lie, will not tell or have no identifiable belongings or patrons?
    hate to get picky, but exactly what do you have in mind? with engines still running, unload them on the tarmac at guatemala city aeropuerto? drop them via parachute randomly over central America?

  9. Okay, send them to Cuber, Venezuela, Nicaragua

    More seriously, it would not be hard to sort out children by country.

  10. Flatus,

    But how once you get there with said plane load? Do you envision an exchange of some sort with the officials? So much cash per kid if they’ll take them back? Or are you strapping them on to drones or missiles or balloons aimed south?

  11. Katherine Graham Cracker,

    The churches are providing all sorts of goods & services to them. Catholic Charities is probably the biggest.

    Flatus is correct, of course. They must be returned to their countries of origin & it needs to be very well-publicized to stem the tide.

    But here is something that is not being discussed: Who else could get over the border? Not everyone is stopped.
    And the property-owners on the border have their land littered & some have encountered armed drug-smugglers on their property.
    It is very sad for the kids, but if their citizens don’t fix their problems, it will never end for those poor people.

  12. But Central American migrant advocates have a diametrically opposed take on the crisis, contending that the children on the U.S. border should be considered not as immigrants but refugees meriting international treatment standards, which does not generally include detaining children, according to Human Rights Watch.

    In a lengthy statement issued this week, members of the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement (MMM) demanded that a refugee crisis be declared, and that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees take the appropriate emergency measures

  13. patd,

    Heavens, no. Paying to get their home countries to accept them back would just keep the revolving door rotating; a new stream of income.

    Mexico must be turning a blind eye to this to allow people from Central America to enter their country & cross through to our border. The deal with people illegally in Mexico very harshly, if caught.
    Is the Mexican government benefiting from human trafficking?

  14. why are we paying big bucks to support refugees flowing into jordan, turkey, parts of Africa and not telling those countries to send them back to where they came from?

  15. We can not handle the volume here now. The border is still open; they will keep coming. And because the border is not secure, I worry more about bad people who mean us harm coming over. But we do not have the infrastructure to take in huge numbers at once. The schools here are already bursting at the seams. Wages here are already depressed.
    How this matter is handled will weigh even more heavily in elections to come.

  16. patd,

    Financial aid is one thing, but it’s not our call to tell them how to handle letting them stay or not.

  17. Reading the story Craig linked, it sure sounds like those kids are in this predicament because of poorly-worded policies from Team Obama.
    For someone who was so good when speaking to huge arenas full of people, he has been a very ineffective spokesmodel.

  18. What about the hundreds of thousands of purely internal refugees ?

    For the price of the bush crime family’s Gulf Fiasco II we could have built 4 M!LL!ON $250,000 2BR, 2 Bt, homes.

    That doesn’t include the after care for the wounded, the interest on the bonds we fobbed off on commie China, or the cost of replacing the gear and ammo we used up. All that would buy another 14 M!LL!ON homes.

  19. The New Colossus

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Emma Lazarus
    How many times have we lived up to those words? How many times have we failed?

    Do a little search for the Jewish childrens voyages in the 1930′, 1940’s and 1950’s, to the US and what happened to them. Watch the video of those people clambering on to the skids of the Huey’s in 1975. Who was bricked out in the Berlin Wall in the 1960’s. The Congo? Central America? The only continent to have not tried to send their children to the U.S. is Antarctica.

    The US has a sad history of immigration, as well as a fine one (if you came from the correct region). That is not the issue right now. The issue right now is how do we treat those trying to arrive here for a better life. Mothers and fathers risk their lives to bring/send their babies and children here for hundreds of years. And, for many years there has been many a “send ’em back, they cost too much to care for.”

    In one thought I care that if they stay here their lives are more at risk than in a war zone, it could be considered living in the U.S. is to live in a war zone. The other is if they do go back the poverty they return to is worse than anything here. But, what can we do to help.

    Could it be that they speak Spanish that sets them apart from those who speak Hebrew, or French, or Ahmeric?

    No, I cannot accept that Obama has been the deportation King of deportations. Now we have a crisis of babies. And, what do we hear? “Send ’em back, they cost too much to help.”

  20. G!D bless you Ms Lazarus.

    And, you too Ms Bronc.

    Unfortunately, the wretched reds say,

    “Send these, the tempest tost, to me,

    I’ll jail ’em and send ’em back to hell !”

    We ought to have PSAs on popular foreign radio stations that say, “Stay the fuck away or the tee partiers will bbq and eat you at their tee parties.”

  21. Sens mccain and graham are incensed about the assassination in Sarajevo, and demand that Mrs Clinton testify about it.

  22. Local news: About 2,000 are being moved to the Dallas area. They didn’t mention if other areas in the state will be sheltering some of the kids, too.

  23. …should have changed some Latin Ametican regimes, many seem just as worthy as those in the Middle East. There’s oil, silver, and all sorts of good stuff to steal from our hemispherical neighbors to the South, but nooooo, the kooks up top are all hung up on Mesopotamia and Canaan. It’s a ——- desert!

  24. Good Evening Iggy…The Refugee Act.

    These are children…very scary and sad for them. I guess this globalization thing is not working out for us. Too many bad men making life shit miserable everywhere.

    patd…no Statue of Liberty on the southern border.

  25. There are mega tons of lithium in Chile, but I guess that doesn’t interest BIG OIL.

  26. thank you, xrep. We are up to our eyeballs in children here…we sent a billion dollars to help the refugees from Syria. Everyone felt that was the humanitarian thing to do, It is different when they show-up at our border. It will be a big cost to us. We will feed, educate and more importantly give health care to these children before we decide who to send back. The fortunate will have a distant relative here and get to stay. A concern here is the disease they bring. Many warehouses have been set-up in the area to house these children. It is hot here, too…going over 100 degrees for the next week. Tough going, for sure.

  27. deporting children won’t change anything. No mother will send their child out into the dangerous world of smuggling unless the alternative is so much worse. These folks are as human as any of you tell me why would you send your child north.


  28. It has been a busy week , we had a great party, made some great friendships and built on some good connections.
    Thank you all for your donations. Mrs. jack and I are putting together a plan to use them wisely. A one and done party seem a waste of recourses. We are thinking how we can leverage your generosity and create a little mayhem in the neighborhood. I must admit the wife and I have been celebrating a resounding success story and yeah it involve my favorite beverage. More later when I’ve sobered up


  29. The article Craig in Craig’s link stated the things have been really bad in Central America for a long time. What has changed is a failure by the Obams administration; they are sending their kids (and some of the kids in the pics look like they are easily in their LATE teens…with no birth certificate, who is to know) because they under the impression that they won’t be deported due to status as minors.

    More will come until it’s clear that getting across the border is not a pass to stay.

    I still wonder how they passed through Mexico, with its strict policies against people being there illegally? Is the Mexican government getting a cut from the smugglers?

    Blonde- The docs are saying the kids are heathy; nothing Pedialyte can’t fix. That is sometimes a worry; some super-TB has come up before. But with all of the global travel, disease is a possibility with first-class passengers on a plane from anywhere to anywhere.

    And then there the stuff that comes across the border; drugs, sex trafficking.

    It’s unsustainable; people need to come in legally.
    It’s dangerous; border security needs to be addressed.

  30. Continuing a thought from a previous diary regarding the forever war in Iraq and leaving American troops (I noted the phrase “coalition” was not used) sitting in the sandbox. I keep bringing up how similar the actions in country and in Congress are to Vietnam, 1974-76.

    Doing searches for strings such as “Vietnam 1974″ will return massive numbers of links. I will let the adventurous do the searches, there are too many links to quote to provide even a basic review of the promises to return and the countries fed up with perpetual war.

    Each time I do a search I find more evidence of how the return to Vietnam was planned and from Ford down to the hawks in Congress how their resolve was firm. Firm until faced with the political reality.

    Today I have friends who would volunteer to reup to go back to Iraq. They, just as some veterans of Vietnam. felt a sadness or betrayal to allow the country to fall to those they fought.

    But, there were many of us who were sitting with orders to return to Vietnam just as many new troops who had not fought in Iraq or Afghanistan are sitting waiting for their orders if the decision to return is made.

    Going back in either war would not be clean, and Cheney’s delusions aside, there are no liberators marching on rose petals anymore. Just blood and lots of it.

  31. The cataloging and deportation of children is something I would expect the likes of Rush Limbaugh to advocate.

    Mexican drug cartels are of course behind this scheme,
    and of course those cartels exist because of this country’s enormous drug problem. But we love to turn a blind eye and say… it’s not our problem… it has nothing to do with us….

  32. OK, so many dislike the pragmatic approach of sending a relatively small percentage of the children back immediately hoping their message, that they were rebuffed at the border, would dissuade others from trying, was seen as cruel and unusual punishment.

    We can try this instead. We can cut all trade, to include tourism, with Guatemala unless and until they seal their borders to these children.

    In the long run, which approach is less traumatic?

    And the idea of accepting all the kids as downtrodden refugees seeking their parents is fine until we discover that their parents were never here or were deported eight months ago.

    It’s a damned mess.

  33. Band speak:

    Brought the house down. (Knocked a bunch of stuff off the stage which collapsed a load bearing wall)

    Band was in high spirits. ( began drinking shots at noon )

    Band started early. ( only 20 minutes late )

    It was a good sized crowd. ( we had ’em outnumbered )

    It’s a very safe place. ( if you’re not carrying a weapon, they’ll give you one at the door)

    We knocked ’em dead. (Played an old folks home)

    We were da bomb. ( we bombed )

    We incorporated some olfactory stimulation technology. (We stunk up the joint )

    It was a high energy show. ( louder than 40 Hells )

    We played for a select few. ( it was packed, but everyone left by the start of the second song except for those 5 or 6 drunks at the bar.)

    They fed us very well. ( meatballs and franks and little chunks of cheese)

    The crowd loved the interaction with the band. ( the audience formed a posse )

  34. Mr. Sturgeone,

    You just erased my regret that I never joined the band. Thanks.


  35. Sweetie is dragging me away until August. By then you folks should have it all solved without my interference.

    Vote Early; Vote Often !

  36. The reason the GOP hates “undocumented” immigrants is that most of them will vote for Democrats, if they finally get citizenship.

    I say let them ALL in.

    The average immigrant is a lot more attractive to me as a fellow citizen, than the average Tea Party member.

    There’s quite a few people here I’d like to deport, starting with Ted Cruz.

    Who let him in?

  37. If all those immigrant kids being held by the Border Patrol had blonde hair and blue eyes, no one would screaming for them to be deported.

    The whole ‘illegal immigrant’ debate is a scam; it’s just another cover for racism.

  38. If we can spend a couple of TRILLION dollars on a stupid failed war to conquer Iraq, then we can afford to re-unite these kids with their families, and give them all a path to citizenship.

    If we do, the country will be a better place.

    The people who want to keep these kids out are the WORST people in the USA, and we should not listen to a word that they say.

    A couple of generations ago, they were running around in white sheets burning crosses.

    It’s the same people, with the same motivation.

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