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Editorial: Barring the gate comes with moral pitfalls

New Hampshire is more than 2,000 miles from the border between Texas and Mexico that was illegally crossed recently by tens of thousands of children from Honduras and other Central American nations. Nonetheless, earlier this month, news broke that the Granite State was hosting 13 of the unaccompanied children, a figure that has since risen to 24, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement said.

The children’s appearance raises legal and moral questions faced not just by the United States but every well-off nation. Is each human being the resident not just of a nation but the world? Are nations fortunate enough to be safe, livable and prosperous obligated to allow those fleeing famine, war or flood to enter and stay? Should the same rules apply to those fleeing not potential or probable death but a lifetime of grinding poverty?

This year, some 100,000 illegal immigrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get to Italy. In Spain, floods of immigrants from Africa throw themselves in waves against barbed wire fences and overpower border guards in their quest to make it to northern Europe. Thousands of Asians have drowned in attempts to take refuge in Australia. Some migrants are fleeing violence and war, others pursuing economic opportunity.

Climate change promises to increase illegal migration. On a recent trip to Mexico to sign a climate change agreement, California Gov. Jerry Brown said: “We can see how some are fearful of children walking across the border. What will they think when millions of people are driven north from the parched landscapes of a world degraded by intensifying climate change?”

In one Texas city, the arrival of a large number of the foreign children sparked public protests. In New Hampshire, a conservative website published a call for Gov. Maggie Hassan to protest the “federal encroachment on New Hampshire’s sovereignty” allegedly caused by the arrival of the children.

Demands for even tighter border security were issued. Calls sounded for the expeditious deporting of the children, most of whom were reportedly fleeing gang violence, rape, forced prostitution and other horrors of societies where civil order has all but collapsed.

In the long run, the only hope of stemming the flood lies in helping their home nations defeat gangs, rebuild their economies and mitigate the impact of global warming.

The native populations of most of the world’s developed nations are shrinking, not growing. To prosper economically and care for their aging populations, those nations, the United States included, need immigrants. Increasing the number of immigrants allowed to enter legally would meet the need, but in a world on track to reach a population of 9 billion three decades from now, it won’t stop illegal immigration.

Developed nations can’t accommodate all who wish to live in them without straining resources or perhaps changing irrevocably. But can the residents of a nation besieged by those fleeing flooded lands, growing deserts or genocidal madness bar the gates without becoming barbarians themselves? These are questions that, while the numbers arriving illegally remain manageable, the citizens of well-off nations need to ask.

Legacy Comments9

Give it a rest with the narrative.... The "children" you refer to are overwhelmingly 15 years of age or above. They are overwhelmingly male. You say they are escaping "climate change" and I want to vomit in my hat..... How can you even say it with a straight face? Do you know how much "change" there has been over the last century or two? Negligible to say the least.... You say they are escaping gang wars and violence - have you been to Chicago, L.A. or even Concord lately? You say they "want a better life".... Don't we all? I am not demanding entry into another country and expecting support... You liberal muppets are being spoon fed a narrative that plays on your heartstrings and all the while we know for a fact the only reason this invasion is being allowed is for political or financial gain, yet you lap it up like a good little lemming. This is not a "humanitarian crisis" or a "humanitarian cause"... We send over a Billion dollars a year to these South American countries that are as corrupt and as greedy as our own, does it do any good? We have presidents from these countries saying that this is all a trumped up excuse..... why you suppose that is? When it comes to morals, you should give a little consideration to the generations of families that have lost relatives, fathers, brothers, uncles, sons and the women who were engaged in wars to protect this country and it's sovereignty. I find it particularly disgusting that you come on here and post this drivel. If you are so concerned about all of these "poor people", pack up and move to one of these countries where you can "help" all you want. This country has been prosperous and productive due to some very simple principals... and socialism, marxism, liberalism, progressive blah blah or whatever snappy name you give it has nothing to do with its successes. Hard work and personal responsibility was what this country was founded on.... not EBT and government support.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that U.S. population will grow from 303 million people today to 400 million as early as 2040. While many industrialized nations, including Japan and most of Western Europe, are experiencing population growth slowdowns due to below replacement birth levels and little immigration, the U.S. is growing so fast that it trails only India and China in total numbers. Advocates for U.S. population stabilization, including some environmental organizations and leaders, fear that this ongoing influx of new arrivals is forcing the nation to exceed its “carrying capacity,” stressing an already overburdened physical infrastructure. David Durham of Population-Environment Balance says that Americans who care about the environment should insist on reducing immigration, to recognize “ecological realities such as limited potable water, topsoil and infrastructure.” He also cites studies showing that a permissive U.S. immigration policy drives up fertility rates in the sending countries “which is the last thing these sending countries need.”

Laurie Fenwick, our nation experienced its largest economic growth in the 50's and 60's because of the baby boom after WW!!. Now the baby boomers, of which I am one, is aging and needs to replaced by young people to keep this country vital. Funny how you people deny climate or environmental change when it pleases you but care about it suits your purposes. Climate change can be handled if people like you stop denying it is happening and at least allowed something to be done to protect the future for all our children.

do you have solar panels for electric production drive a biodiesel car and have geothermal for heat - If not you are just a phony hypocrite

What complete LIBERAL hogwash. Because of liberals we are no longer the world’s Policeman we are now the world’s social worker. This invasion of illegal Aliens are from failed Socialist economies not War Refugees. HEADLINES: 1)Leaked Data Shows 10-Fold Increase In Obama’s Asylum Approvals The wrong folks get billions in tax dollars 2) The Timeline Of The “Border Crisis” – An Intentionally Manufactured Crisis Created To Advance Comprehensive Immigration Reform ? 4) It´s official: Mexico facilitating illegal alien invasion of US by minors 5) Honduran President Vows To Keep Dumping Illegal Alien Children On U.S. Border Until His Friend President says STOP. WE ARE A NATION OF LAWS - close the borders NOW Obama Says To Stop….

Give BestPres a chance to get it wrong, and - guess what - he gets it wrong. The country with the smallest representation among southern border refugees is Nicaragua which of course happens to be the only socialist country in Central America. The rest are from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala (the worst) where the US has fought against leftist movements and supported what are basically death-squad states.

another ignorant comment from a literal liberal LIDV.

LOL...the Monitor editors and Katy Burns must have looked at the same poll numbers recently. NH is so anti immigration, many dont even want US citizens moving here.

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