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My Turn: U.S. has moral obligation to protect children

Yesenia Del Carmen 8, carries a cross reading "No to the Deportations," "as she and her grandmother join an immigrant-rights supporters "Procession of the Cross" walk, led by U.S.-born children from the Federal building to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, Friday, Apr. 18, 2014. Immigrants urged the Obama administration today to stop deportations that they said are splitting up families. Del Carmen worries her father could be deported while at work. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Yesenia Del Carmen 8, carries a cross reading "No to the Deportations," "as she and her grandmother join an immigrant-rights supporters "Procession of the Cross" walk, led by U.S.-born children from the Federal building to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, Friday, Apr. 18, 2014. Immigrants urged the Obama administration today to stop deportations that they said are splitting up families. Del Carmen worries her father could be deported while at work. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

In 1939, 937 Jewish refugees fled Hitler’s Europe aboard the ship St. Louis and tried to immigrate to the United States.

Our State Department prevented the ship from docking and denied the passengers entry. A desperate appeal to the White House went unanswered.

The ship was forced to return to Europe, where many of the passengers died in the Holocaust. The same year, Congress rejected the Wagner-Rogers bill, which would have granted 20,000 German Jewish children admission to the United States.

Today, Americans, looking back on these events, are amazed that we could have been so callous.

Seventy-five years later, thousands of unaccompanied children from Mexico and Central America are seeking entry to our country. Like those aboard the St. Louis, many are fleeing from violence in their countries. Others are escaping severe poverty or trying to find their parents.

The U.N. says many are eligible for international protection. Yet on June 30, the administration asked Congress for authority to speed deportation of the children. This is primarily a moral issue, not a law enforcement issue. It is unacceptable to send these children back into danger.

After all, U.S. trade, military and drug policies helped create the conditions the children are trying to escape. We need meaningful, compassionate immigration reform to prevent the incarceration and deportation of innocent people fleeing for their lives. More immediately, the children need legal protection.

Under current law, they are not even furnished with counsel at their deportation hearings. Organizations helping the children deserve our support.

(Judy Elliot lives in Canterbury.)

Legacy Comments14

Yep..we should protect them just like we protected Elián González.

Bring huge number here, illegally, and with unrealistic expectations; not good. People who have been hood winked and low of options and resources - get angry. Our laws mean little to them so crime is an expected outcome. We would be angry in the same circumstance. In their desperate attempts to get votes, ungainable by virtue - those in the white house may well have sewn the seeds for the next civil war.

if the border is not secure, this will keep happening. No immigration policy will ever be enacted till we stop the flow. Otherwise you are pretty much telling all countries to come on over to the US. You cannot put a band aid on a leaky dam. Where does is stop, at what number? We need to deal with Mexico. Getting folks across the border is a big money maker for them. The US needs to get tough with Mexico, impose sanctions, or do whatever it takes to stop the flow. Yet Mexico is never dealt with. They continue to be a major problem with drug trafficking and now transporting kids for a fee. We have to deal with the kids that are here. That is humane. Fix the border. How many other countries are as lax as the US. There is a reason folks come here. The US is soft on illegals.

Does not the same Moral issue pertain to Mexico, Guatemala and all other Latin American Countries that receive our Federal $$$$$$. Did you know the crisis at the border was created by NObama as part of his Cloward Piven Strategy. If you dont believe it then how do you explain this RFI in January :theconservativewife.blogspot.com/2014/06/government-hiring-escorts-for-65000.html

Seems BPR has forgotten two important facts: #1. Reagan signed the only amnesty bill for illegal aliens in the US; #2. George Bush in 2008 signed the bill that made it illegal to deport children that came into the country illegally, the bill said they must be sent to relatives in the US before a hearing on deportation. It was reported recently that only 20% ever show up for the hearings once spread out across the country. Giving amnesty and passing laws saying they cannot be deported are the real reasons why people keep coming. One can make up theory's and stories and opinions but the facts are real.

As usual the liberal cant stand that fact the he is proven wrong - again - by the FACT that NObama Admin has openly published a request for bids to house 65,000 ILLEGAL children back in ....... JANUARY . Can a liberal explain how a 9 year old girl shows up at the border in flip flops and no scratches after walking 1000's of miles ? Liberals ....sheeeesh-

Obama could take a lesson in representational govt from Reagan and Bush - Both Reagan and Bush in 2008 had democrats controlling congress

Yes. Take care of the children. This is a humanitarian issue.

Cloward-Piven everywhere - read this and then ask yourself who started this alien youth movement ....HEADLINE: "DHS solicited bids for vendor to handle 65,000 unaccompanied minors -- IN JANUARY!" https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=c6d7c0050b912fbc917a46d6709d38bd&tab=core&tabmode=list&=s=opportunity&mode=form&id=c6d7c0050b912fbc917a46d6709d38bd&tab=core&tabmode=list&

Nice try but time to "return to sender".

Isn't that what some people said to your ancestors?

Slaves taken against their will vs. lawbreakers? Here is the real story: "If passed, the proposed immigration bill will be costly for all Americans, but will harm black American workers more than any other group," the letter reads. "Mass immigration and amnesty puts African-Americans from all walks of life out of work and suppresses wages, causing them to compete with aliens willing to work in poorer working conditions for cheaper pay."

Oh right, gotta keep all the low paying jobs for the African-Americans.

What do you care for anyway. You are moving all your 50 jobs overseas where there are no regulations and you can pay them what you want and warehouse them in factories

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