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America Tells Kids in Danger, “Get Off My Yard!”

The United States kicked 17 women and 21 children out of the country on Monday. It flew these illegal Central American immigrants to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. In the first five months of this year, over 2,000 unaccompanied child immigrants fled San Pedro Sula for the United States, trying to flee the city's gang violence and the highest murder rate in the world.

On sending these women and children back to mortal danger, the Obama White House yesterday issued this discouraging statement:

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the return of the Hondurans should be a clear signal to those thinking about crossing the border illegally that "they're entitled to due process but they will not be welcome to this country with open arms" [Steve Holland and Gabriel Stargardter, "U.S. Says Deportation of Honduran Children a Warning to Illegal Migrants," Reuters, 2014.07.15].

Not welcoming women and children fleeing danger is one of the most un-American and un-Christian (and probably un-Jewish, un-Muslim... heck, how about simply inhumane?) policy positions we can formulate.

President Obama evidently needs another meeting with Pope Francis, who issued a letter from a church conference in Mexico City calling on the U.S. to welcome and protect the thousands of children fleeing the violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala:

In a Monday letter, Pope Francis urged "intervention" from the U.S. government to make sure "these children are welcomed and protected." He also called for sympathy, citing the children's desire to get to the United States "in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain." Francis also recalled the children's struggles as "they are forced to leave their families and unfortunately still subjected to racist and xenophobic attitudes."

...The pontiff also reiterated his sentiments from an August statement on the plight of immigrants and the role of immigration in the world, suggesting the need for a "change of attitude towards migrants and refugees by all." He also said more understanding toward immigrants is the "only way to build a more just world" [Ross Gianfortune, "Pope Urges Protection for Unaccompanied Minors Flooding the Border," Government Executive, 2014.07.15].

Los Angeles is listening to the Pope:

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday that the city would help shelter immigrant children who have been detained after crossing the border and has begun talks with a federal agency about doing so.

"Before you get partisan, before you tell me where you are on immigration--these are children," Garcetti said Tuesday at a forum hosted downtown by Politico magazine.

"As a father, who are we as Americans if we don't step forward first and say, these kids who are isolated, alone ... let's get them someplace safe and secure," the mayor told the crowd ["L.A. Welcomes Children Crossing the Border," McClatchy via Governing, 2014.07.16].

I understand that we should follow the law. But if the child next door is being beaten by her stepdad and runs to your yard to hide, do you call the cops to arrest her for trespassing?

I understand that if you're in a lifeboat, you can only fit so many people. There comes a point where picking up one more drowning child would capsize the boat and sink everybody.

But America is a big lifeboat. The wide open spaces from North Sioux City to Peever tell me we're not out of seats. The money we spend on drones and bombers at Ellsworth and the Sanford Sportsplex tell me we're not out of rations. The United States has never declared itself full. We've never seen fit to declare a one-child policy to limit population growth. Certainly there must be some ceiling to food production, water supply, and living space, but until we hit that ceiling, it seems immoral to turn away from our borders any person, child or adult, seeking safety.

Senator John McCain and Rep. Jeff Flake from Arizona want to speed deportation of the 55,000 unaccompanied minors who've immigrated illegally to the U.S. this year but also allot 5,000 more refugee visas each to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

How about we go one better... or 40,000 better? Let's revamp the EB-5 visa program. While we send frightened children who've hiked alone across Mexico back to violent Central American cities, we currently let rich foreigners buy their green cards by investing a half million to one million dollars in economic development projects, like a lot of those dairies that sprung up in the I-29 corridor over the last decade. Let's shift that EB-5 money to humanitarian assistance. Let rich foreigners keep jumping the queue with their money, but use their money to make the rest of the queue move faster. Use those millions in EB-5 money to place more visa application stations along the Mexican border, along with dedicated child advocates to handle these young, frightened refugees. use EB-5 money to provide those children and their caretakers with food and housing allowances. Let's require that EB-5 dollars go not to crony capitalist projects but to aid refugee assistance groups like the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (which agrees with the Pope that deportation of children fleeing violence is wrong).

And let's remove the cap on refugee visas and help all the kids we can.

That's what a humane country does. That's what a pro-life country does. That's what a rich country does. That's what America should do.


  1. Jenny 2014.07.16

    I have India neighbors that bring over delicious home cooked India food all the time. It brings tears to my eyes, as it is such a kind, generous act. They are the sweetest neighbors anyone could ever have. They have taught me that there is hope for humanity.

  2. mike from iowa 2014.07.16

    Obama-you suck! Wingnuts are gonna lay the blame on you however this turns out so do the right thing and allow these children to stay. You see where wingnut compassion for a fetus ends,don't you? Cut half a trillion from defense spending and put Americans back to work building and repairing stuff.

  3. Michael B 2014.07.16

    The problem is that we were promised transparency in all areas of government. No one can determine the conditions that these newest visitors are being held in because everyone from reporters to members of congress are not allowed to visit the "camps". These people deserve better treatment than they are receiving.

    It's easy: tell the truth.

  4. JeniW 2014.07.16

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    It is a no win for Obama.

  5. Jerry 2014.07.16

    This is truly an outrage to not allow these young people the safety of this country. We need to realize that immigrants made this place what it is and the very people who are the loudest critics, came from immigrants.

    Mike from iowa is correct, cut the defense spending to offset the costs of this. Cut some spending for the star wars money that goes to Israel to prove out their "Iron Dome" defense. There are plenty of things we could cut to improve the lives of these immigrants as well as to make our own lives better.

  6. MJL 2014.07.16

    You are all missing the point of the GOP. To many of them fear the "other." They are okay allowing some immigrants in if they serve a purpose to further their needs. Like Steve King said when he claimed that we should treat them like dogs. Take the best of the litter and ignore the rest. There are so many immigration problems right now in the US and a need for a more efficient visa program system, but I truly believe that a major reason for not making the reforms is that they are afraid that people that will speak a different language will vote Democrat.

  7. Jerry 2014.07.16

    That is the point MJL and it will come home to roost as even with the gerrymandering that was done to get this asshats into congress in the first place will come to an end eventually. The republcan knows this and that is why they are doing what they can to slow the process so they can do more harm to our economy and our society itself.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.16

    Michael B is obviously spouting Republican talking points.

  9. jaa dee 2014.07.16

    Meeting on immigration---Vasser Michigan--July 9
    Terry Mocny ---"“I support a minefield along the border,” he said. Then he said the children should also be imprisoned. --Maybe the parts that can be found to?----That ********** is what the conservative / religious entertainment industry and t-brain mentality has infected this country with.The stupidity was always there, now it has cheerleaders, coaches, well paid by sponsors to tell folks like Mocny that they are mainstream, godly, super-patriots on a mission to save das vaterland.

  10. Michael B 2014.07.16

    Roger, if someone campaigns on the promise of transparency and then his administration does everything he can to hide information then there is a problem.

    If they can track and record every phone call you make, then they certainly can provide us with the truth.

    And your comment about "Republican talking points" just show how the political parties have turned you all into sheep. Doesn't anyone think for themselves any more? I vote based on the character of the candidate and not party affiliation.

  11. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    Isn't this the job of the United Nations? Why does this have to be handled by a country who has $17 trillion in debt?

    Do these countries have a Second Amendment?

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.16

    JeniW, I disagree. We win when we save children. How others turn that saving into a political issue does not matter.

    And Steve, you know you don't mean what you're saying about the United Nations.

    Our $17 trillion debt did not stand in the way of chartering a plane to deport those women and children to Honduras. It does not stand in the way of handing them visas, sandwiches, and cold glasses of water and saying, "Welcome to America. What else can we do to help?"

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.16

    MJL has a good point: we aren't afraid of "the other" when "the other" can write a big check. It's important to look at the difference in how we treat an EB-5 investor from Hong Kong and a child refugee from San Pedro Sula.

  14. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    "And Steve, you know you don't mean what you're saying about the United Nations."

    Right Cory, the true position of the United Nations is that there is too much population on Mother Earth to be sustainable. Once the debt financed artificial wealth being produced in America comes crashing down, then Americans will understand what it means to live in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We will welcome in the one-world currency so we can go back to eating food. Once the one-world system removes the guns from our homes, then the program of population control can start. Or will they remove the guns before they crash our economic system? Or is this another go at the Cloward-Piven strategy:

    The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty"

    Instead of a "national system", try instead to put into place an "international system" of Neo-Marxism.

  15. Rorschach 2014.07.16

    The White House spokesman's name is Josh Earnest - really? They put a guy at the podium whose very name is an oxymoron that calls into question the veracity of any pronouncement he makes?

    Mitch McConnell must be really torn up about these immigrant kids. His supporters really want them here to pick tobacco, but he can probably get more mileage out of blaming the President for them being here. Maybe they can just be put on a community service work crew picking tobacco till they get deported?

  16. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    Cory, you should run a correction on this post:

    A new intelligence assessment concludes that misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy – and not Central American violence – are fueling the surge of thousands of children illegally crossing the Mexican border.

    The 10-page July 7 report was issued by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which according to the Justice Department website is led by the DEA and incorporates Homeland Security. Its focus is on the collection and distribution of tactical intelligence, information which can immediately be acted on by law enforcement

  17. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    And in case bigotry and hatred causes you folks from trusting Fox News, here is another report:

    HOUSTON, Texas—An elite, law-enforcement sensitive El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) intel report from July 7, 2014 was leaked to Breitbart Texas and reveals that homicide rates in Central America suggest violence is likely not the primary cause of the surge of thousands of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units illegally entering the United States.

    The EPIC report indicates that the belief among the illegal immigrants that they would receive permisos and be allowed to stay was the driving factor in their choices to come to the United States and that the crisis will continue until 'misperceptions' about U.S. immigration benefits were no longer prevalent . The report also states that the migrants cited Univision and other other outlets as having shaped their views on U.S. immigration policy. Another implication of the report is that family members already in the U.S. are encouraging the minors to come and organizing the travel with smugglers. EPIC is a widely respected intelligence analysis group and was initially staffed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

  18. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    Jerry, you are a prime example of one who is fueled with so much Neo-Marxist based hatred and racism that you can not deal with reality.

  19. mike from iowa 2014.07.16

    Curious as to why this shredding report just happened to be handed over to Breitbart,of all people? Secondly the report's main premise was taken from interviews with 230 immigrants as to why they came to America. Knowing Breitbart,this report is full of it.

  20. JeniW 2014.07.16

    Cory, I agree with you about the children. What I am referring to that no matter what Obama does or does not do about the situation, there will be those who will either like him or hate him (well, in reality that is not anything new,) and he will not ever win. I apologize for not making that clear.

    There is a line in a song that goes "Freedom isn't free. You have to pay the price and make some sacrifices for your liberty." We all pay for our own and others freedoms.

    The question is how do we help the children? Do we open up what used to be known as orphanages, place children who do not have relatives living here in foster care, put them up for adoption? How can we streamline it all?

    I wish I knew an answer, and wish I knew how to deal with the situation without going through the slow turning wheels of court processes or Congress, or making the kids jump through a bunch of dang hoops.

  21. Donald Pay 2014.07.16

    On behalf of the white race, I'd like to apologize for the white trash waving signs and yelling hateful things at children. The folks I see waving the hateful signs seem to be able bodied, yet I suspect they are on some sort of government dole for lazy and shiftless white folks. I resent that these welfare cretins swiping my tax money to pay for their protesting of poor and abused children. Rather than waving hateful placards, why are those white folks working for a living? Why does right wing media heap praise on these welfare queens. I'd rather my tax dollars go to the children than a bunch of hateful idiots.

  22. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    Mike, if you really want faux reporting on this issue:

    President Obama has decided to allow immigrants to cross the border from his hometown of Chicago into the rest of the United States, placing an initial influx of refugees from the Murder Capital of the United States at the Seafarer Hotel on Martha’s Vineyard, the island where the president will be vacationing next month.

    “I’m glad to welcome refugees from the violence in Chicago to The Vineyard,” said a cheery Obama during an Oval Office interview with White House Dossier. “America is defined by immigrants and enriched by their presence, and Chicagoans have valuable contributions to make,” he said. “And I’d like to take this opportunity to announce that each individual will receive a five-percent-off coupon at Max’s Lobster Shack.”

    Martha’s Vineyard Mayor Elliot Shpinkle immediately announced the hiring of 150 additional police officers.

    Obama promised to bring Chicago immigrants onto the golf course with him. “I may even give them a mulligan,” the president chortled. “And wait until they taste the pancakes at Myrtle’s Waffle House. They won’t regret immigrating for a minute.”

  23. Jerry 2014.07.16

    Brietbart is where the neo-confederate Mr. Sibson got his marching orders from regarding the senate race in Mississippi. Birds of a feather. Hey, did you know that dinosaurs had feathers all those millions of years ago? Yep, they did and through evolution, we now have the birds we see flying each day. Ah, nature and evolution, what a wonderful thing. Also, another known fact. Tea party republicans never evolved, they still drag their knuckles, hates them some womenfolk while continuing to throw their feces, right Mr. Sibson?

  24. Jerry 2014.07.16

    Mr. Pay, great insight on something that I have seen as well.

  25. David Newquist 2014.07.16

    Children have become the objects of political hatred and the subjects of the consequent abuse. In South Dakota, we have Lakota children taken from family. In the Mideast we have the jihadists strapping bombs on to children, the murder of Israeli boys and retaliation of the live burning of a Palestinian boy, the killing of Palestinian children from Israeli bombardment, the kidnapping of Nigerian girls, and in the U.S., the efforts to destroy public education so that children will be denied what opportunities it might offer.

    The border crisis points up a huge irony. The children and their parents think the U.S. is a haven of fairness, security, and opportunity. Compared to the $47 a week that can be earned in Honduran sweatshops and the oppression of gangs, the U.S. offers an opportunity of life not available in their homeland. But they don’t see the number of working impoverished in the U.S., the systematic oppression of the poor and those who lost jobs and are sliding into the ranks of poverty, nor the political attitudes that foster a hatred of workers and those who do not earn enough to sustain themselves independently. The comparative affluence of the U.S. masks the fact that we have a political force that wishes systematically to create a small privileged class that accrues the nation’s wealth and earning power while consigning the rest to malign neglect and confinement in prisons and ghettoes. The process has been operating for more than 30 years under the banner of globalization and unrestrained capitalism.

    The reactions of those who deny and condemn children being put into safe and providential facilities in their communities reveals an element at work in our society not unlike those who went on the rampage of Kristal Nacht. Or those who massacred native American children while reciting the slogan that nits make lice.

    Too many believe in a basic decency and benignity to have a full understanding of what some are trying to make of our country and how they have affected it.

    When we have to debate over what to do with children looking for safety and opportunity, we have descended to a state of moral destitution that disqualifies us as moral force in the world. We join those nations that rank with Nigeria.

  26. Steve Sibson 2014.07.16

    Jerry, thanks for reminding me about the Mississippi Democrats supporting the GOP crony capitalist.

    David, you forgot to mention all of those children in American government schools being groomed for pedophiles during sex education.

  27. Jerry 2014.07.16

    Just happy that your content with being such a racist, congratulations Mr. neo-confederate. You fit right in now to the hate of the children from south of the border. Find the passage in your good book that says it is okay for you religious fanatics to hate children. I wonder what Jesus would have said about that hate. How do you guys sleep at night with all that racism building up like a gas bubble. What a fraud you are.

  28. mike from iowa 2014.07.16

    Here is a comment from Georgia Wingnut Congressweasel/MD,Phil Gingrey-

    He is a medical doctor so he is also very concerned about preventable diseases they bring:

    “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.”

    Okay, first off, that’s not true.

    As the Texas Observer points out, when it comes to measles, children in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are more likely to be vaccinated than children in the United States. None of those countries have recorded an outbreak of measles in 24 years. Kids in Marin County are more at risk.
    Gingrey is involved with a right wing Medical group called the Assoc. of American Physicians and Surgeons-a group that opposes mandatory vaccinations. They also tout access to Gingrey as a membership perk.

  29. mike from iowa 2014.07.16

    Well said David Newquist.

  30. bearcreekbat 2014.07.16

    Cory, I am with you on this 100%. I can't imagine how some adults think it is okay to try to scare kids, nor why so many others seem to want to allow these kids to be hurt.

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.16


    Does EPIC deny that San Pedro Sula has the highest murder rate in the world?

    Does EPIC deny that Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are more dangerous places than the United States?

    Does EPIC deny that the children under discussion here who are coming to America fear for their safety in their home countries?

    (Linking to two sources, in this case Fox and Breitbart, talking about the same report does not make the report more true.)

  32. lesliengland 2014.07.16

    groomed for pedophiles by schools-where do u get this sheit? is there a conspiracy theory u don't subscribe to? did u just slander all 3,100,000 public teachers, or just administrators or school boards too?

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.07.16

    From my immediately-above link:

    "Oh, and the crime reports Epic used to underscore its conclusions are from 2012 – before the current crisis of child migrants started, and while a gang truce was still in effect. That truce officially collapsed earlier this year, but may never really have affected the murder rate – the discovery of a mass grave in early 2014 indicated the increase in "disappearances" may have simply offset the supposed murder rate decline.

    "And none of that takes into account Epic's long history of distributing outdated "intelligence" information or its well-documented coordination and analysis problems that have led law enforcement agencies to ignore its data for at least five years" [Megan Carpentier, "Illegals and gangsters and Ebola, oh my! 5 conservative immigration myths of the moment, made sane," The Guardian, 2014.07.15].

  34. jaa dee 2014.07.16

    Robert Reich (Fusion)

    "For decades, U.S. governments supported unspeakably brutal regimes and poured billions into maintaining them ($5 billion in El Salvador alone). Implacable opposition to communism—often defined as virtually any reformer—gave these regimes a blank check. The result is a legacy of dealing with opponents through extreme violence and a culture of impunity. Judicial systems remain weak, corrupt, and often completely dysfunctional. After the cold war ended, the United States lost interest in these countries. What was left was destruction, tens of thousands dead, and massive population displacement. The percentage of people living below the poverty line is 54 percent for Guatemala, 36 percent for El Salvador,and 60 percent for Honduras. More recently gangs, organized crime, and drug cartels feeding the US market have become part of this unholy mix."

  35. jaa dee 2014.07.16

    As a fair & balanced counter Mr . Reich we have---

    "FL Republican: Child migrants bringing culture of thievery, rape and murder"..

    Louie Gohmert: "Obama won’t ‘defend women’ from ‘hundreds of thousands’ of immigrant rapists"..

    Michelle Bachmann Just Compared Child Immigrants to Rapists

    Fox Host "Wouldn't Be Surprised" If Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Were Fronts For Drug Dealers, Terrorists.

    Laura Ingraham Claimed Immigrants Will Cause "Pronounced And More Vicious Gang Activity."

    Fox's Heather Nauert: DHS Is Releasing Children Who Crossed Border Illegally To Parents In U.S..

    Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs: Obama Admin "Orchestrating" Immigrant Crisis "In Coordination With" Central American Governments.

    Pat Buchanan claimed that "clearly the illegal aliens" were to blame for the rise in bedbug infestations.

  36. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.16

    Prof Newquist nailed it. It began with that slimy Reagan and has continued since then.

  37. mike from iowa 2014.07.17

    and the war on drugs(started by Nixon) is forcing drug dealers out of Columbia and Mexico to Central America.

  38. larry kurtz 2014.07.17

    It's time for Mexico to dissolve her constitution and petition for US Statehood.

  39. Steve Sibson 2014.07.17

    "Does EPIC deny that San Pedro Sula has the highest murder rate in the world?

    Does EPIC deny that Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are more dangerous places than the United States?

    Does EPIC deny that the children under discussion here who are coming to America fear for their safety in their home countries?"

    "And Steve, aren't the Darby-EPIC "leaked documents" just one of many myths being peddled by anti-immigration conservative nuts?"

    Cory, that should be "anti-illegal-immigration". And who are you to judge the motives of all the illegals and those who oppose illegal acts?

    Then we have Jerry using his Neo-Marxist worldview to call one a racist who believes there is only one race and one blood that originates with Adam and Eve.

    And then Cory refuses to recognize that America is in debt up to our eyeballs, and that debt is financed in such a way that it is putting into jeopardy the economic wellbeing of the entire world.

    Would not the sensible thing to do is find out the root cause of the gang violence? Why is it sensible to argue that the only solution is to move the entire world's population to the nation that prints money to pay for the lazy's food. Clearly this is just another Cloward-Piven plan to flood the immigration system in order to establish an "international" system that has been referred to as the "New World Order".

  40. larry kurtz 2014.07.17

    The history of humanity in the United States of America is at least 14,000 years old, some researchers say it is far older. We the People are at another crossroads: we can allow China to outgrow us or we can grow.

    There 2.5 million Native Americans living in the US, more living in Canada, and virtually every native Mexican is a native American as well. Four sets of laws trapped in a quagmire of treaty obligations. If each reservation in the lower contiguous states were a county in a non-contiguous state, the two senators and five representatives would wield great power in Congress. Native readers: what would you call your own State?

    Mexico: please consider a referendum that would pave the way to suspend your constitution and become the 52nd State where the Tohono O'odham Nation that currently straddles some surreal boundary would become one county. Two senators and 30+ representatives in Congress would give Mexicans awesome power in Washington, DC and create a geopolitical superpower that will cause China to wake up and smell the Tsingtao.

    One day, the Canadian provinces and First Nations will see the new States in a clearer light and vote to join US, too.

  41. MJL 2014.07.17

    EPIC and FAIR are anti-immigrant organizations that have been known to fudge the numbers to show that all immigrants are evil and should be avoided. When my students debated to immigration topic, the students examined some of the popular websites used and could easily tell it was a biased source to be avoided in competition.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.17

    FAIR especially is virulently anti-immigrants. Their 'information' is not trustworthy.

  43. Steve Sibson 2014.07.18

    Interesting conspiracy theories put forward by those suffering from paranoia and fear of right wing nuts taking over America. How about agreeing there are more than one reason.

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