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Shared responsibility

By Jim Killebrew

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[August 05, 2014]  During the past few weeks we have watched the news, listened to the politicians and seen the horrific pictures of the tens of thousands of young children from infancy to late teens stream across the Southwestern border after having ridden on top of the trains through Mexico from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Being in the United States it is fair to say that it is almost unthinkable by most parents or relatives of kids 9, 10 or even 13 or 14 being sent off unaccompanied to a country more than a thousand miles away without even being able to speak the language.

We look in our own family or other families with kids that age and can't fathom the idea of giving them a backpack or a sack of sparse provisions and send them off to hop a train to ride on top of it for a thousand miles hoping they will be accepted in the country they illegally enter.

Sending kids that age out unaccompanied almost sounds like a 1950s "B"-rated movie starring Lon Chaney, William Bendix or a young Andy Divine. To think of it as serendipitous, without any planning or forethought to entrust your children to a band of drug thugs or other low-life parasites posing as "coyotes" simply wanting to make money off of your misery is totally unthinkable in this country. Even with the talking points we hear about them escaping from persecution from gangs and violence is almost a far stretch when one thinks about why would the children be sent unaccompanied; wouldn't the parents do everything in their power to take their children themselves? Perhaps that might drive a few hundred out of those conditions, but tens of thousands? Where is the formalized law enforcement in any of those countries? Are we to believe that those countries are so completely lawless there is no government in play and the entire population in those three countries are living without any laws of general order?


Then, we have to wonder where Mexico is in this scenario; look at a map of Central America. First of all, those countries are stacked up on top of each other; Nicaragua is the southernmost of the three, then Honduras and finally Guatemala. So that means the unaccompanied children leaving Nicaragua are crossing the border of Northern Nicaragua and Southern Honduras. They have to be meeting up there to travel the entire North/South land mass of Honduras even before they get to Guatemala. Then, together with those from Guatemala, the unaccompanied children from Nicaragua and Honduras are traveling with those collected in Guatemala all the way across that country. So three countries of native children arrive at the Southern border of Mexico to board trains to travel 1,000 miles across the entire country to the Northern border of Mexico so they can cross the river into the United States? Does this seem like something that just rose up spontaneously without much forethought. Remember this started happening in one week and began to exponentially expand to tens of thousands in simply a matter of days.

One could almost hear the racing start-gun fire at the beginning of the race northward involving four countries before they reached the United States. Think of the process that had to be enacted to allow this to go forward. When the Nicaraguan kids arrived at the Southern border of Honduras, was there a crises in Honduras with everyone talking about the unaccompanied kids arriving at their Southern border? Or did the officials and thousands of parents in Honduras simply say, "Wait a minute, these kids are migrating to the United States, let's get our kids together and join up with them and send them on their way across our country on into Guatemala." Did the same thing happen when the Nicaraguan and Honduras kids arrived in Guatemala? Did that government simply let all those kids cross their Southern border and send them on their way as they gathered up tens of thousands of Guatemalan children to swoop them away too?

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Wow, then they arrived on the Southern Mexican border was it an emergency in the same way as it was in the United States when they landed in Texas? Is not the Mexican government complicit in the movement of these children? If there is a different policy in the United States for "Other than Mexican (OTM) children, then why would the Mexican government grant passage for the children from three Central American countries of unaccompanied children across a thousand miles of Mexican land knowing these children were being put at risk.

We have one American marine who accidentally crosses the Mexican border at the U.S/Mexican checkpoint crossing, and he gets arrested and has spent weeks in prison, going through criminal trial, and the Mexican government lets tens of thousands of unaccompanied children enter their Southern border illegally and travel the length from South to North for a thousand miles and then let them cross into the U.S. border without arresting any of them. Again, this looks more like a planned invasion than simple happenstance.

So, with all that, why is it at the U.S. taxpayer should be the only entity responsible for bearing the cost burden of such a massive movement of children from all these countries. The politicians in America are talking about the "emergency" on the Southwest border of the United States; what about the emergency on the Southern border of Mexico when they arrived there? The same for the other countries in Central America. No country throughout the trek thought to stop them before they arrived all the way to the United States. Did they not think it was dangerous for children to be traveling unaccompanied across their territory?

We are constantly talking about Mexico being our "friend" and trading partner; but I wonder if we aren't being played for suckers. I think we need to look for something "behind the scenes" both in those countries who sent the children, and our own politicians who have accepted the children. Our politicians are in the throes of heated discussions about what to do about the children; our President has requested four billion dollars to "fix" the problem; we are likely to end up with some kind of amnesty law that will allow tens of thousands to stay in the U.S., but the Central American countries and Mexico come out without a scratch. It should be evident to our political leaders that Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua should share in the responsibility of fixing this situation. Each should examine their laws, law enforcement practices and humanitarian efforts and demand the citizens of their country who illegally entered into the other countries be returned immediately at their expense. Then, each country in turn, should build security fences at their borders and prevent people from breaking the laws by leaving illegally and entering into another country illegally.

Breaking the law is a two-way street. If any American tries to leave the United States without a passport it is breaking the law; if they try to re-enter the United States after having left illegally, they are breaking the law. Why should we live under such a double standard that treats citizens of the United States worse than those who break the laws from other countries? Other countries should be just as responsible for their citizens as the United States is for their own.


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