Children deserve better
We are still in an afterglow of good feeling, since we have just celebrated the birth of a baby to a family who had been walking many miles from their home. We’ve spent quite a bit of money for gifts for children who are close to us, and other people we love.
Somehow we have forgotten thousands of children right on our border, who also traveled many miles on foot, by truck and the roofs of freight trains with and without their parents in hopes of safety in our country. After such a grueling journey of more than 1,000 miles, they should have been received with warmth and hugs and safety.
Instead, we have treated them with the grossest of cruelty. We’ve separated the tiniest of them from their parents; taken their shoes and toys from them and put them in cold wire cages. In spite of what the judges have ruled, many thousands are still in these conditions. Some we have sent far away and deported their parents without telling them where their children are.
Many thousands of young teenagers are in permanent jail-like detention. The excuse is that “there are gang members among them, and who can tell who they are.” What is the plan? To keep them in inhumane conditions until they are 18 and then deport them? Would we not see more gang members? Or should we increase the numbers of DACAs?
I say “we” because we are a democracy and we are all responsible for who our leaders are and what they do in our name.
Why aren’t we at the borders and the detention centers and other child holding places in our thousands? Why aren’t we beating down the doors of our mayors, governors, senators and representatives, demanding that these cruel and inhumane practices be ended immediately?
If it’s a crisis, why are not scores of new immigration judges being confirmed to deal with the years’ long backlog of people waiting to have their appeals for mercy and safety heard?
And why are we not demanding that these courts be set up?
We have protested many things: the Vietnam War, the Iraq War, the Women’s March; why aren’t we protesting in mass this hideous injustice?
We are not helpless against a horde of mothers and children coming to beg our mercy. There are many things we could do to help their home countries change their practices that are sending so many people north.
If we really want to spread the peace and hope ... these are things we must do.
Event was a success
I want to thank all the wonderful children and their parents for attending our first “Visit with Santa” event.
A special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Frazier for generously volunteering to be a fanatastic Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Also, thanks to Belen Walmart for contributing the delicious Christmas cookies for our event.
A special gratitude to our partners, the Rio Grande Estates Fire Department for their assistance, support and use of the fire station. Thank you to all the Rio Communities Optimist that worked on making “Visit with Santa” successful.
Rio Communities Optimist Club president