A Possible Response to the Central American Kids Invasion
We have tens of thousands of children fleeing from Central America to the U.S. It seems they face horrendous circumstances if they go back. But there’s also fear that keeping them here sets a bad precedent — that there are millions more, adult and child alike, willing to follow them if the signals are right. This post suggests one possible response.
They appear to qualify as refugees. Whatever their official status, they probably have about as much right to be here as any other refugees before them, the chief difference being that the rest of us got here first. It’s called “Last Man Syndrome”: now that I’m here, we need to close the gates.
But it’s true that we can’t become the world’s supplier of an easier life. Existence is going to suck for billions of people, and that is a problem that we can’t resolve by having them all move in with us. There will continue to be many millions at risk of rape, torture, and death, around the world, and we haven’t exactly been sending charter flights to bring all those people here either.
At some expense, however, we could keep these kids temporarily. Merely providing a place to live would be a humane response, but possibly we could do better than that. Possibly we could construct a domestic version of the military social work that we have taken to Afghanistan and Iran. What didn’t work there might work here. Construct, in these tens of thousands of children, a vision of the future and the means to bring it about. Send them back, at an appropriate age, after giving them an expectation that they deserve better — an intolerance, that is, for the conditions that drove them here.
Send them back, moreover, with our partnership in creating a better homeland for themselves. It was, after all, our drug usage, and our war on drugs, that provided so much of the funding and upheaval for the conditions that drove them here. Develop a plan, in collaboration with their nations and neighboring lands, by which that better homeland can be realized. We were slow to recognize the need for nation-building in Afghanistan and Iran, and that cost us dearly. Let’s not make the same mistake again. This time around, let’s do some advance planning.
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Tags: build, building, Central America, children, idea, immigration, kids, nation, proposal, refugee