The children of Central America are at our doorstep – a “crisis” of “illegals” banging on the door of Rick Perry’s Texas. No one is answering the door.
Last Wednesday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees called for Central American migrants to be treated as refugees from armed conflict.
“The US and Mexico should recognize that this is a refugee situation, which implies that they shouldn’t be automatically sent to their home countries but rather, receive international protection,” the agency said.
The children are fleeing the most violent places on earth – the hell holes that are Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Vast swathes of these countries are now controlled by gangs which extort and kill without consequence.
The Guardian reports: “Heavily armed street gangs such as the Mara Salvatrucha and Calle 18 impose a reign of terror on entire neighborhoods across the region, which is also a key route for Mexican and Colombian cartels shipping narcotics north.
Drug-fueled corruption, political instability, and – in the case of Honduras, a right wing coup – have all contributed to a situation of institutional collapse. As their states fall apart around them, many Central Americans feel that justice and security can only be found elsewhere.
“For many people the choice is to flee or to die,” says Carlos Paz, director of the San Pedro Sula office of the church organisation Cáritas.”
San Pedro Sula is the most violent city on earth with a murder rate of 180 per 100,000 – the rate in the U. S. Is 5. If you don’t follow gang orders you are a dead man.
Meanwhile death squads have begun combing the crime ridden neighborhoods killing teenagers as a method of “cleansing” crime. Are they government controlled? Who knows. None of the MSM knows a thing about what is going on in the “banana” republics. There has been little coverage since St. Ronnie fought the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
This week the U.N. acted: The United Nations wants refugee status for the thousands of children crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. Officials at the UN say it would step up the pressure on both countries to accept many of the children fleeing violence in Central America. The UN move comes as Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson meets officials in Guatemala today to discuss the government response to the migrant crisis along the southwest U.S. border.
Meanwhile some leading members of the U.S. Congress are calling on the Obama administration to consider launching an emergency refugee program for Central American children as one way to address a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
We never talk about the elephant in the room – Central America today is a creation of U.S. policy over the last century – supporting United Fruit, supporting right wing dictatorships, the bringing down of the Arbenz government by the C.I. A. In Guatemala, the war on the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.
The results of U.S. policy? Guatemala and Honduras are the 2nd / 3rd poorest countries in the hemisphere after Haiti. Central America is rife with drug corruption, street gang and death squad violence.
The young are fleeing north.
Meanwhile here in this “exceptional” nation, protesters meet a busload of children in California with signs – “Go Home!”. Nice.
Italy is the destination for tens of thousands of refugees from the Syrian and Libyan conflicts – coming across the Mediterranean from North Africa. Italian facilities to feed, house and cloth refugees have been overwhelmed so churches have opened their doors, removing pews and installing beds. Italy has asked the E.U. for financial assistance to meet the crisis.
After hundreds of refugees died off the Italian coast when their rickety boat caught fire and sank, Italy was appalled.
The government ordered the Italian Navy to rescue those at sea fleeing the violence, bringing them safely to shore. Some in the government, particularly in the Northern League (Berlusconi’s party) called the effort a “taxi service”.
But I have never been prouder of Italy. Jordan has taken in thens of thousands of Syrians while the Kurds are sheltering other ethnic Iraqis. These countries can ill afford it. If only we could act with such humanity.
Love your photo of the blue collar middle aged white men who spearhead the anti-immigration movement. I have been doing some research on corporate and government propaganda techniques and this strategy called narrow casing that targets the unconscious needs of specific demographic groups. It seems to work particularly well on blue collar white males because they are genuinely clueless about what they’re feeling, much less underlying fears and insecurities that might be motivating them (that stuff scares them shitless so they keep it well out of consciousness).
Apparently it works like a bird whistle on them. They are totally clueless to efforts by Food Inc entrepreneurs to attract more of the cheap illegal immigrant labor they rely on to keep their businesses going. There are steep fines and even jail penalties for employing illegal immigrants – but for obvious reasons the US government never enforces them.
Hi Doc – I live in Florida and see the immigrants picking oranges or strawberries regularly. Most of the lawns as well! The agriculture of the state is dependent on cheap labor. Regards
Actually I meant a dog whistle.
Yeah I knew that! 🙂
All four of my grandparents were Polish emigres who sought a better life in America. They fled poverty and war and devastation. They took their chances coming here to a land where they were not wanted, not welcomed. I know how hard they struggled to make a place for themselves here, and how heartbreaking it was for them to never see their homeland or the families they left behind ever again. My maternal grandmother picked peas with my mother tied to her back under the scorching sun, and was paid a paltry nickel a bushel for all her hard work. Given that background, I have immense empathy for the people all over the world who live under unimaginable circumstances and dream of a better life here on our soil. Perhaps we can welcome them all in and give them the opportunities they so desperately need, and perhaps not.
One question nags at me, though: While so many across the globe feel that America has a moral imperative to offer shelter and opportunity to those who seek it, when does it become a moral imperative for the governments of countries around the world to take responsibility for their own citizens health, safety, shelter, economic opportunities and justice?
I would be very appreciative of a response to the question- interested to hear your thoughts.
Minstrel – like you all four of my grandparents left Italy in the early 20th century for a better life here. Italy was in chaos, absentee landlords owned everything and everyone else owned nothing. They lived in a cold water flat on the lower East Side of New York and built a life here. I was the first in my family to graduate from college.
Yes, governments should be responsible for the welfare of their own people, Most refugees today are fleeing violence, either war or ethnic. The West brought down Ghadaffi in Libya. Today Libya has a powerless central government with most of the country controlled by armed militias that don’t like each other. We brought down Saddam and as soon as we left civil war began. The West armed the Syrian “insurgents” against Assad; what we got was ISIS and hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan or Italy.
We created Central America by our policies and have consistently opposed any Latin government which puts its people’s interests above our own. It was United Fruit wiho christened it “banana republics”. Witness our policies toward Arbenz, the Sandinista, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Noriega in Panama, Venezuela, Bolivia. We put capitalism and markets above the welfare of the mass of people; we have treated Central America as a colony for a century. We love strong arm right wing governments.
Children are fleeing Central America on foot, by bus, anyway they can. What must that take? An awful lot. The humanitarian thing to do is care for the children. Governor Perry wants to put the National Guard on the Texas border. Nice. Greet the kids with guns. We should be ashamed of ourselves; I thought we were better than that.
In 1960 I could safely walk the streets of any city in the Middle East or Pakistan. Indeed I did. The people in the streets loved Americans (once they found out I wasn’t British!). No more. What have we done?. Half the world hates us and the rest couldn’t care less.
Actually, the ramifications for this massive influx are more complicated than expressed here. News people, clergy, aid and medical people and politicians of the “other party” are being refused entrance to holding centers by officials of this Administration…counter to any humanitarian concern for the children. For all this talk about “crisis”…Mr Obama refuses to even tour the centers or insist that his officials show any real concern for these children. It appears that they are just a convenient political tool for him…even known gang members are let in by orders of upper level officials…against all the advice of law enforcement people who know better. Whatever started this organaized mass exodus, it is not any sort of Federal Administration compassion for the children…just an apparent ploy toward more American anarchy. —Jonathan Caswell
Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
SOUNDS LIKE THE CUBAN BOAT CRISIS OF THE 1980’S…EXCEPT NO EFFORTS ON THE AMERICAN SIDE ARE BEING ALLOWED BY OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO EITHER PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AIDE FOR THE CHILDRENS’ SAKE…OR WEED OUT THE BAD APPLES TO PROTECT US! IT BOILS ME…YOU?
Jonathan – this post is not about Obama. I personally think he’s not progressive enough. As for the Admin blocking attempted “humanitarian aid”, the House has a request for funds in front of it today – as usual it will do nothing. The children are currently in detention pending a court hearing for each. I can understand why every “humanitarian” who shows up at a detention center is not allowed access. Perry wants more guns on the border to “send a message”. Protesters greet a bus full of kids with signs saying “Go Home!”. Nice. The U.N. has this one right. These kids should be treated as refugees under international law, not illegal migrants. Regards and thanks for reading and commenting and reblogging!
…I guess then you and I are from different ends of the universe. The children are being shuffled around like pawns and not being treated with any compassion. Is that your wish too? Throwing money at a situation politically undefined and with no plan in place is not compassion, either! However—AS TO YOUR QUESTION AT THE END OF YOUR POST—I agree (surprised?)…somehow, the role of those countries these kids are being ferried from…is missing! WhaT ABOUT their responsibility to their own country’s youth? Why ship just the children? I remain a fan of open debate and discussion. Your Poetic servant….Jonathan Caswell
BY-THE-BY….Check out Ron Dubours’s http://ourpoetrycorner.wordpress.com/ and his Face Book page. He and I are at opposite ends of the universe too—but we agree on poetry!!! I began posting with him on Face Book and then moved with him when he started OUR POETRY CORNER on Word Press. Face Book was pkaying tricks on page administrators even back then! 🙂
Jonathan – If you are a fan of open debate I suggest you write a blog post about the situation on your own blog. That guy with the sign in my post says it all. The comment section is not the place for extended debate. This is not Open Salon. Besides, I don’t debate. No minds are changed and its a waste of time I’ll be sure to read your post. Promise. Regards.
jonathan – well then, feel free to read my “poetry” too!! Right here!!