The kids trek across vast and dangerous lands, then ford a river to get to Texas, fleeing gang violence, gun battles on every street corner, drug dealers lurking in the doorways. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to live in Chicago, either. Meantime, to the south we have another group coming to visit, and perhaps to stay. We all know the story: so far 56,000 young people and mothers from Central America are coming to the U.S. seeking a better life. Experts predict the number will swell to 100,000 by fall, and why not? The only thing to prevent more of them from coming to the U.S. is that Central America runs out of children.
So let us discuss this matter. First, the back story to the story. On Dec. 23, 2008, President George W. Bush signed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. A White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, told reporters, “This is a piece of legislation we’re very proud to sign.” It was a bipartisan law to stop human trafficking, and specifically gave strong new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada – it prohibited them from being quickly sent back to their home country. We must suppose all illegal Eskimos now claim they are from Tegucigalpa. So word trickled down to Central America that children and women with children could claim King’s X when caught on the Rio. Next came the DREAM Act allowing young illegals to stay until we lose interest in their plight. Add to that political asylum, parents in Plano and we have what we have.
Politicians keep calling for – all together now –“more boots on the ground” to stop the flow of immigrants and turn them back. But these newcomers WANT to be caught. They hunt for Border Patrol guards. Boots on the ground is as worthless a term as “comprehensive immigration reform.” That means whatever you want it to mean. Into this mess comes the militia. Now let’s consider the number of these newcomers. We first heard 40,000 then 56,000 and so on to 100,000. This is like the DEA saying, “We intercept only 15 percent of illegal drugs coming in to this country.” How do they know that? They don’t. Another point: Currently, these young people go before a judge who gives them a future court date to show why they shouldn’t be deported. Not surprisingly about 90 percent of them are never seen again. The other 10 percent are soccer players. Speaking of deportation, Jay Leno’s observation: “They say we can’t send 11 million Mexicans across the border. Why not? Mexico did.”
What about a U.N. observation that these young people are not illegal immigrants but refugees? That’s a technical, but legal, term. Does that change things? Question: How do penniless peasants have 8,000 U.S. dollars to pay a coyote? Also, I don’t want to hear any effete Eastern snob noting that Texas ranks 50th among the states in high school dropouts, math scores and reading rankings. Place tens of thousands of kids, who are totally illiterate in English, on any state and that might affect rankings. Fortunately, Texas can handle the situation. All our students are above average, our teachers are overpaid and we’ve got a couple of billion in unspent school funds. Texas officials say the state is spending about $1.3 million a week on this law-enforcement situation. Again, no problem.
One perfectly logical reason these newcomers give for their trip is their country’s corruption, inefficiency and callousness. That is undeniable. In 1990 in the 10-county Houston area, there were 93,000 Salvadorians who had fled that country’s civil wars. When the war was over, the Salvadoran government urged all refugees in the U.S. to stay here and send back money to their relatives. What a country.
We must remember Rule Number 2 around here. (Rule Number 1 is what’s in it for us?) Don’t complain if you don’t have a solution. So here are some. We hear a lot about “humanitarian efforts.” Indeed, Texans are noted for that. Think Katrina, think Astrodome filled with storm refugees. Hey, those Cajuns couldn’t speak much English either. Every humanitarian should take five refugee children into their homes. Put your money where your mercy is. We could simply enroll our new viisitors into UT and A&M with in-state tuition. It’s not new. In a larger view, to end the violence, bloodshed, drug cartels and other reasons for this Children’s Crusade II, the U.S. needs to invade and occupy Central America. Again, this is not new. You’ve heard of the Banana Wars when U.S. Marines took over small countries there and brought peace and prosperity. Indeed, some of Haiti’s best years (1914-1934) occurred when the Marines ran the place. Even the railroads worked. They don’t now.
One of the strangest aspects of this debacle, aka Obama’s Katrina, was when Gov. Rick Perry implied that President Obama orchestrated this flow (Dan Patrick calls it an invasion) of Latino children. Obama is “in on this somehow or another.” Perry said, “I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean, how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?” In another TV interview, Perry suggested that Obama had an “ulterior motive” in allowing the flow to grow. On the other hand, Perry was dead right in wondering why Obama, who visited Dallas and Austin, didn’t visit the Valley. The Obama people said it would just be a photo-op. Perry shot back that Obama visited New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. What was that called? Perry is right.
Finally, we all know what will happen to these poor, unfortunately mothers and children. We will give them aid, education and health care, treat them with Lone Star hospitality. And in five years they’ll no longer be called “illegal immigrants.” They’ll be called “Texans.” Thank you, William Wilberforce.
Ashby is crusading at email@example.com