Why President Obama Doesn’t Want To Go To The Border

“President Obama has deported 2 million people, more than any other president in the history of the United States. That means that we as a community of immigrants are suffering. Every single day 1,100 people are deported.”

Carlos Rosa, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The Democratic Party, not to mention the country, has come to a moral fork in the road. And it is thanks to some desperate kids from Central America.

On Wednesday, it seemed—if you were watching cable news—the entire world was focused on whether President Obama would go to the Texas-Mexico border and see the crisis unfolding there. It really was a hot issue most of the day. Texas congressman and Democrat Henry Cuellar was quoted on nearly every program. He said,

It is a humanitarian crisis, and he can either do two things. One, as a leader, he can be defiant and say I’m going to roll up my sleeves and see the humanitarian crisis. Or he can look detached, appear detached and say I’m doing everything long distance.

I heard Illinois congressman Luis Gutiérrez say that President Obama should go down to border and wrap his arms around those Central American children. Later in the day, on CNN’s Crossfire, Gutiérrez appeared and was asked a very important question by left-leaning co-host Van Jones. Here’s the way Jones set up his question:

JONES: I do not understand why we haven’t heard Democrats much more passionate about the right of these young people to stay here.

In other words, when you’re fleeing a terrorism, when you’re talking about murders, kidnappings, rape, and children are flooding, not just into the United States but into every country in that region, and they say, “I want to get to America,” I think we should be proud of that. They’re not saying, “I want to go to China.” They’re saying they want to come here. 

But instead, what you hear is the White House saying, “Don’t worry. We’re going to get rid of these people.” Hillary Clinton: “Don’t worry. We’re going to get rid of these people.” Does that bother you? It bothers me.

GUTIERREZ: It does bother me. I wish the president of the United States were going down and visiting the children and visiting the site tonight.

Today, the great Charles Pierce published a piece titled, “Why Obama Must Go To The Border Immediately.” He wrote:

There is a massive and growing humanitarian crisis on our southern border. The president can’t be drinking a beer and shooting pool in Colorado, while laughing off the offer of a joint, while we’re rounding up unaccompanied obama shooting poolrefugee children and sticking them in Army camps. He wasn’t elected to be fundraiser-in-chief. He wasn’t elected even to be the leader of the Democratic party; that’s an honorific that comes with the day job. He was elected to lead the whole country, and it does the country no good to have him up there at a press conference, even telling the truth about the inexcusable dereliction of duty in the Congress and talking airily about how he wouldn’t participate in “theater.” That’s every bit as tone-deaf as anything his predecessor ever said on any subject. Henry Cuellar is absolutely right. This is politically idiotic and morally obtuse. And Joan Walsh is right. This is about more than “optics.” The simple fact that the president is declining to go to the border while Glenn Beck is on the way down there with hot meals and soccer balls is a prima facie abdication of responsibility. It’s also goddamn embarrassing.

Pierce finished with this:

Right now, and very soon, a child that has gone through hell and back to get here is going to look up one morning, and the face of America, the face of charity and, yes, the face of Hope and of Change in their lives, is not going to be Barack Obama. It’s going to be Glenn Beck. I am not comfortable with that at all. 

What person in their right mind would be comfortable with that?

I will tell you why I think President Obama, who has to know how bad it looks, will not go to the border and symbolically wrap his arms around those refugee-children: Because he does not want to look into the eyes of one single child who he is practically pledging to send back home, possibly a child who will end up dead within months of returning. That’s why he is so stubborn about going to the border. Our president is a father with kids of his own. We know he is a good and decent and caring man. We’ve seen that demonstrated, time and again. And we know that good and decent and caring people can’t look into the eyes of desperate kids and tell them, well, “Go back to the hell you came from.”

Van Jones asked the right question, at least the right question for Democrats. Does it bother us simply to say that most of those kids from Central America should be sent back home?

In his statement yesterday, the President said,

While we intend to do the right thing by these children, their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay.  And I’ve asked parents across Central America not to put their children in harm’s way in this fashion.

It is unclear what doing the right thing by those children will actually mean by the time this present crisis has waned. But it seems clear that, to President Obama, doing the right thing 11999380734_6bedcb9c56_oby them will involve most of them going back to very dangerous and depressing places. especially those who have to go back to El Salvador and Honduras. Just how that is “the right thing” will be something Mr. Obama will have to account for at some point.

Think about it: If most of these children are sent home, we know that it is likely that at least one of them will soon after come to some harm, perhaps die a horrific death at the hands of gang members. And we will hear about it. Then Mr. Obama, who now champions sending them back home, will have to ask himself if he is glad he joined forces with Governor Rick Perry, and other Republicans who hate his presidential guts, and became the send-them-back champion.

The President said something yesterday that troubled me greatly, after I had time to think about it. Describing his discussion with Rick Perry, he said:

So the bottom line is, actually, that there’s nothing that the Governor indicated he’d like to see that I have a philosophical objection to.

Perhaps Governor Perry said something in private to President Obama that differs from what he has said publicly. Or perhaps it is the case that our Democratic President is in philosophical agreement with a far-right governor from Texas, who has gone out of his way on this issue to falsely accuse Obama of either incompetence or of some kind of conspiracy. If the President is truly in philosophical agreement—as opposed to political agreement born out of compromise—with people like Rick Perry, I am worried about the moral integrity of the Democratic Party.

Yesterday Tea Party Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson went on right-wing Newsmax TV, which then reported his remarks this way:

“I’ve gone online and have taken a look on Orbitz and taken a look at what does it cost to fly people to El Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras,” Johnson, a Republican, said. “You have fares as low as $207. There’s nonstop flights at $450.” 

“You take those numbers and it costs somewhere between $11 million and $30 million to return people in a very humane fashion,” Johnson said.

“We can put them up in a hotel room and make sure they get a shower and feed them,” he added. 

That’s right-wing, Christian compassion (Johnson is a member of the conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod). It would be “very humane” to give them a room and a shower and some food before you necessarily ship them back to the misery they were trying to escape from. The report on Senator Johnson’s comments added:

Johnson said this would be “a far easier way of handling” the situation, and it would also “send the signal to the folks in Central America that you can’t come into America and expect to stay.”

How’s that much different from what President Obama said yesterday? He told us that part of his $3.7 billion emergency budget request to Congress involved retaining “some flexibility in terms of being able to preserve the due process rights of individuals who come in, but also to make sure that we’re sending a strong signal that they can’t simply show up at the border and automatically assume that they’re going to be absorbed.” Judging by the rhetoric coming from the White House lately (and from someone who wants to occupy the White House again), the emphasis is more on the “sending a strong signal” back to Central America than preserving “the due process rights” of desperate kids. And while I understand that thinking, I believe the emphasis should be the other way around. We can’t ignore the fact that the decision by parents to send their kids on a dangerous journey to the United States is often a rational one.

Earlier this week, speaking of the immigration issue as a whole, Luis Gutiérrez said:

Just as Republicans have said, ‘No, no, no,’ I expect the president to be broad, expansive and generous in the use of his prosecutorial discretion.

Yes. We all should expect President Obama to be broad, expansive and generous when it comes to this issue. You know why?

Because he is a Democrat.

______________________________

[Top photo from Customs and Border Protection; bottom photo from Jewel Samad/ AFP/Getty Images]

28 Comments

  1. Bbob

     /  July 10, 2014

    I have yet to hear a reasonable proposal from anyone for resolution of this immigration problem. Obama is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. I am torn by the ideas that that children are in desperate need, but the truth is we can’t just take in all the children from these countries.

    Like

    • Bbob,

      I suppose it depends on what you mean by “reasonable.” Some see Obama’s proposal as reasonable, even though I don’t necessarily see it that way. I agree, though, that no matter what he does, he can’t win the political game here. It is partly because he refuses to play that game. But the reality is that politics involves some gamesmanship and like it or not he is the one in charge of the executive branch. He has to, to some degree, recognize the games being played around him and should, real soon, take a trip to the Rio Grande Valley and immerse the office of the president in this crisis.

      And I agree with you that we can’t care for all the children in Central America who need care. But we can care for the ones who have made it here, and after due process, have a legitimate asylum claim (as I have said elsewhere, the bar would be quite low if I were in charge). But I don’t see President Obama, who I admire very much, emphasizing the due process and asylum part of the equation. In one sense I understand the moral hazard in doing so, but there is a way to talk about it (other Democrats are doing it) that doesn’t involve repeating right-wing talking points about border security, and so on.

      Duane

      Like

  2. For politicians of both parties to lay blame on president Obama for the child crisis is just plain wrong. They say he has failed to enforce immigration laws and seal the border, and that’s just false. The border is actually better sealed than it has been in years. The children are not slipping through, they are being detained, just as the law requires.

    The border with Mexico is some 2,000 miles long and there’s high fencing along only a small part of it. And there’s sure not enough manpower to surveil much of it within the funds allocated by Congress. So, here come the women and children wading across the Rio Grand. Obviously we can’t shoot them or plant land mines, as the East Germans did in Berlin. Some people even advocate putting them on planes and ship them back to Central America. What then, leave them on the tarmac at an airport? What a great photo-op that would be! Those countries have no responsible governments.

    It is wrong, I submit, to blame the president for any of this. He and the Democratic Senate have had a bill to reform immigration pending before the House for a long time now, one that would pass if the GOP leadership would permit a vote. They stubbornly will not. In the meantime, he has asked the party of NO for enough money to do just what they are demanding, beef up the border even more and in the meantime, enforce the law that George W. Bush signed, as he is required by his oath of office to do. And what is their answer? NO, NO, NO.

    This is not one of those “both sides are guilty” problems, which seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to everything bad that happens these days. Blaming the president is just disgusting, politics at its worst.

    The Daily Beast has a common-sense essay on this matter that lays out the facts better than I can, and it explains why this flood is not coming because of any presidential policy.

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    • You are right, Jim. This present crisis isn’t Obama’s fault. I just wish he would stop talking about it in ways that make him (sometimes) sound like a right-wing Republican. I understand he has to tread lightly to avoid the moral hazard of even more children making the dangerous journey here. And I understand, as a recognition of the politics involved, he has to talk about “border security” as if that has something to do with what is going on (it obviously doesn’t). But I wish he would find a way to emphasize the legitimate claims that some of these children certainly should have to asylum in the United States. He has had his moments, like in the Trayvon Martin case, where he related to what is going on as a father. I find it odd that he doesn’t do so in this case. He could frame it in those terms while simultaneously making the point that there is no guarantee that the kids can stay and that parents ought not to subject their children to the hazards of the journey here, that there are better ways of addressing the violence, poverty, and governmental dysfunction in their countries.

      Of course, then there might not be “better ways” and the rationale of the parents might be completely sound. What a dilemma, huh? 

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    • Anonymous

       /  July 15, 2014

      99.9% of them were allowed to stay. Look it up. That sends a clear message. Down south they heard it Loud and Clear. Obama and his policies sent that message. He caused this. And he did it on purpose. Congress won’t pass amnesty? Obama will cause a border crisis. Every tiny drowned body in the river, every child rape victim, every child dead in an unmarked grave between here and Tegucigalpa, all are because of Obama, and those who support his short sighted feel good policies.

      Like

  3. Ben Field

     /  July 10, 2014

    Looking at the costs of securing the border. In 2005, DHS director Michael Chertoff, approved 3.5 miles of border fence installed in San Diego at a cost of $35 million dollars. Ten million per mile. Since 9/11 over 40 tunnels have been discover from Mexico to the US. Assuming custom statistics this would be 10% of existing. One in San Diego was 60-80 feet deep, had concrete floors, electricity and drainage. It came out in a modern warehouse floor in San Diego. The Secure Fence Act passed by Congess in 2006 gave DHS 100% operational control of the border. Fiscal years 2006-2009 DHS recieved $2.4 billion dollars to pay the Army Corps of Engineers to build 670 miles of fence. As of Jan.2012, DHS has completed
    651 miles of the mandated fence. January 27, 2013 the US Senate approved by 68-32 a landmark overhaul of immigration reform. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act is a top agenda item of President Obama. The bill mandates the most extensive border and interior security measures in American history. It required and funded the completion of 700 miles of border fencing. It also added 20,000 new border agents.it also detailed a specific technology plan for monitoring each sector of the border. The CBO estimated this law would result in a $197 billion dollar reduction to the fiscal deficit in the next ten years and $700 billion by 2033. The bill still sits in the House where republicans have added 6 ammendments including one that requires Nevada to be included being involved in border negotiations. Our border with Mexico is 2000 miles long and even with Obama’s law it will still only have 1350 miles secured by fencing. At a proven cost of over $3.7 million dollars per mile of border fence you are still looking at a massive amount of money to complete it. It is estimated over 106 billion has been spent to date. Even after a trillion is spent you will still have tunnels and illegals. All things considered, the costs of processing these children flooding our border from Cental America, not Mexico, seems relatively cheap. Many fleeing violence to be here might become productive, tax-paying citizens that could benefit America. It’s too bad the tax-free religious organizations that proliferate our country don’t assist with this humanitarian issue and abide by their tenets of charity to children and innocents by putting their money where their mouth is and contributing to the assistance of children seeking asylum from a certain death in their country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your research here, Ben. I had not been aware of the scope of the border work as you’ve laid it out. I would only add, relative to your final comment, that many charities and local governments, unlike Murrieta, CA, are in fact jumping in to help, including Democrats in Texas (of all places). Rachael Maddow covered it last night.

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      • Ben Field

         /  July 11, 2014

        Thank you Jim, but it’s not just Murrieta. League City, Texas just passed a few days ago a law banning undocumented children. The first in the nation to do such. A minister protested at the council meeting but his plea for mercy for the children were rebuffed. I realize some religious institutions have offered to assist, but they are a minority of the entire spectrum of organizations that enjoy tax-free status. I agree with Senator Harkin that these children are not a border issue, but a humanitarian one that demands we care for them after their arduous trek across Mexico to our country. SCOTUS has held that any person in our country is entitled to such. To deny these children on one hand and throw billions at Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, et.al. is outrageous. I didn’t see Maddow but wish more journalists would question religion’s deafening silence in this matter.

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        • Excellent, Ben.

          I have often thought that given the state of technology these days, it is silly to spend so much on physical fences. But I’ll leave that to the experts. I do think we need secure borders, if only because at some point some real bad guys will exploit the gaps and do some extensive damage somewhere. But I don’t have the slightest idea what the best and most cost-effective way to monitor entry into the country is. Perhaps there isn’t any. And it is depressing to think how much money we likely have wasted.

          I want to second what you said:

          Many fleeing violence to be here might become productive, tax-paying citizens that could benefit America. It’s too bad the tax-free religious organizations that proliferate our country don’t assist with this humanitarian issue and abide by their tenets of charity to children and innocents by putting their money where their mouth is and contributing to the assistance of children seeking asylum from a certain death in their country.

          I have lately seen some religious folk, some of them from conservative groups, step up and help with this crisis. That is good to see and, unfortunately, necessary, since we haven’t spent the public money necessary to follow the law when it comes to these real and potential refugees.

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  July 11, 2014

    We have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. Why?

    I submit the crisis is caused by conditions in countries south of our southern border. Are all you liberals ready for some more “nation building” to correct the source of the problem, in countries south of America?

    But that crisis south of the USA is spilling over into the USA, right across our southern borderss. The President wants to respond by spending an additional $3.7 Billion. For what exactly, I ask? According to Governor Perry only $100 Million in that total sum would go directly to enhancing border security. What will the remaining $3.6 Billion be used for I wonder? I am sure it will be used to support all the recently arrived (and young) illegal immigrants.

    Keep in mind that America did not cause the problem. Despicable conditions in other countries caused it. And yes, we should do what we can to help the destitute, but we must do so legally and with the appropriate laws, laws that must be prioritized based on financial wherewithall in America to lend a hand but not fix entirely conditions in other countries.

    And while all of that is taking place, well secure our borders, please Mr. President, and then let the democratic process do what it can to lend a hand elsewhere. Moral actions cost a lot of money and I submit that it is immoral to spend more than we make to fix other country’s problems unless those problems affect a well defended and protected America. Part of being well defended and protected is controlling our borders such that only people with “permission” enter America, just like every other country in the world tries to do, control their own borders.

    Anson

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    • Of course the problem is in “countries south of America.” Specifically, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. That has been documented by everyone, including the United Nations.

      The issue here, Anson, isn’t border security. These kids are essentially hunting down the Border Patrol to turn themselves in. What possible use could more border security be? To have more guns aimed at the kids and threaten to shoot them? It is ridiculous that Obama is even requesting more money for border security, as it relates to this present crisis. But I understand the political need to do so. Welcome to Tea Party-dominated America.

      Again, I ask you this: What will those extra border guards do? Threaten? Shoot? If a 10-year old girl from Honduras presents herself to a border guard, should the guard say, you better get back on the other side of that line or else?

      Many on your side are so inflamed about the border question (and blinded by hatred for Obama) that they can’t see that this humanitarian problem has little to do with open borders and everything to do with poverty, dysfunctional government, and violence in places that, yes, have experienced some nasty involvement by the U.S. government (see, for instance, the overthrow of the government of Guatemala in 1954 and the whole Nicaraguan Contra fiasco). I hope you, at least, will drop this border nonsense and see that when it comes to these kids, securing the border won’t mean a thing unless you are prepared to give orders to shoot them like rabbits. Then, I suppose, the fleeing will stop.

      Like

    • Ben Field

       /  July 11, 2014

      Quote the idiot Perry as long as you like, it won’t make his statement true. The 3.7 billion is for 700 additional miles of fence, 20,000 additional border agents, and the detailed tech plan to monitor each sector of the border. This is held up because Republican leader Boner won’t bring it up for vote. These are facts, not nonsense spewed by Perry. If he knows that only $100 million is going to the border, then call him and ask him where the rest is allocated unless he just pulled that number out of his Boner. Of course the crisis is south of our southern border, we have already told you they are fleeing Cental America (south of the Mexican border) to avoid death by gangs in their country. Nobody is advocating nation building. Your friend, Mark Rohr’s new city, League City, Texas just banned “undocumented children”. That is the compassion you see from the likes of Perry and Rohr. The DHS director under Bush spent $35 million for 3.5 miles of fence, dispute facts if you can but expect no quarter for quoting Rick Perry.

      Like

      • Ben,

        I can’t find any comments by Rohr on the matter. Can you?

        Like

        • Ben Field

           /  July 11, 2014

          No, he hasn’t commented to my knowledge. Maybe he learned from his experience in Joplin that it is best to keep your mouth shut sand be thought a fool, than it is to open it and remove all doubt. I doubt it though as you pointed our, he is a creature of habit as evidenced by Punta Gorda.

          Like

      • I’d like to write about it.

        Like

  5. ansonburlingame

     /  July 11, 2014

    PS: Duane used a clip showing some 2 Million deported under Obama’s watch. Be careful with that number and see how it is now calculated, what does “deported” now mean as opposed to what it used to mean. I am told by someone that does good research that “deported” used to be those deported back to a country of origin after legal action was taken in the USA. But NOW it means all those “illegals” caught crossing the border and returned back to the south with no court actions involved. So be careful and make sure this is not, again, an apples and oranges type of statement by an advocate for helpling illegal immigrants, which I suspect it is, a questionable number using a different definition of “deported”, now.

    Anson

    Like

    • Without looking it up, I recall that the number is calculated differently now than it was in the past (I think I heard that on Rachel, by the way). The point for this particular piece, though, wasn’t the apples to apples comparison but the perception. And the perception is growing, among Latinos, that Obama has been rather harsh in his enforcement of the law. In fact, I also recall President Obama sort of bragging about how many folks he has deported.

      Like

      • Ben Field

         /  July 11, 2014

        Duane,
        Anson was also blogging on this issue and it appears he has pulled it down after two rebuttals by me. It is as you said an argument on the children’s fate that fled here expecting asylum, not political regarding border security which everyone agrees is necessary. My question to Anson is if it is okay to spend billions on Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, et.al. on a yearly basis, then why is it wrong to give humanitarian aid to these children?

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        • Your question is excellent, Ben. And the answer is that it is not wrong to spend money on these folks. Not only would it save many lives, but the money we spend on desperate people who think the U.S. is the answer to a difficult situation would also be good for our national soul and good for us, at least those of us who still think our country holds some important values and stands for some important principles.

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  July 12, 2014

    First Ben, I have not “pulled down” anything on my blog. In fact I just replied, again, to you “over there”. I also repeat some of my points made on my blog herein, just to avoid a bunch of links.

    I suggest we stop trying to argue “money” directly herein. I have no idea if Obama would only use $100 Million out of $3.7 Billion to “secure the border” or not. But while the point was made on the hated Fox News, it was made publically by a serving governor. True or false, I have no idea, but a point to consider, absolutely.

    And Duane, to avoid even an accusation of “apples and oranges” in this discussion just compare court ordered deportations under one administration to other administrations, not some vague “catch and release” statistic, which should not be happening in the first place, according to American law as I understand it. And of course if “real” deportations are going up it must mean MORE illegals are coming in, for whatever reason, right?

    As for the backlog in court cases, that is a travesty of justice in any society and should not be happening. Keep justice fair and impartial (apolitical) but “speedy” as well for EVERYONE in America, legally.

    The whole “theme” in this blog and basically the same theme from the left in America right now, regarding the crisis or situation on our southern border is we MUST care more for the kids (and adults) crossing the border and stop trying to keep them out of America in the first place. You base that call on humanitarian reasons, not financial ones for sure or any calls for exactly where the money should come from to carry out your humanitarian concerns.

    Basically your “politics” seems to me to be driven by either (or both) humanitarian reasons and/or a desire to really change the demographics in America. My “politics” is to take care of Americans first and then doing what we can for others. We already “borrow” considerable money to care for our own needs in America and now you want to “borrow” more money to care for non-Americans (meaning people living in the USA illegally). I disagree, by and large.

    America can only do so much in a cruel world, one that we routinely try at least to improve. Opening, more, our borders to all the needy in the world is not my particular priority right now. We have too much, financially, on our plate already. That does not mean I am not concerned about all those “poor people” elsewhere, but I apply a pragmatic approach to control what we can and should do for them as opposed to “us”.

    And of course Duane, I do not call for “shooting them on the border”. That is a ridiculous accusation or implication of conservative attempts to better control our borders. I only want to defend American borders, humanely, and by so defending it, telling those that would try to enter our country illegally that they will not succeed in trying to do so. Then do it, humanely.

    Once that is done, our borders are secure, I will gladly lend my views to how better we can help the humanitarian crisis south of our borders, but not in America itself!! Look at it this way, if possible. Some 50 Million Americans, people here legally (I hope), are on food stamps. Should we take some of that money out of their hands to help the illegal immigrants crossing our borders. Of course you would never support such actions, nor would I. But the extra money has to come from somewhere and I want it to come from American pockets, not foreign lenders, to achieve our own goals, humanitarian, etc. Prioritize our needs and fund them accordingly is the age old conservative approach in my view.

    Anson

    Like

    • Ben Field

       /  July 12, 2014

      Fact #1. Today there are 651 miles of border fence.
      Fact #2. Obama has proposed building 700 miles of additional fence, adding also 20,000 additional border agents, addition of technology to each sector which has been approved in a 68-32 bi-partisan vote in the Seinate, This measure is stalled in the House by Boehner adding ammendments including requiring Nevada be able to participate in border discussions. (Nevada doesn’t border Mexico.).
      Fact #3. The U.S. gives Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, et.al. Billions per year in assistance, yet you have a problem giving refugees requesting asylum assistance?
      I cannot fathom the violent conditions the parents in these countries have witnessed that would cause them to send their beloved children across nations to the U.S. to avoid death there. The facts show Obama has proposed additional border security, over 100% more than currently exists, and you complain this is a Democratic strategy to increase their party members? Nobody has suggested that we open borders, or change policy regarding adults, just that we give assistance to these children who have trekked alone across nations to get here seeking asylum. Did you even consider that they may become productive tax-paying citizens or the next Nobel laureate? Everyone realizes we need to secure our borders, so why doesn’t the House pass the law? That my friend is pure politics at its ugliest! To send these children away without having the courage to look in their faces of desperation is a cowards path. The religious institutions are slowly stepping up to offer assistance, but the party of No says “not with my tax dollars”. You say you like me believe in God, then how can you justify the affront to His law?

      Reply

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    • Anson,

      You wrote,

      Basically your “politics” seems to me to be driven by either (or both) humanitarian reasons and/or a desire to really change the demographics in America.

      My politics regarding this matter has nothing to do with changing the demographics in America. Those demographics are changing no matter how this present crisis ends, and that is why conservatives are so full of anxiety and are making fools of themselves in so many ways (see: Rick Perry).

      Honestly, though, leaving aside for now more arguments about the national debt, I am interested in a dynamic that you tried to address:

      And of course Duane, I do not call for “shooting them on the border”. That is a ridiculous accusation or implication of conservative attempts to better control our borders. I only want to defend American borders, humanely, and by so defending it, telling those that would try to enter our country illegally that they will not succeed in trying to do so. Then do it, humanely.

      Now, I have heard countless conservatives these past few weeks make that same point. And they have lately hit upon the idea that the National Guard ought to go down there and, I guess, scare the bejesus out of everyone. Rick Perry said that they “need to be right on the ripper” and that “they need to be there as a show of force.” Hmm. A show of force. Problem is that such a show of force would only be a show. They can’t arrest anyone and certainly won’t shoot anyone (we hope). So, how would their presence deter anyone? Especially after making a long and dangerous journey to get to the border? ‘

      You said that more control of our borders would mean letting potential entrants know “that they will not succeed” in getting inside the country. How would that work? I am genuinely curious. Even without the National Guard, regular Border Patrol agents would do what in letting people know they can’t come in? If they don’t ultimately have the power to shoot them dead, then what would stop folks from coming under, over, around, or through any fence? Again, I do not understand how it would work. Desperate people won’t be deterred by any presence at the border, it seems to me. At least so long as they believe the United States to be that “humane” place you talk about.

      Duane

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  7. Ben Field

     /  July 14, 2014

    Pakistan nor Egypt had any connection to 9/11 and the billions spent by us yearly there are not connected to terrorism. The border is 2000 miles, 650 miles of fence to date, and Obama has proposed 700 additional miles. That will secure approximately 2/3 of the border if it could clear the House of Boehner. Obama and a bi-partisan Senate agreed to secure the second third of the border so how can you say he wants the open borders? This is not a democratic strategy, it is a law to further secure the border, and Boehner will not cooperate. Your offense should be directed at the House. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism all agree that the Ten Commandments are the word of God. In Matthew 22 38-40 when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment of them all replied, “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. My position is that any person demanding that these children be immediately deported or turned away from asylum should not hold themselves out to be Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Jordan has opened their border to millions from Syria, are we less humanitarian than them? I realize we live in a secular nation, but humanity for children should be universal.

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    • Ben,

      You wrote,

      My position is that any person demanding that these children be immediately deported or turned away from asylum should not hold themselves out to be Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Jordan has opened their border to millions from Syria, are we less humanitarian than them? I realize we live in a secular nation, but humanity for children should be universal.

      As the recent posts I have written recently demonstrate, I couldn’t agree with you more. Not only is the idea of a “Christian” America gone, thanks to the political right’s reaction to this humanitarian crisis, it is fast becoming obvious that so many folks who spend time on Sunday going to conservative churches are either not listening to that “love your neighbor as yourself” message, or they are not hearing it over the “gays are going to hell” sermons.

      Duane

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  8. ansonburlingame

     /  July 14, 2014

    Ben dropped the same rebuttal to me on my own blog and I replied therein. I won’t repeat myself other than ask to stop quoting scritures (an ancient text) to make political points back to me, please. I expanded on that “over there”.

    Anson

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    • Ben Field

       /  July 14, 2014

      As I said, we live in a secular nation. If you feel offended that your belief in God has no bearing on denying children asylum, that is your right. What that has to do with pornography, rape, or lusting in your heart is totally immaterial. You certainly can’t argue that the US donations of billions to Egypt, Pakistan, and a host of other nation is right and allowing amnesty to children is wrong. You can’t dispute that Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt have given asylum to 100s of thousands of refugees, but the US can’t handle 60,000 children. Feel free to try to justify your stance, but I will continue to remind the “religious right” of their hypocrisy when they assert ridiculous assertions that this is a democratic strategy and not a humanitarian issue.

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  9. ansonburlingame

     /  July 15, 2014

    It is not one or the other, Ben it is both, probably. But the political motive is hidden with cherry picking theology from “ancient texts” as well.

    As for asylum to those in the Middle East, I suspect the funding for those camps is primarily UN actions, funded largely by ……….. Based as well on pictures I have seen of such camps the American public would go nuts if we treated “kids” that way as a mass policy, in America.

    Anson

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    • Ben Field

       /  July 15, 2014

      Anson,
      You are wrong again. The US has donated $300 million to Jordan in 2013 and given them over $2 billion in loan guarantees for the strain the refugees have caused. In 2013 US gave Turkey $50.6 billion in aid. In 2014 the US gave $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt. US reconstruction aid to Iraq and Afghanistain $60 and $89 billion respectively. US aid to Pakistan in 2013 is $1.5 billion. These are just part of the global aid the US provided other nations so your assertion that we cannot afford the Central American refugees is preposterous. We can afford all the other global aid but not for our neighbors? As for the legal process, with a 4 year backlog in immigration cases, you expect refugees to wait their turn? The fact is this is not about money, or law, it is about fear by people in the US that are afraid to share the country with people they do not understand. Being presented with facts that you cannot dispute, you cry “cherry picking” and refuse to present a valid reason why these children should be denied humanitarian aid and refuge. It is shameful that the US cannot show the same compassion for refugees that is shown by Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and others have done for Syrians. If you think Central America to be less violent, please go visit and relate your findings.

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