Washington, DC – Addressing the surge of children fleeing violence in Central America and arriving at the borders of the U.S. and other countries is a humanitarian crisis, not a political football. As Leslie Velez of the U.N. High Commission for Refugees recently told National Journal, “It’s a humanitarian crisis in the region. The numbers are alarming, but the stories behind them are even more so. The situation is basically this: we have weak governments, entrenched poverty, and a growing control and power of criminal actors.”
Unfortunately, some are intent to exploit this crisis for base political gain. In a new editorial titled, “Innocents at the Border,” The New York Times captures the dynamics of the issue and lays out appropriate responses.
Among the key excerpts of the editorial, include:
“It is past time for excuses, and too soon for the post-mortem. The administration needs to mount a sustained surge of its own, of humanitarian care, shelter and legal assistance for children who have faced horrific traumas in fleeing violence in their home countries, mainly Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. As Vice President Joseph Biden Jr. meets this week with officials in those countries, they should all commit to making it safe for would-be migrants to stay home, by reducing the murders and gang crimes that feed the exodus. Congress should meanwhile approve the administration’s $1.4 billion request to handle the emergency on this side of the border, though more will surely be needed to assure health, safety and due process for these young migrants…”
“…The administration’s job has been made harder by an atmosphere of histrionics and wild accusation, as Republican officials, far more interested in blame than solutions, have spent weeks braying about a besieged border and laying the crisis entirely at President Obama’s feet.”
Congressional Republicans who oppose the President’s immigration agenda must not be allowed to exploit this international humanitarian crisis for their own narrow political goals.
355 Days Since Senate Passed its Immigration Bill; 9 Days Left Until Window of Opportunity Closes
Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice on twitter @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice.
America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform