Minors Crossing the Border Illegally. Figuring it Out.


I don’t know what to make of the story of thousands of minors surging over the borders into the United States from Central American countries.

I haven’t written about it because I’m still trying to understand it. I do know that Ft Sill in Oklahoma is being used to house some of these young people.

What I don’t know, on the other hand, is elemental.

I don’t know how long this has been going on. I don’t know how much of what the media is reporting is hype of one sort or the other that is being generated because of the upcoming election. I don’t know why these young people are choosing to do this. I don’t know what is happening in their home countries that compels them. I don’t know if this is organized. I don’t know how many of them have families already in the US. I don’t even know what the United States government is doing about it.

Given all that I don’t know (which every salient fact) I can’t write about it. What would I say?

I’m putting three videos below which discuss the situation.

The first video is from Catholic News Service.

The second is from Univision, which is a Spanish language television station. They’ve interviewed me numerous times down through the years, and I’ve found them to be very willing to let people have their say without editing. They do have a bias — which they state honestly — toward the concerns of their target audience.

The third video comes from Fox News. I chose them because they seem to give a good round-up here, and because they also have a clear bias, one which somewhat balances Univision.

I would advise against any of us thinking that we understand this situation or know how to address it effectively, based on these videos, or any of the news coverage I’ve seen.

I am guessing that an effective way of dealing with it lie in answers to questions that deal with the situation in the countries from which they come.

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  • pagansister

    Not on the subject but in a way it is, as this country seems to draw folks from other countries seeking a much better life not only to attempt to be better off financially but also to be safe from harm. HAPPY 4TH of JULY EVERYONE. In spite of our problems here, we are a Great Country.

  • AnneG

    Rontakeone, the details are absolutely necessary to have a valid principle.
    First, I am absolutely in favor of regularization of status for people who have built lives here, been productive citizens and are undocumented.
    What concerns me, as I said, is the status of these kids. They were sent here or kidnapped and brought here with the understanding that they and their parents got a get in free card. The whole thing is nuts. Who would send their kids to a foreign country to fend for themselves.
    The behavior of a lot of the protesters is inexcusable, but this is not an issue like the Vietnamese at the end of the war.
    If we want to solve the problem, perhaps we should declare the children all orphans and put them up for adoption if they are not claimed and repatriated in 60 days. There is just too much we don’t know.

  • JustaCatholicMom

    Maggie Goff’s article linked below also has some interesting information which claims the Mexican Drug cartels are using human trafficking to gain profits and to act as a diversion. Like you, I don’t know what to think about this, except to have concern for the children who must fend for themselves and who are being used as pawns in a dangerous situation. There seems to be outrage from both the Right and Left regarding this, so I am also suspicious that we are being manipulated before the election.

  • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

    I have a good idea how to address it, but Mexico and Wall Street will never go for it.

    What is needed, RIGHT NOW, is a massive mobilization of resources to build refugee camps in the Yucatan Peninsula. There is NO reason why parents in central America should pay smugglers for a 1,450 mile journey for their children to find help. It should be available right across the border in Mexico.

    And then we can do the same thing in Panama.

    Let’s stop making people migrate multi-thousand mile journeys to find help.

  • kenofken

    I think the root of the problem comes down to the effects of staggering economic disparities and the failed societies those disparities inevitably produce. In all of these countries kids are fleeing, you have a razor-thin elite who live like emperors by stealing most of a limited pool of wealth – land, mineral resources, foreign aid, what have you.

    They do essentially nothing to grow that pool, and rich countries happily exploit these nations by floating them loans to feed their overseas bank accounts and armies (and our weapons dealers), and then impose draconian “austerity” measures which turn poverty into crushing poverty, which inspires revolutions and populist politicians with hinky economic policies…and the whole hideous feedback loop that produces.

    The vast majority of the population, meanwhile, has absolutely nothing to live for and no realistic hope that anything will ever get better. Many are reduced to slaughtering each other to grab what they can in the money booth of the drug trade, and the predatory industries of prostitution, kidnapping, extortion etc. In the gang cultures, women are chattel and young men are cannon fodder.

    I think a lot of these kids face a stark choice: stay and wind up dead by 20 or rotting in some squalid prison for life, or try your luck up north. I don’t think these kids are naive, for the most part, and I don’t think many of them, or many immigrants in general these days, think our streets are paved with gold and easy living.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      That’s an exaggeration. Yes, people in Mexico don’t have our standard of living, but they don’t have sub sahara levels either. The average Mexican has about a lower middle class life by our standards. That’s not dire poverty, and it doesn’t justify what is happening.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      To add to my other reply, here from Wikipedia:

      “Mexico is considered a newly industrialized country[21][22][23][24] and an emerging power.[25] It has the fifteenth largest nominal GDP and the tenth largest GDP by purchasing power parity. The economy is strongly linked to those of its North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners, especially the United States of America.[26][27] Mexico ranks sixth in the world and first in the Americas by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites with 32,[28][29][30] and in 2010 was the tenth most visited country in the world with 22.5 million international arrivals per year.[31] According to Goldman Sachs, by 2050 Mexico is expected to become the world’s fifth largest economy.[32] PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimated in January 2013 that by 2050 Mexico could be the world’s seventh largest economy.”

      and further down:

      “Mexico has the 14th largest nominal GDP and the 10th largest by purchasing power parity. GDP annual average growth for the period of 1995–2002 was 5.1%.[73] Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at US $1,748.908 billion in 2012, and $1,231.642 billion in nominal exchange rates.[152] As such, its standard of living, as measured in GDP in PPP per capita was US $15,782.897. The World Bank reported in 2009 that the country’s Gross National Income in market exchange rates was the second highest in Latin America, after Brazil at US $1,830.392 billion,[153] which lead to the highest income per capita in the region at $14,400.[154] As such, Mexico is now firmly established as an upper middle-income country. After the slowdown of 2001 the country has recovered and has grown 4.2, 3.0 and 4.8 percent in 2004, 2005 and 2006,[155] even though it is considered to be well below Mexico’s potential growth.[156]”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico

    • AnneG

      KOK, the root of the problem comes from a cultural problem of corruption from top to bottom. The rich oligarchs control the. means that create and maintain their wealth in the market and government. But, the poor are not free from participation. When an industry is developing in one area of the country people in other areas will block it by any means out of jealousy. There is not a limited amount of goods but one village will block a water project for another village because they want their cut. I’ve seen local people trained to manage and maintain projects paid for by foreign grants just take the money, let the water or sewer system break down, then beg for more money. If all the foreign money invested in those countries had actually gone to road projects, whole countries would be paved over. And I’m talking about village people. So, no, they aren’t destitute or on a razor edge of starvation. They are opportunists who see something free and they will use their kids to get it. There is a lot of what we call poverty but, mostly you are not talking about those people. Agriculture has improved so much that, though there are occasions of malnutrition, a lot of it is not because of a lack of food.
      Most of what you say is pretty naive and only from a gringo perspective.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I don’t understand this either. No matter how people feel about illegal immigration, this cannot be allowed. These poor kids are being used by their parents and their countries. This reminds me of the Cuban boat refugees from the Jimmy Carter era. If a country sends signals that we will turn a unobserving eye, then the home countries have every incentive to dump their problems on us.

  • AnneG

    GOM, government speak for Government of Mexico has always looked at the remesas of Mexican nationals in the US working as their welfare and the US as a piñata, you hit it and good things fall out. I’m translating from Spanish as I write those things as that is how I have heard them.
    They do not see these kids as their problem, especially the PRI govt.
    Guatemala and Honduras count remesas, payments from nationals abroad to family members as the first or second income producers in the country. Not sure about Salvador, but has to be very high as well.
    Since these are poor people the governments are happy if they go work in the US.
    I’m always frustrated with the lack of opportunity for these people at home and we always do step up.
    Btw, our Bracero Program in the ’40′s through the ’60′s built the Mexican middle class, letting them build businesses, buy land and educate their children, the best foreign aid we have ever spent.

    • oregon nurse

      The simple act of shutting down money wire transfers from the US to Mexico and Central America would get the attention of those goverments very fast. Not to mention that I think a lot of those services are predatory, much like the awful payday loan scammers frequently found in the same location. I’m pretty agreeable to immigration but I don’t like so much money going out of the country.

  • AnneG

    FWKen, the Mexican states of Sonora, Baja California Norte and Sur are desert, but get past Sonora nc you enter a very lush area. Central Mexican states like Chihuahua and Durango are mountainous and very rugged. In the east the climate is like the Gulf coast.
    The kids are coming from farther south, though. A lot of Mexico all the way down to Michoacán and Guerrero have been under these narcos for a long time and are now fighting back, to the chagrine of the new PRI government.

    • FW Ken

      Chihuahua butts up to west Texas and, I think, New Mexico. It’s has mountains, but pretty desert like. The area across from El Paso is known for drug violence. Coahuila comes up to the Texas valley. I know it’s a desert because I’ve ridden across it. You do get mountains further south cost to Monterrey.

  • AnneG

    In the ’80′s the Mexicans said just that when they were in the thrall of their debt crisis.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    I was contradicting kenofken’s assertion that Mexico is in dire poverty. It is not. That they come from Central America is because Mexico is not kind to their own illegal population. Yes, I understand the drug trade’s responsibility with illegal immigration, though why would these children be entangled in that? I don’t quite understand why these children have flooded over the border. It all seems so strange.

    • pagansister

      Whether accurate or not, have heard on various news programs that the “rumor” that is spreading in the countries that are predominately sending their children here is that if a child comes over the border here, we will keep them. Supposedly these children have a relative to go to—somewhere in the States. Now we are trying to contradict that rumor. We will send them back. This situation is huge—-and doesn’t sound like it is going to end anytime soon.

  • FW Ken

    I spent time yesterday engaging this subject on a protestant website where they like to rattle on about “the authority of Scripture”, but had evasive maneuvers for every scripture about hospitality or helping the poor. One guy carried on about how the government was taking money he couldn’t spare to give to children unworthy of our help. CHILDREN! I did not tell him he could burn in hell.

    You have to understand this was set up by Obama for his nefarious purposes (increasing the pool of democratic voters) and we couldn’t respond to all the problems of the world anyway. Maybe this is a government plot, but so what? We can’t help the whole world, but these kids are on our doorstep. Sorry to ramble on, but God’s Word is clear, and we dismiss it at our peril.

    On a practical level, most of these kids will go home and grow up there. Will they remember Americans as a generous, kind people, or a people screaming at them to go away?


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