Playing Politics with America’s Welfare. This Time It’s Immigration.

My husband and I had supper at a local hamburger joint about a week ago.

It is one of those places where they have tvs mounted on the walls, blaring away while you eat. This particular tv was right behind my head, so I had to listen to it.

It was tuned to one of the cable news networks and the story they were not reporting but talking about (cable news does not report news, it talks about it) was the number of child migrants coming over America’s border. The entire conversation boiled down to two points: (1) President Obama caused this. (2) We should all hate President Obama.

The discussion was just hate, hate, hate, directed at President Obama.

That, my friends, will not solve this problem or any other. It is evil. It does enormous damage to our country.

Both sides of the political divide go into endless hate mode as soon as the votes are counted in November. They shamelessly encourage their followers to hate the person who was elected and to attack him or her, no matter what they do or say. I quit watching cable news except for once in a while during a disaster because it (1) doesn’t report any news (2) is blatant propaganda and (3) is so full of hate that it gives me indigestion.

I don’t know enough about the current border problem to either diagnose its causes or to affix blame. I could listen to these so-called news channels 24/7 and I still would not know.

I do have a couple of observations, both of which are going to anger quite a few of Public Catholic’s readers.

First, the Republican Party and their talking heads on “their” cable news shows ramp up the immigration debate in every off-year election. This has been happening consistently since the turn of the century.

The campaign ads here in Oklahoma that came from the Republican Party’s candidates four years ago were flat-out racist. They showed hispanic people in dark night-time scenarios, being arrested, and in other degrading ways with voice overs about how the candidate the ad was backing would stop “illegal immigration.”

Two years after that, when hispanic people all over the country held their noses and voted for the presidential candidate who was against their personal religious and moral beliefs, they were accused of abandoning their faith. My reaction then was simple: What did you expect? They had to vote this way. To do anything else would be to deny their own humanity.

So, when I saw that the cable news was following their regular pattern of reporting the immigration thing in an off-election year and hating on President Obama, my first question, was How political is this story?

I have looked at statistics, and there has been a surge — a big surge — in numbers of minors coming across the border in the past few months. Based on that, (and I haven’t looked deeply at these statistics, so it’s a kind of preliminary opinion) I am guessing that the “crisis” they are reporting actually exists.

Notice how carefully I word that. The reason I tiptoe around it so carefully is that (1) It’s an off-election year, (2) They do this every off-election year (3) The “reporting” I’ve heard seems to be focused on hatred of the President and little else.

There is a debate going on right now as to how much money Congress should appropriate to this “crisis.” The problem is that our elected officials want to use the question as a political football to gain power for themselves in November. So they are, once again, holding America hostage.

I’m withholding judgement about what is causing this situation and how we should handle it in the long term. I will say that I am reasonably confident that the reporting on the crisis will end once the votes are counted in November. Then, we’ll go on to the next hate-reporting thingy.

I will also say without equivocation that I do not believe that the Republicans in the House of Representatives want to fix the “crisis.” They are talking about how the President has asked for “too much” money to deal with it.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

But I am absolutely certain that their true objections are not fiduciary. If one of their corporatist handlers wanted this amount of money for themselves, it would pass without a single question. I am not saying that $$ for judges and intensified border patrol is the long-term answer. I don’t think it is. What I am saying, is that the objections to this request and the refusal to act are politically motivated.

The Rs want this “crisis” to continue because of the November elections. The good of this country does not matter.

Many of Public Catholic’s readers are going to romp all over me for saying that. But it’s the plain truth. If we want to deal effectively with the onslaught of illegal immigration, we need to end the practice of using it for a vote-getter every two years and deal with it intelligently.

On the other hand, this sudden surge of children coming over the border must be organized, and not by President Obama. These children are being used, but I don’t know by whom. No one seems to be asking questions about who is organizing this migration of children south of the border. In fact, what we are getting by way of explanation is sound bites that don’t make sense because they aren’t connected to anything.

If I can get Public Catholic’s readers to look at these two parties dispassionately, I will have accomplished a lot. We’re going to have to stop letting them jerk us around like this, both for our personal mental health and for the health of this nation.

We serve Christ. We need to eschew hate-filled invective and use the fine minds that God gave us to think.

I’m going to put a few videos below to help us all — including me — think this through. Don’t knee jerk. Defy the talking heads. Think for yourself.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

 

  • SisterCynthia

    Not everyone who is sick of our internationally-incompetent, domestically abusive president is feeding off the talking heads on tv. His acts speak for themselves. Deciding to not apply our laws to illegals from central and south america, while continuing to force immigration protocols and expenses on those from around the world (including other Latinos!!!) who have the integrity to obey our laws and APPLY for visas and greencards and citizenship, only insults those who are obeying the law and encourages more uneducated, unskilled, and yes sometimes violently criminal people to skip the legal way in favor of the cheaper, less personally demanding way of hopping the fence. There are few no-skill jobs in this country as it is, and we cannot support a flood of such folks. That has nothing to do with race. A horde of non-English speaking, untrained Europeans, Africans, or Asians would be similarly hard to assimilate. That’s part of why we demand so much of legal immigrants, to try to insure that they won’t just be a burden on a society that is already over burdened in so many areas. My husband is an immigrant (I think I’ve said that before), so I’m aware firsthand of the complexity (and sometimes stupidity) of the system. But the solution is NOT simply giving one segment of the world’s population an exemption from it. That only encourages what is happening now.

    • FW Ken

      SC –

      Like you, I am concerned about the president’s competence and about his policies. That doesn’t mean I hate him, just that I don’t think he’s a good president.

      But I don’t get real excited about the immigration issue and here’s some reasons why:

      1.) We are the richest country on earth. God has blessed us with abundant natural resources and government less corrupt than most. If we don’t share freely with the needy, God will judge us. Harshly. I’m not saying we need to be stupid, but we better not be greedy. When weddings can run $100,000 or more, and middle-class people live in houses that start at a quarter million, face it: we are a rich people.
      2.) There are two ways (at least) to look at an economy. One is that it’s a pie of a fixed size: I get more means you get less. More people means smaller pieces of the pie for everyone. That is the viewpoint I associate with “liberals”. What I learned as the “conservative” view is that more people generate more economic activity, improving everyone’s lot. Especially since the American workforce is short of some tens of millions of workers due to abortion, I see a lot of space for immigrants. Of course, my work puts me in contact with a lot of slugs that I would like to deport.
      3.) These people are coming here to escape poverty and violence. We need to be working on those problems instead of obsessing about ourselves. Sidebar: I don’t read that people are fleeing Costa Rica, which is a stable, prosperous culture. Maybe we need to look at what’s working there. I joked the other day that we should probably conquer Central America and contract the management to Costa Rica. :-)
      4.) Living in Texas, I know that a certain amount of my tax money goes to medical care and education for illegal kids. I also know a lot of these kids grow up to become productive and positive. If it weren’t right, it would still be smart to treat these kids right.

      I don’t agree with Rebecca that the current crisis is political. 50,000 + unaccompanied minors really have shown up and I’m thinking they don’t know it’s a mid-term election year. Maybe – maybe – this is a set up by the administration to get a political football. IF that’s true, it’s reprehensible. But conservatives don’t need to give the game away by huffing and puffing about politics when 50,000 kids need care. And when those kids go home, and most of them are going home, will they remember Americans who stood in the road, waved flags, and yelled at them, or as a generous caring people who took care of them.

      Again, not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing. 20 years from now, these kids will be adults. Will we have friends in Central America, or will we spawn enemies?

      Sorry to go on so long, Rebecca. Too long for a combox, I know.

  • Sus_1

    Instead of working together to solve the problem, all of them just want to assign blame. I don’t care whose fault it is. It doesn’t matter now. They are all wrong because they don’t care about solving the problem. It’s amazing to me that their political clout and egos are more important.

    Once again the United States has put people in a position where they will suffer. This time it’s kids. In my opinion it doesn’t matter why. What matters is that our great nation can’t do anything because we’re so divided on who is right so nothing ever gets done.

    My 9 and 10 year old made a huge mess last week. I told them they couldn’t do anything until it was cleaned up. They argued with each other for 3 hours on who made the bigger mess before any cleaning got started. Finally they NEGOTIATED and it got cleaned in an hour. My only involvement was to tell them at the beginning that heads were going to roll if it wasn’t cleaned that day.

    Why can’t these elected officials lock themselves in a conference room and not leave until it’s figured out?

    • SisterCynthia

      I’m highly in favor of putting the band of rascals in a sealed room with cages of starving lions that are timed to open after “x” number of hours. I am guessing decisions might actually happen if they had enough “motivation.” And hey, if they still refuse to work it out, we will be able to vote in a whole new slew of replacements! ;) (I’m only slightly kidding….I kinda like the idea… maybe start with wolverines first, give them the lions during a “second chance”)

      • Mrshopey

        Or they could set a date where the electricity would be cut off if they didn’t meet the deadline while deliberating. I am reminded of the time when they started to remove the roof of where the Cardinals had gathered to pick a pope. They were taking too long. Removing the roof bit by bit help speed it up.

  • Becky

    I’ve been avoiding coverage of this, too, for the most part. It’s been obvious to me that journalists don’t really know why, to what extent, and to whom this is happening and politicians on both sides of the aisle are just trying to manipulate the situation to demonstrate why their proposed “solutions” (i.e., laws they wanted to pass long before this arose) are the answer. I do think the demonization of these children by some on the right is a grave error, but at the same time, I don’t think our national borders are a joke and we should just announce ourselves open to all comers. I have no idea what we should do in this particular instance other than pray.

  • sullibe

    If only I had a bigger house, I’d adopt some of these kids.

    • Asmondius

      They don’t really need an adoption – most have parents back home.

  • hamiltonr

    I’m going to allow this because you make interesting points.

    The post was about a specific situation on the Rio Grand, not all the illegal immigrants in this country. Hispanics is the term I use. Don’t like it? Read elsewhere. People have tried to insult me by calling me either a Democrat or a Republican for years and years. Also liberal, right-winger, communist, nazi, fascist, and … ummm … I forget … but a LOT of things. You’re going to have to put your thinking cap on to hit me with a new insult. “Republican” is low-hanging fruit.

  • FW Ken

    I didn’t know that about Costa Rica. Interesting.

    I do think that we have a moral obligation to help CA, if for no other reason than that we have history down there. Clearly, is in our best interest to have prosperous, stable neighbors, as well.

  • FW Ken

    Sorry, there is plenty of money to take care of these kids. This is a fabulously wealthy country. As Christians, we have a positive duty to help the needy.

    As to hiring more judges, the law requires the kids have hearings, so if they take less time, the kids are here longer and we spend the same money that way.

    There area whole lot of Christian ministries reaching out to help. Dallas, you may know, is trying to set up shelters for 2000 kids, and if it works like it should, could be a model for humane care. Churches and faith-based ministries are gearing up to help.

    • Mrshopey

      If we are in good shape, financially, then why do we have a debt that is in the trillions?
      I think our charities will step forward. I am glad they are making a place for them in Dallas.

      • FW Ken

        The national government is in debt because politicians spend too much. I am talking about the wealth of the nation, which is something other than the government.

        My cousin just spent around $100,000 on her daughter’s wedding, and that’s chicken feed to the costs of celebrity weddings. I think Chelsea Clinton’s wedding was something like $3 million. Couples, with maybe two kids live in half million dollar (and up) homes. There are vast neighborhoods of these. I don’t begrudge people what they have, but really, do 2-4 people need 5000 square feet. Let’s talk athlete’s salaries, the money spent on entertainment, fine dining, expensive clothes, and luxury vacations.

        At lease for us Christians, we should be as concerned about unbridled avarice as we are about unbridled lust. There are seven deadly sins. We justify ourselves on any of them at the peril of our souls.

  • FW Ken

    Rebecca -

    I may be repeating myself, but have no guilt about doing so. It’s in a good cause, and I’m old codger, so it’s allowed. :-)

    Some Christian resources to help in the care of these children. This pertains particularly to the project in Dallas (in need prayer):

    Melanie Trewyn, who was a parishioner of mine in CA and now lives in Florida, is going to Texas as part of a team invited to help care for Central American kids until they can be restored to their families. Melanie is the adoptive mom to a Guatemalan child and was a wonderful youth minister at one of my former churches. She needs to pay her own travel expenses, and you can help her via:

    “Checks made out to Celebrate Children, Inc. And in the
    memo line put for: Melanie Trewyn. Then it will go to our transportation fund,
    but still be tax deductible. Celebrate Children, Inc. 1757 W Broadway Ste #5. Oviedo, FL 32765”

    Deacon Phil Snyder in the Diocese of Dallas, an SF reader and well known conservative Christian combatant on social media, pointed me to Gateway of Grace, a ministry there in the Diocese which is affiliated with Anglican Frontier Missions (AFM). They are already active supporting refugees and are working with other churches in the immediate area to provide humanitarian assistance in the current dilemma.

    AFM has an online giving portal. On the “Select One” drop down, click the name “Samira.” She is the director of Gateway of Grace. UPDATE: Gateway of Grace director Samira Izadi Page shares the following specific needs, “Right now, we are in need of: Financial support. Foster homes. These will be short term foster situations and the process is quick since it is an emergency. We are in need of 15,000 foster homes. Any one home will count. Other basic needs for goods or items will be announced later.

    I see the links didn’t copy:

    http://gatewayofgrace.org/

    http://www.anglicanfrontiers.com/

    http://www.celebratechildren.org/

    I always recommend the Texas Baptist Men. They are awesome They were in Moore after the tornado, Mississippi after Katrina, Galveston after Ike… their remit is basically disaster relief, which tells you something about how they see this situation.

    http://texasbaptistmen.org/

    Catholic Charities in Dallas is involved in that project, and Fort Worth Catholic Charities has opened some more shelter beds here. Not a lot – 32 – but everything helps, eh.

    http://www.catholiccharitiesdallas.org/unaccompanied-minors/index_html

    http://www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org/unaccompaniedchildren

    Sorry to be so domineering. I really believe God has shown us a way to bear witness to the Lord Jesus in this situation.


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