Not just immigrant children. Refugee children, who had endured an almost incomprehensible journey away from unimaginably violent states. Terrified while white racists screamed and shouted at them. USA. USA. Sure, that's what we stand for--xenophobia and lack of compassion. Real Christian values.
Oh, I know the arguments. They are here illegally. We can't solve the world's problems. Freeloaders. Deport them. Except.... we are the richest country in the world. We built it on the backs of hard-working immigrants. Every white American is an immigrant. We could save these children.
This op/ed in the Dallas News lays it out.
Exactly 75 years and one month ago the St. Louis, a German trans-Atlantic liner carrying 938 Jewish refugees, was turned away from the United States, forced to return to Europe. U.S. law didn’t allow them sanctuary.
Today we are preparing to send 45,000 children back to Central American countries controlled by drug cartels that routinely torture, rape and kill children who refuse to work for them. So routinely, so often are children menaced that their families sent them away, alone, across thousands of miles on just the slimmest of hopes that they might be safe. U.S. law doesn’t allow them sanctuary.
The St. Louis is famous now as a failure of compassion that haunts American history. It is so easy to imagine the despair of those passengers, forced to return to countries that would soon be overrun by the Nazis. It is difficult to imagine an America that would be so cruel and insensible to the terror of others. President Franklin Roosevelt is still held accountable for his failure to respond.
And now we have President Barack Obama promising to send the children back. We have an America demanding that he do so, and in fact, blaming his administration for not securing the borders more tightly so that those desperate Central American families would have had no hope at all that their children might find sanctuary.
But, in fact, the border is secured. The children are in custody. They will be turned back. . ...
Our hearts are not touched by these children. We want the law enforced. This is our country. Ours. And we don’t have to share it. Not now. Not 75 years ago.
We haven’t changed at all.
Why? It’s simple, really. A matter of us and them. Yes, these are children whom we’ll send back to be raped, maimed and killed. But they aren’t our children. Our children are precious.
These children. They simply aren’t. Not to us.
Shame, for shame, America.
Episcopal Relief and Development is helping here.