Friday July 6, 2018
U.S. should be the great country we claim to be and find room for suffering people.
During the Potato Famine in Ireland, many hungry people were jailed for stealing food. On top of that, a law was passed imposing a penalty of 30 days hard labor for begging. Apparently it was more important to hide the unpleasant evidence of the crisis than to help starving people.
Today people are fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and rather than helping these desperate people, our government just wants to make sure they don't bother us.
The desire to keep these people out is fueled by false claims that they are bringing crime and that many are human traffickers in disguise. In fact, the Cato Institute reports that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at rates lower than native-born Americans, and Department of Homeland Security figures show that fewer than 1 percent of the families crossing the southern border this year were actually adults with unrelated children.
None of this cruelty is required by law. It is a policy choice. We could be processing asylum claims and keeping track of the applicants with ankle monitors.
We could be the great country we claim to be and find room to receive these suffering people as we did Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine.
Cruelty wrong choice for American policy