The U.S. has tightened up security at the border, trying to avoid a repeat of 2014’s surge of unaccompanied minors. To some degree, the crackdown has been a success. The surge this year has seen 30,000 unaccompanied minors cross into the U.S., but that’s down from 60,000 by this time last year. The problem, say some, is that the crackdown has led to an increase in violence.
Kimberly Haynes of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service says that children are being forced to adopt dangerous strategies to get past the U.S. Border Patrol. “Those that are fleeing and trying to get out of their countries are now using even more dangerous tactics with more criminal entities and costing them even more money to get through to safety,” she said.
Haynes has a leftist agenda – she is in favor of uniting illegals with the children they left behind – but she isn’t wrong. Since the crackdown on illegal immigration went into effect, countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have tried to prevent people from leaving their troubled borders. Children and other residents are still desperately trying to get out, however, and that’s putting them in very dangerous situations.
So what is the cure? If you ask liberals, the answer is to get more lenient at the border. In fact, some Democrats want to actively encourage these minors to cross over. President Obama has even implemented advertising south of the border, providing free transportation for children who want to join their families in the United States. This may be a compassionate move, but it has a damning effect on the future. We can’t solve one problem by making things worse in another area.
This requires a two-pronged approach. First, we must put political pressure on these countries to fix the problems that are driving their citizens away. Second, we must shut down illegal immigration to the point where there is no American option for these would-be refugees. Right now, they see America as a promising land of opportunity. They see the political winds shifting, and they hope to take advantage of the climate to find a better life. You can’t blame them for that. This is a mess that falls on Obama.
The United States does not owe the world a sanctuary. We live by ethical standards, and our wealth makes it easy to reach out and help those who cannot help themselves. But there’s a difference between providing that kind of help and sacrificing our own country. We must preserve the strength that we now have or we won’t be anyone’s idea of a refuge in another couple of decades. In fact, we will be facing the same kinds of problems that drive these people to seek shelter in America today.
When you hang a carrot on a stick, people will risk life and limb to get the prize. Take it away, and you will have solved much of the immigration crisis in one fell swoop. Instead, Obama is determined to make it more enticing than ever for children to put their lives on the line. And for that, he should be deeply ashamed.