The Children’s Crusade, 2014
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The responsibility for the border crisis is President Obama’s for telegraphing an invitation of “olly olly oxen free” to the world under the age of 18. If you could get to the U.S. and be under the age of 18, the president seemed to be saying again and again, you could stay. Thousands of not-yet-in-the-country “dreamers” heard and headed north.
The New York Times provides background on numbers and countries of origins, and my colleague Katie Pavlich details the particualrs some of the worst border crossers, but as with everything else Obama Administration related, the size, scope and specifics of the problems are not being disclosed to the public. Because of the secrecy of the Obama approach –designed as everything else has been to shield him from the political consequences of his epic incompetence– towns fear the worst sort of border crossers will be dumped on them and are rejecting any attempt to put the children into their communities. Because Katie has reported the reality of some of the approximately 90,000 minors who have come to America since the president began his reckless “messaging” about “Dreamers,” the reality of many tens of thousands of in-effect new orphans in the land has not gone reported on, nor the effort to humanely deal with them actually begun.
The medium-and long-term problem of acting as a magnet to anyone but especially unaccompanied minors of any age needs a border fence to solve –a long, strong, high, double-sided fence covering every passable mile of the 2000 mile U.S.-Mexico border as the visible expression of the nation’s invisible commitment to secure borders. Had even the 700 miles of such a fence been constructed when authorized for the first time in 2006, this would not be happening now. But it wasn’t, and the Children’s Crusade is on. Build the fence, every mile of it even if that means 1,000 miles of new double-sided fencing, with a road running between them, and an opposite message is sent to those who would think about rushing to what they hear is an “open border” and permanent residence. A neew message must be sent repeatedly: It is one of the rule of law and the significance of international borders. How the House GOP has failed to make this argument again and again is stunning.
The children who have already made the trek into the country, however, they represent a different crisis, in effect a refugee crisis. I will be writing more on that later today or tomorrow, but the innocent among them should not have to pay for the president’s incompetence.