Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Obama scurries to find housing for children who have scurried across border; a moral crisis for individual Americans? A policy question?


The Obama administration appears to be trying desperately to find housing for children who have been streaming across the Texas-to-California border in recent weeks from Central America, mainly El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.  Although gang violence in those countries is cited as a reason for the increase, it’s also reasonable that various statements from the administration have been interpreted as meaning children would not be deported and that their parents might be able to follow.  A story ny S. A. Miller in the Washington Times today reports that the administration scrapped plans to house kids at St. Paul’s college in Lawrenceville, VA, near the North Carolina line south of Richmond, after vigorous local objections.  There were other plans to house some in Baltimore

It’s rather obvious to ask whether this problem could lead to calls for families to be willing to adopt these kids or at least accept them in foster care.  While this might sound like a good thing for an individual or family to do, it’s also clear that the State Department and administration cannot propose policies that sound like an invitation for more people to come, even if those policies appeal to certain  kinds of moral values. 

Similar concerns have been mentioned in the wake of anti-gay persecutions in some African countries as well as Russia. In 1980, there was a call for people to take in Cuban refugees already here in the southern part of the US, and that was especially relevant to the gay community, but there were many legal differences between that and now. 

Churches often send adult and even youth groups to mission building in Central American countries.  For example, the First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC has worked on a mission in Nacascolo in Nicaragua, and the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington VA has supported a mission in Belize.  Further, churches have supported water projects in countries like Guatemala.  

  

TWT also offered a commentary by David A. Keene, “President blameless: Obama dodges responsibility for the children’s border surge” today.  

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