Eusebio Elizondo, the auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, raises a good question: what does our response to unaccompanied children coming to the United States say about our American values? From the Washington Post:
The debate that came to a head in Washington this week on the unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border can be boiled down to one clear choice: Protect them and give them due process or change the law and send them back to possible death. While some may disagree with this characterization, the truth is inescapable, as are the life-and-death consequences facing this most vulnerable population.
Disturbingly, on Friday the House of Representatives was steering toward the latter course….
The real issue here is who we are as Americans. As a leader in human rights protection around the world, we often instruct other nations to receive refugees or protect human rights. Yet when child refugees appear on our own border, we struggle to respond in a humane way. Calls for deploying the National Guard and more border enforcement, for example, suggest that these children and families threaten our national security when they are the ones running from terror. Instead of sending an army to the border, we should be sending an army of child welfare and mental health experts.
CBS Evening News: In El Salvador, Kids Seek Refuge from the Violence
CRS to Senate: Violence is Driving Surge in Unaccompanied Children
Vatican to Support Help for ‘Humanitarian Emergency’ of Child Migrants
USCCB Says Dangerous Conditions Causing More Families to Send Children to U.S.