is america to blame for the crisis on the border

Americans used to think that our borders were safe, but that was a false belief that had been broken. Those were days when everyone was good. Now, we have to deal with a rise in immigration, which is partly caused by drug cartels, gang violence, and the trafficking of people for sex, as well as a bad decision by the president. We didn’t ask for it to turn into a crisis, but now we have to deal with it.

The arrival of thousands of poor children from Central America is putting America to the test. It has shown us how bad our leaders are, tested our kindness, and made us admit how bad we are at keeping our borders safe.

Americans have a good reason to think of themselves as caring people. Many people regularly send money to ministries that spread the gospel in faraway parts of Asia. They use social media to bring attention to the raped and enslaved people in faraway Africa. Millions of people sponsor very poor children in third world countries who are struggling. But now, when the problem of lack and want shows up on our doorstep without being asked, many Americans are torn.

Do we have to take care of these immigrant children and adults? Where will we put people in jail? How will we meet health care needs? Should we send them home, and if so, how soon? Don’t they belong to someone else? Who will cover all the costs? These are the important questions right now.

We can’t keep the “world’s poor” out anymore because there are so many of them, and many Americans have reached the end of their capacity for compassion.

People in the U.S. are blocking DHS buses full of immigrant children and filling town halls to ask politicians to send immigrants back to their home countries. This is because people understandably want to protect the integrity of our borders and stand up against a sense of lawlessness. Even the liberal governor of Maryland has said it would be wrong to send these kids home, but he still won’t take them in.

What is the president doing? The truth is that Barack Obama is not blameless. It looks like the June 2012 executive order that created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was done for nothing more than political gain, with no thought for the surge it would cause thousands of miles away. When President Obama told the poor people in our hemisphere that his administration would not care about the legal status of minors, we quickly saw the reaction in the shanty towns of Central America.

Many say that this order caused tens of thousands of people to travel through Mexico, which is often harsh and dry. They will keep coming, whether they walk, cram into buses, or ride on top of trains. Now immigrants are running toward U.S. Border Agents, not away from them. The bad news is that Washington politics sent them an invitation, but the flights back to their home countries have already started. They are hurt by bad policies and the president’s clumsy attempts to balance two policy demands at odds with each other.

On one side of the argument are those who say that everyone caught, detained, and turned away at the border should be sent back immediately. Others would let anyone in who asked for asylum, claimed to be a refugee, or just said they wanted to live the American Dream. It is a debate that is happening in American media, town halls, and government buildings.

In Washington, the elected leaders of the United States have, as expected, stopped any agreement on immediate action, just as they have done with the larger need to pass immigration reform. As has become all too common, the White House’s solution is to throw more money at the problem. They have asked for nearly $4 billion in emergency funding, but they haven’t come up with a long-term plan to deal with the crisis. On the other hand, Republican members of Congress have said they don’t want to give the requested money. Instead, they want to change a law that people who bring children into the country illegally have used in bad ways. Partisan gridlock is making the situation worse as the debate drags on. Every day, people who want to come to the U.S. are told that the border is still open because nothing has been done about immigration reform, which would make the border much safer.

All of this has led to terrible political results for both sides. In July, a poll by the Washington Post found that 58 percent of Americans don’t like how the president deals with the growing number of undocumented children at the border, while 33 percent do. Even among Latinos, 54% of them don’t like it. Still, the Republicans in Congress have done much worse, with 66 percent of people saying they don’t like how they’re handling the border issue and only 23 percent saying they do.

It remains to be seen whether Hispanics will vote against Democrats because of how bad they have been at handling immigration or against Republicans because of how they don’t care about the plight of immigrants. Either way, the public debate and policy that comes out of it don’t have to come down to the two most extreme options: “deport them all” or “open borders.”

Republicans and Democrats can work together to help the children, protect the dignity of each person, and send a clear message to people thinking about coming to the U.S. illegally. That means taking care of the immediate needs of each immigrant, deciding quickly on asylum claims, reuniting children with parents who are already in the United States, and sending back people who don’t meet the requirements of our current immigration law. (This includes the much-criticized law from 2008, which was meant to protect the most vulnerable people from the dangers of human trafficking and gang violence back home.)

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