They’re children. Babies, some of them. Most no older than their teens. Some have their parents with them…most don’t.
They’re fleeing violent societies in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, societies so dominated by drug cartels that 5 and 6 year old children are pressed into service as drug mules. The journey they take to our border is a harrowing one, involving, among other things, rafts on dangerous rivers and the rooftops of freight cars. When they arrive, they do not attempt to cross our border illegally. They surrender themselves to border control agents, hoping to gain asylum as refugees.
Naturally, the loonies on the right claim that illegal aliens are flooding our borders. Tea Bagger whackadoodle Louis Gohmert…who might be a prime argument for retroactive abortion…suggests these little children are “invading” the United States. Tea Bagger whackadoodle Ted Cruz…why are all these jokers from Texas?...suggests that President Obama is holding these children hostage and that the Senate’s immigration reform bill, passed last year, was responsible for this influx of children by promising them “amnesty”.
And so it goes.
We are a nation of immigrants. Every one of us is the descendant of someone who came from some other country. From the colony at Jamestown, to the Mayflower, to Ellis Island, immigrants came to this country in their millions. From England, Ireland…there are five times as many Americans of Irish descent as there are citizens of the Emerald Isle itself…from France, Germany and Italy, from every country in the world we have come.
And anti-immigrant agitation is nothing new either. The American Party…better known as the Know-Nothings, which seems somehow appropriate…was founded in the 1850’s primarily as an anti-immigrant party. Laws were passed restricting immigration from Asia…after, of course, Asians built our Western railroads. Literally every group that arrived here tried to pull up the ladder behind them, keeping out the groups coming in behind them. The first laws limiting immigration…closing the borders, the whackadoodles would call it…were passed in the 1920’s seeking to restrict immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Now the immigrants come from the south…and their skins are a different color from the white Euro-descended majority. And so they seek, again, to keep them out, fearing that, ultimately, they may no longer be the majority in our own country, that they may one day, be outnumbered by their brown and black citizens.
But Senator Cruz…himself the son of an immigrant and, arguably, an immigrant himself…and Representative Gohmert to the contrary, a new day is coming. Their racist efforts to keep America white will fail.
Because, in the end, we are all Americans.