Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

A Broken System, Yes, Indeed!

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

A Broken System, Yes, Indeed!

Article excerpt

Nothing could get more contentious, polemical, or demagogic - throw in desperate also - currently than the diaspora of the thousands of children from Central America fleeing their country in quest of a free pass toward a better life into the U.S.

Since last October, more than 52,000 children and teens have been caught or surrendered to immigration agents. Most are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

They hope for a permiso by U.S. immigration authorities to turn them over to a relative or guardian while their status is adjudicated which can take forever. Meanwhile, bye-bye illegal kid!

Everyone from President Obama to congressional leaders, to non-governmental organizations to social services groups, to just plain ordinary Americans has gotten involved in a human plight where the motivating factors are supposedly driven by compassion and charity.

There is another growing element of Americans in this drama who would rewrite our nation's Statue of Liberty emblem of "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.''

"Enough! Send them all back" seems to be the growing sentiment and some say, perhaps a new-age ethos, and it's not just about Central America which is currently ground zero for the problem.

Not that Americans are less compassionate but they do seem exhausted and a bit jaded with the never-ending humanitarian rescues.

The pity-the-innocent-children exhortations seem to be the latest venture of would-be immigrants to get into the United States.

Proponents of the exodus say it's not about a grander migration scheme; it's more a rescue operation for kids who are being exploited and abused in their native countries.

Many of the children's petitioners are parents or relations already living here. Some are undocumented or in the process of legitimizing their own illegal status but through a little ingenuity, have been able to avoid imperiling their own situation while advocating the youths' case.

The children are coming across in droves, which has overwhelmed out federal government's human resources agencies that provide temporary assistance and shelter and weigh their petitions for legitimate status.

The motivating factor in granting temporary status to adolescent refugees is the marauding gangsters in their country which are allegedly terrorizing the children, holding them in bondage or killing them.

Then there is the have-a-heart factor that asks how a charitable, benevolent and rich country like ours can turn away poor, innocent children being exploited or killed by lawless groups? …

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