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When Children Come Knocking

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Listening to United States lawmakers -- both Democrats and Republicans -- behave like a bunch of middle school brats dealing with an immigration crisis of sorts ostensibly at the United States southern borders, left me cracking up with laughter or LoL as the millenniums would say. I have come away with the distinct feeling that everyone is simply clueless.

As usual, from President Barack Obama on down come the typical American tried and failed solution -- throw money at the problem. But Republicans are pushing back at President Obama's request for $3.7 Billion to deal with the 52,000 children that suddenly came knocking at the border calling for him to "do something."

The talking points and jabs about "Obama's failed leadership," his taking his eyes off the ball and all manner of spin, criticism and posturing is out and pumping. Republicans have criticized the president's emergency funding request and are calling for more "border security " without spelling out exactly what they want.

Now it's become so surreal that among the latest attributes attributed to the president by the Republicans in Congress are clairvoyance and mind-reading. Are these folks for real? The United States Southern border is one of the most secure in the world. Before Republicans go on TV and make these unilateral party talking points that make them look uninformed and silly the solution is simple, very simple: go visit and see the border.

And there was a whole big hullabaloo that President Obama should go visit the border on his recent visit to Texas as if this would have in some way, shape or fashion, magically solve a problem that Republicans are stonewalling in the first place. Trying to control the narrative is Politics 101. They have even formed a Christian anti-immigration group! Called Christians Against Illegal Immigration you know what they are doing and it's anything but Christian.

Republicans are even blaming a 2008 law by using it to attack President Barack Obama. He being pummeled for a law that his predecessor signed BEFORE he was elected president! Are you wondering why sane, rational people are now shaking their heads and laughing?

The facts are simple as A, B and C. It's not complex at all.

One, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are among the most violent places on earth. Local governments there are in a sustained protracted war with organized criminals involved in drug trafficking, gunrunning, contract killing, modern slavery, exploitation of children and women and just about any odious activity imaginable. Murders are now a daily routine.

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Two, this climate of fear and terror has forced thousands to flee these places braving a hazardous journey and hardships for the promise of a better future in the United States. Can you imagine the horrible choice of a mother forced to send her 10-year old daughter on such a perilous trek where the real potential for abuse, rape and murder exists every minute?

Three, there is nothing wrong with the US southern border. These children and minors are showing up at the border -- not breaching it. So there is absolutely no need to throw more money at border security. To argue that somehow President Obama has encouraged children fleeing murder and mayhem in their homeland to come knocking on US doors is patently ludicrous and disingenuous.

But more to the point, Americans, including policy makers, and Congressional leaders, were more concerned with Benghazi, IRS mischief, Edward Snowden and what some vapid celebrity wore to a party or who slapped who in an elevator, instead of focusing on world issues that portended serious immigration consequences for the United States if ignored.

So, the usual suspects jumped on the new Iraq crisis, leaving Syria as stale news and not 6 o'clock CNN worthy. All the while the United Nations Commission on Refugees were speaking about how millions of refugees and immigrants are fleeing strife-torn places in Africa, Asia and the Middle East for places in Europe. Every day there were news stories about Australia rescuing Sri Lankans at sea and the Italian Coast Guard picking up thousands of African migrants from the Sudan, Libya, the Congo and elsewhere.

Of course, United States lawmakers were aware of this global trend and that the United States was not immune from it. And that it was not if but when it would hit home here. But the "its about them -- no us" syndrome kicked in -- can't happen in the United States. Nah. But it was happening as these migrants started showing up in groups of 20, 30, 40 and 50 consistently arriving at the southern border. The problem was known to border law enforcement for years but the numbers were not enough to alarm and shock Washington out of its "get Obama" mode.

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We're not Italy or Greece or France. We're the United States of America, for God's sake. What's happening "over there" just can't happen here.

But it has happened here and now the United States is dealing with a problem that started in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. And don't forget Mexico that has the largest population of undocumented immigrants in the United States. So feigning righteous anger House Speaker John Boehner has rhetorically asked when is President Obama going to "do something."

That's a new thing with Republicans. On Benghazi the president must do something. On Syria he has to do something. On the IRS he has to do something. On Iraq "Obama must do something." Now again our faint-hearted House Speaker -- "when is he going to do something."

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MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)

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A fair-minded article on Oped at last. Doesn't sa... by Shirley Braverman on Friday, Jul 11, 2014 at 8:06:16 AM