Wednesday, January 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

The crisis of the children

navarrette column sig

By
From page A9 | July 13, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — Haven’t those poor border kids suffered enough? They shouldn’t have to be used as political props, dragged into the maddening immigration debate and election-year politicking by both parties.

They’re not immigrants. Most of them are refugees. They didn’t come on their own seeking jobs. They were pushed here by circumstance, looking for safe haven.

Many of these children were sexually assaulted or threatened with death by violent youth gangs in their home countries. Once they escaped Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador, many of them braved a dangerous 1,400-mile trip through Mexico on top of a freight train nicknamed “The Beast.” When they arrived in the United States – at least 54,000 of them since October 2013 – they were treated like criminals.

They were callously warehoused in rooms with no beds, little food or water, their medicines withheld. They were packed into tiny spaces without showers or proper hygiene in what became a breeding ground for disease and continued abuse. Also troubling, neither members of Congress nor the media have been allowed to interview the children.

Some of these kids are only 5 or 6, and still they’ve experienced enough pain for a lifetime.

A crisis of this magnitude, which Texas officials claim they warned the Obama administration about as early as 2012, requires that politicians focus on solving problems and not just advancing their interests.

What we saw last week in Dallas didn’t come close. It was a photo op for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Obama. Perry got to look important as he likely prepares to run again for president in 2016, and Obama got to look as if he cares about what happens on the border. I’m skeptical of both assertions.

A lame-duck governor with a long shot at the White House, Perry isn’t important politically – not enough to twist the arms of Republicans in Texas’ congressional delegation to support the president’s $3.7 billion supplemental budget request for funding to deal with the border crisis.

Of that figure, $1.8 billion would go to help the Department of Health and Human Services provide more humane care for the children, and approximately $1.6 billion would help the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice unclog the dysfunctional border security apparatus and expedite the kids’ removal. The final $300 million would go to the State Department to help Latin American governments counter the message behind the smuggling cartels’ misinformation campaign that may have sparked the surge: that Congress had passed an amnesty if the young people could get to the United States to claim it.

Meanwhile, Obama seems to either not care about the border or be intimidated by it. During his trip to Texas, he didn’t even bother to swing by the border and check out this disaster for himself. At the very least, he should have met with some of the children whom his administration has locked up. There is anguish on those young faces, and Obama shouldn’t be afraid to see it.

In Dallas, Perry and Obama met twice, but the one-on-one meeting that the governor had requested was limited to just 15 minutes aboard Marine One as the helicopter shuttled the two from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas’ Love Field. Then came a longer meeting with other officials.

You can bet that the human trafficking cartels who helped cause this mess, and then helped themselves to more than $400 million in revenue for transporting all these kids across the U.S.-Mexico border, invested more effort to cook up their evil plan.

After the meeting with Perry, Obama told reporters that he hoped Republicans in Washington could get beyond partisanship and pass the supplemental appropriation. This was right before the president delivered a few partisan jabs at the opposition.

Among other things, Obama argued that we wouldn’t be in this situation if Republicans had approved the Senate immigration reform bill, with its call for 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents. This assumes that, with enough boots on the ground, we can turn back uninvited guests. No one who understands the border, and the lengths to which the downtrodden and the desperate will go to cross it, would believe such foolishness.

But then foolishness has become the stock and trade of many of our elected officials, who increasingly are no match for the crises that our country must confront.

Ruben Navarrette is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • PatriotJuly 13, 2014 - 6:23 am

    wow, so when do we start taking in all of the children around the world that have been victimized? How about all of them in Africa? Maybe we should send our fleet over there to bring a million or more over to escape there conditions. We are a country of laws and at this time with this administration that doesn't matter any more. Slowly but surely America will be destroyed as I see the current conditions in European countries with their flexible immigration the past 20 years.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DanielJuly 13, 2014 - 6:46 am

    Obama knows this but doesn't care, many of these "kids" are criminals including drug dealers.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • chrisJuly 13, 2014 - 12:41 pm

    it's NOT our problem!!!! I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy since we are not the world's nanny. Send them back asap.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 13, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    The whole world is watching.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TylerJuly 13, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    Oh baloney, the whole world is watching soccer. A handful of journalists needing PR is watching the border.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 13, 2014 - 4:15 pm

    The whole world minus one. I have no use for succor and never watch.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    2 Solano road projects get green light

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
    Rush Ranch seeks docents

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

    Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

     
    Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Fairfield police to offer parenting class

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Vanden to host science fair

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

     
    Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

    By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

     
     
     
    Coalition members review tobacco control report card

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

    Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

     
    Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

     
    American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

     
    Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    .

    US / World

    Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Officials lose track of billions in funding

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Catholic church in San Francisco to phase out altar girls

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

     
    Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    ‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Opinion

     
     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

     
    We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

     
    10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Sports

    Lynch at Media Day: ‘I’m here so I don’t get fined’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

    Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

     
    Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    .

    Business

    US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

     
    FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

    .

    Obituaries

    Joseph Phillip Raiff

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Clarence E. Morgan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Don Johnson

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 9 Comments

     
    Dzhon Athanc

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Julia P. Tan

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Woodrow Allen Oakley

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Donald Wesley Johnson

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6