Wednesday, July 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

What should the US do about illegal immigrant children?

The crisis along the southern United States border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.

President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion to cover the growing “care, feeding, and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

But the larger question may be whether these illegal immigrant children should be allowed to stay in the United States or deported to their home countries. How much compassion can America afford? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the Red-Blue America columnists, weigh in.

Joel Mathis

There’s not a single good reason the United States – a nation built by immigrants – should not welcome and embrace the thousands of young children appearing on our border. We should do everything we can to welcome them, make them safe and install them with families that will help them become part the next great generation of Americans.

Consider the traditional arguments against illegal immigration: These youngsters aren’t here to compete for jobs, so they’re not going to drive down wages or take employment away from current citizens. Assimilation won’t be a problem, since they’re arriving young enough for America to make Americans out of them.

And the idea that we should turn them away simply because they’re here illegally? That illegality is a choice we’ve made, and not necessarily for good reasons. We can unmake it for better reasons. Otherwise, the argument is a tautology in the service of cruelty.

Which leaves one possible good argument against allowing all those youngsters in the United States: That they’ll cost the country an enormous amount of money spent on care and services that we should be spending on American citizens instead.

Maybe. But we’re already spending a lot of that money keeping those children in camps, behind fences, as they wait their turn to go through a bureaucracy. We can make that money work for America’s future, or we can toss it down a rathole as we turn away youngsters who need what we can offer and who can pay us back through public service and a revitalized economy for decades to come.

For decades to come, America will be judged for how it treats these children – children! – who have fled evil and deprivation in their own lands. If we truly are as an exceptional a country as we tell ourselves, we will become amazing hosts to them. They deserve our love, our generosity and our willingness not to be as stupid and hard-hearted as our politics sometimes make us. It’s time to welcome these children to their new home.

Ben Boychuk

One of the most reprehensible trends of the past generation is the use and abuse of children as political props. What’s happening along the southern U.S. border may be a humanitarian crisis, but it’s a crisis of our own making. This child abuse needs to stop.

How did this happen? First, President George W. Bush in 2008 signed a law aimed at combating trafficking of children. But the law has had the opposite effect, as families pay thousands of dollars to smugglers to get their children to the border.

The law gave hefty new protections to kids entering the United States alone, as long as they weren’t from Canada or Mexico. It’s no accident that most of the children who have arrived in the past two years are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

And what makes the past two years so significant? In 2012, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a memo claiming “prosecutorial discretion” in exempting nearly 1 million illegal immigrants – all minors – from deportation.

The message was unambiguous: If you’re under 18, and you arrive in the United States alone and in one piece, odds are, you’ll get to stay.

We were once a nation built by immigrants. It’s true. And we need immigrants today. But we also need educated people, people with skills – people with something to give. We do not tens of thousands of destitute children sent here by their families and abetted by their governments on rumors of free housing, free education and free health care.

“It’s just obvious,” the late, great free-market economist Milton Friedman famously said, “you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”

Is our immigration and naturalization system hopelessly broken? No question. Fact is, some 4.5 million people around the world are waiting for their legal opportunity to enter the United States. They’ve done everything the law requires, yet they languish because our bureaucracy is ill-equipped to meet the demand.

Americans are a compassionate people. We should feed these children, shelter them, clothe them and treat the sick as needed. And then we should send them back to their home countries where they belong.

Ben Boychuk (bboychuk@city-journal.org) is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Joel Mathis (joelmmathis@gmail.com) is associate editor for Philadelphia Magazine. Visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/benandjoel.

Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 27 comments

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

  • LindaJuly 18, 2014 - 6:25 am

    I feel for the children but they need to go back. It is my opinion that the parents are getting smarter. The only reason they are coming here is because their parents tell them to go and they know we won't turn kids away. Basically they are using their own kids to get a foot in the door. We already have our own children that need our help but our government is in denial. We need to help our kids before we help the world.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagJuly 18, 2014 - 7:05 am

    Joel your comment said (America will be judged for how it treats these children – children) Great so lets kick A** and show the world we wont stand for this and send them home while we have the worlds attention.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 18, 2014 - 7:16 am

    Where's the compassion for children that just happen to be oh yeah, AMERICAN CITIZENS?! Why do we have problems needing attention but they're being ignored? NO! Enough of this one for me, one-two-three for everybody else! Rein it in begin the process of making us whole and prosperous again.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • S KJuly 18, 2014 - 7:41 am

    Send them back the SAME DAY they arrive, no hearings, no housing, no nothing, especially near 4 Billion $$$s needed!!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 18, 2014 - 7:48 am

    S K, I know right? Simple!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • clancyJuly 18, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Simpler. Send them back now. Pull our military out of countries that hate and secure all our boarders. Do not let them cross in the first place.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DanielJuly 18, 2014 - 11:18 am

    Why were you "progressives" so adamant about returning Elian Gonzalez back to the prison of Cuba after he crossed the ocean in a raft and watch his mother die? Was it because he was from a state with you favorite form if government, communism and your hero that runs it, Fidel? How about the decorated marine that Mexicans have thrown into jail merely because he misjudged the border, are these 2 peoples lives less valuable than Bergdhal's or foreigners from Central America? Let's hear your excuses and hypocrisy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 11:29 am

    Because his father was in Cuba, if I recall correctly. But indeed, let's give each of these children the same attention THAT case got. You're not making a very good argument for the "send them home" side.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 18, 2014 - 1:53 pm

    Daniel, still haven't presented any facts from your garbage. Remember, I asked you to bring some evidence? With the Gonzales case I believe you're going back to 2000. He was here with relatives, his father wanted him home with him in Cuba. That case went as it should. But you're still suggesting Obama is a communist? Ordinarily I wouldn't continue, but I love seeing you make yourself look so stupid. So you have it figured out now? THIS marine "misjudged" the border? Why are you so anxious to accept this story? Wow Daniel, garbage in garbage out. If it wasn't for hypocrisy, you'd never write anything.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 11:34 am

    There's a lot of ground between "take them all in" and "send them all back." That ground is occupied by "due process," one of America's "weapons of mass attraction" that should be on full display here for the whole world to see.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 18, 2014 - 11:55 am

    Rick: You seem to be saying that all 60,000 and (counting) of these illegals deserve nothing less than a deportation hearing. Do you know how silly that sounds (assuming I interpreted your rather vague post correctly)? It would be more like a Weapon of Mass Lunacy in the eyes of the rest of the world in my humble opinion.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 2:56 pm

    Mr.S: No, I'm saying "due process." First thing is to see that these children are properly cared for. Second thing is to give them due process before disposing of their case. If the law now requires a definition of due process that it is not practical for us to use with these numbers, we should change it. To summarily send them all home is not due process. Are we even doing the first thing? The whole world is watching while our government--of the greatest nation on Earth--is paralyzed. We're failing daily.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 18, 2014 - 3:32 pm

    Rick: Are you under Pelosi's spell? We are caring for the children as best we can. Why do you keep insisting that we care for them? Nobody's arguing with you on that, in case you haven't noticed. The rest of your post is lost in some "rabbit hole" nonsense of giving "due process" either by following current law, or changing(!) the law.....to do what? How long would that take? Make it the same for all illegal entrants from Mexico and Canada if that will ease your heartburn over sending these UNINVITED guests home as soon as possible. Obama could do that with a stroke of his magic pen--if he wanted to. But that might require him to actually engage in the crisis. Fat chance! SMH.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 5:55 pm

    Mr.S: Is "the best we can" equal to "properly?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 18, 2014 - 6:15 pm

    Rick: Are you implying that the Obama administration is not doing the "best it can" to treat these uninvited illegal aliens properly until they can be dealt with? Or if "the best it can" is improper treatment, what more should our president and his people be doing to make it "proper?" It is the federal government, after all, that is in the driver seat. Of course, when you "lead from behind" a la Obama, you do need some very long arms to reach the steering wheel and pedals. Oh, and a break from your fund raising schedule.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    Mr.S: I'm sure there's something in the $3.7 billion request to make it proper. Check to congress, not the president.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 6:04 pm

    Mr.S: Obviously, Obama is not willing, yet, to take this monkey on his back. The law, as written must be better, in his opinion, than any alternative available to him. If we want to speed the process up, congress is going to have to provide the resources or a new law. I'm fine with the law as it is. Pelosi wants it also to apply to Mexicans and Canadians.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 18, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    Rick: If you are "fine with the law as it is," then you are ok with the 60,000 and counting illegal aliens that continue to flood into our country having a full-blown deportation hearing before they can be sent home. That is the most head-in-the-sand, in-your-face-in-spite-of-the-obvious, liberal stance on an issue that has so much potential to harm this country now and for years to come that I have seen on this board. SMH even more than before!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 9:12 pm

    Mr.S: Once you recover from the shock of this "invasion" you may see that I was right. You seem to have a high fear response to change.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 18, 2014 - 9:25 pm

    Rick: And you seem to be living in Obama's "tranquil world," where shooting pool, having a beer and a burger and hitting the fund raising circuit pass for presidential leadership while things are actually going to H E Double Hockey Sticks all around him.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 18, 2014 - 9:46 pm

    Mr.S: Don't blame Obama for not assuaging your fears. He should do what's right.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mr. SmithJuly 19, 2014 - 8:01 am

    Rick: I couldn't agree more. He should resign forthwith.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • clancyJuly 18, 2014 - 2:31 pm

    I font know exactly what Obama is but he's way too left for me sorry I voted for him he turned me way yo the right I think due process is a right of american citizens not people here illegally! Why do the citizens have to pay for their lawyers or hearings or anything for that matter. Can anyone name one other country that would do so?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • clancyJuly 18, 2014 - 2:42 pm

    If Obama wants them here do bad why doesn't he let them come stay with his family ? They could become friends with Shasha and Malia. Bet he would love that. I'm tired of all these rich liberals promoting immigration when none of the immigrants will not live anywhere close to their neighborhood! Maybe they need some nannies and maids. In our town we have seen what happens with the illegals gangs shootings homes with too many people living there for the size of the home and on and on

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DanielJuly 18, 2014 - 5:54 pm

    CD so I take you're saying that none of the S. American parents want their unaccompanied children as young as 4 back so American citizens are obligated to raise them, if a parent wants them back, ship them back (read your last post, it's your rational in the Gonzalez case) as far as the marine, the Mexican government has charged him without a trial of trespassing without permission, present your evidence if you have facts contrary. It looks like no matter how irrational you're going to defend Obama no matter what he does, you're amazing in your partisanship.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 18, 2014 - 6:17 pm

    Daniel, zero dude, where's YOUR evidence about your posts the other day? ALL those kids need to go home, read MY previous post on the matter. My point was you ridicule the Marines case but believe everybody else is guilty with nothing. Zero.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • just sayin'July 18, 2014 - 8:26 pm

    They came in via Mexico, send them back to Mexico. NO ANCHOR BABIES. Deport them all. NOW. This is not a case of children needing help. This is an invasion. Schools here are closing. Teachers get Pink Slips yet we are supposed to educate the rest of the world? NO> NO> NO>

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano County Fair set to open Wednesday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marketing study looks at Berryessa resorts

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

Rio Vista woman died in Suisun City crash

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Police arrest suspected intruder

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Activity is Medicine program coming to Suisun senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
 
Big-rig crash shuts down freeway onramp

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Icon sends first A5 into the skies on maiden flight

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B7

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Suisun City police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: July 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Weather for Wedneday, July 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B14

 
.

US / World

Hamas demands for cease-fire and Israel’s concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Fist bumps less germy than handshakes, study says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
New California fines for wasting water take effect

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California lifeguard injured by lightning improves

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PG&E charged with obstruction over San Bruno blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Chevron California refinery overhaul up for vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Tuberculosis patient who refused care is arrested

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

4 charged with murder in death of USC student

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Crews make gains on 2 California wildfires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Last crew member of Enola Gay dies in Georgia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Shelling adds to mounting civilian toll in Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Generation of tanners see spike in deadly melanoma

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

Body of young stowaway found in US cargo plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Report: Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Highway, bridge money at risk: Senate to vote

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Senate bill would end NSA phone records collection

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Liberians in US worry about Ebola outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Top doctor dies from Ebola after treating dozens

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Red light camera fate now uncertain in state

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

 
Obscure state agency creates big money problems

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

Some people have missed the drought memo

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What kids don’t know would shock you

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Cemetery support committee thanks sponsors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
What to do when ‘it’ hits the fan

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

Today in History for July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
I like Liam, but I think he’s interested in another girl

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Horoscopes for July 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
A do-ahead dinner to make back-to-school smoother

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

You too can bake artisanal quality bread at home

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
A healthy afterschool snack that eats like a treat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Music aside, Queen of Soul is pumped for fair food

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

Sports

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Indians blank Next Level Athletic to win SRL tournament title

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Mudcats tie Vacaville Admirals

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

No joke: Kings’ Cousins hopes for Team USA shot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Liriano fans 11 in Pirates’ 3-1 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Athletics rally for 6 runs in 9th, beat Astros 7-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Husband arrested in death of NBA player’s aunt

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Triple-A brawl results in 11 suspensions

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broken water main floods UCLA; 5 people rescued

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers sign former Cardinals RB Alfonso Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Vin Scully to return for 66th season in LA in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Wednesday, July 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

.

Business

Study: 35 percent in US facing debt collectors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
McDonald’s could be liable for labor practices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Food writers subpoenaed in ‘pink slime’ lawsuit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stocks end lower ahead of economic data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

Jack L Hudack

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jeanetta M. Hale

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Patricia Jo McDonald

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5