General Question

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Unaccompanied children are crossing the US southern border in record numbers. Is this a US immigration crisis, making them undocumented immigrants, or is this a bigger international humanitarian crisis, making these kids refugees?

Asked by Yetanotheruser (14810 points ) June 10th, 2014

Since October of 2013, over 47,000 children have come to the Mexico/US border without the necessary documentation (visa, passport, etc). Most of these kids are not from Mexico, but from other Central American countries with extremely high murder rates, including Honduras (90.4 per 10,000 population), El Salvador (41.2/10k) and Guatemala (39.9/10k).—(source CNN Report on United Nations Global Study on Homicide).

There are some in the US (such as Rep. Jason Chaffetz [R., Utah]) who point to the lack of immigration reform as a reason for the spike. Others, such as the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, state that these kids”... defy common perceptions of migration in this hemisphere. They are akin to refugees in Africa fleeing civil wars. They are literally fleeing for their lives.”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

33 Answers

jca's avatar

They expect 90,000 in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s a lot of people, in my opinion. According to the article, and common sense, word will spread and more will come. More that need shelter, services and money.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/06/us/faces-of-an-immigration-system-overwhelmed-by-women-and-children.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3As%2C%5B%22RI%3A8%22%

I am not thrilled that we’re going to be supporting all these people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Those poor kids. What kind of hell must they have gone through to get here, all by themselves.

I am thrilled that we can help them

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Al-Jazeera-America has been running a series on immigration from the migrants’ POV called Borderland

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Some are with parents, as illustrated in the article I linked.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Still, life in their home country must be hell to be willing to go through the kind of hell, including painful death, to get here. I’m glad we can help them.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Borders are artificial. Human suffering is real. So while there may be a legal crisis of sorts regarding immigration, the humanitarian crisis is bigger and more important. What’s more, solving the humanitarian problem—i.e., making it so that these kids don’t feel the need to run away—will solve the legal problem. It won’t bring an end to questions about immigration more generally, of course, but there would be no reason for these kids to be causing this legal crisis if there were no humanitarian crisis driving it.

DWW25921's avatar

Sorry about your luck little Pedro but get in the bus.

We can’t even take care of our own people.

It’s time to make some hard choices.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

These children should be returned across the border to the South from whence they were thrown. It is time to close the borders until we get control of them. The average number of kids showing up here alone is 6,000 per year in recent years. Already this year it is 47,000…...this requires immediate action.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MollyMcGuire They aren’t fleeing their countries just for the fun of it. Would you throw those children back even if it meant they would be raped and killed?

@DWW25921 We’re taking care of our own people just fine.

DWW25921's avatar

@Dutchess_III Um… Seriously? We are talking about the USA right?

We have the highest unemployment, poverty and obesity rate in American history…

But we’re doing just fine… (sigh)

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@DWW25921 But we are not (yet) in the top five murder rates. One of the points I was making in the OP is that this is a humanitarian crisis and should be addressed as such.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, @DWW25921, we are doing fine. If people are unemployed or are poor, they get welfare benefits. Our poor live like kings compared to to the countries those people are fleeing.

Obesity is a persons own fault. Has nothing to do with our country.

DWW25921's avatar

I’m going to stop following this and bang my head into the wall until I become a liberal.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve been in poverty. My daughter is currently in poverty. It’s not a great place to be, but we survived. We had opportunities that other countries can’t provide for their people.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Illegal immigration, no matter the age of the migrants, is always the result of a humanitarian crisis. It’s merely a matter of degree from individual to individual.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Relevant

“They’re escaping gang violence and crushing poverty.”

longgone's avatar

^ Oh, man :/

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know. People in America think they know what poverty is. They’re blind fools.

jca's avatar

I’m sorry but the lame “there are reasonable responses to the crisis” is so much garbage. “How about you step up and outline those “reasonable responses” and their costs? How about each member of the NY Times editorial staff pledges ½ their salaries to solve the problem? At a rate of 47,000 per month, 564,000 per year, even if each one only requires 4 hours of a lawyer’s time, that is $564,000,000 dollars a year and that is only at $250/hour. Good luck finding a lawyer at that rate! The numbers are simply staggering and the flood will only increase. While some of these may be fleeing violence, many more are simply taking advantage of the lax (read non-existent) enforcement of our immigration laws.”

Quote from a comment in recent NY Times article. Good points.

Dutchess_III's avatar

”...many more are simply taking advantage of the lax (read non-existent) enforcement of our immigration laws.” @jca, they don’t come just because our immigration laws are lax. They have a reason to want to come here. If they didn’t want to come here, they wouldn’t, even if we had NO immigration laws.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I didn’t write that. It’s from the comments section of the NY Times. It’s not my opinion – just posting it for debate.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@jca It seems to me that saying “good points” is implicitly an endorsement. I realize that isn’t what you meant, but that’s why it came across differently. If the comment doesn’t express your own opinion, you might consider saying “interesting points” or even “interesting points, though I’m not sure I agree.”

In any case, I don’t think the comment raises good points. In fact, it’s a straw man. For one, it assumes that the only solution is for each refugee to consult a lawyer individually. But even if a court-based solution were needed, it would not follow that it would have to be done on an individual basis. That’s why we have the ability to take group actions to court.

We don’t necessarily need a court-based solution, however. It has already been suggested that the humanitarian problem could be addressed directly, thus indirectly addressing the legal problem caused by refugees crossing the border. This is why it is fallacious for the author of that comment to lump in the refugees with those who are crossing the border for other reasons. The problems have different solutions, and thus can be dealt with separately.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: You make a good point too.

What I do agree on with that guy’s comment is the last sentence about that some may be fleeing violence but many more may be taking advantage of the lax enforcement of our immigration laws.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca But they have to have an underlying reason for wanting to come here. The fact that we have lax immigration laws is not a reason. If our immigration laws were really strict, those same people would still be trying to get in because of their original reason.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I think it’s the fact that we have lax immigration laws and all of the rest of the benefits available to the immigrants – shelter, food, medical care, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. But they’d still be trying to get in if our immigration laws were stricter, especially if their kids were suffering and dying from lack of shelter, food, medical care, etc. I don’t know why the US doesn’t just annex Mexico!

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Dutchess_III We tried…Remember the Alamo? The US annexed a bunch of Mexican territory between 1821 and 1845.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yep, I know.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually…was it even “Mexico” before we started taking that territory over? Did it have any defined boundary? The American Indians didn’t have any hard and fast boundaries, did they?

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Here’s the map (again).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Let me clarify: The Mestizos were the people of mixed Spanish and American Indian heritage. The last wave of European Spaniards came in the 17th century. They would be more inclined to make maps and draw lines. The Indians would not. By 1836 the Mestizos would be more Indian-like than Spanish. There were no map drawing European Spaniards left. In addition to the Mesitizos who occupied Texas, you had the Apache, Arapaho, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Chickasaw, Coahuiltecan, Comanche, Delaware, Kiowa, Kickapoo, Shawnee, Tonkawa…the list goes on and on. So WHO drew up a map in 1836 and said “This is Mexico?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Never mind. I’m sure it was the (European) US land surveyors, the army and stuff. We just had to make maps and draw lines and name shit.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther