Hillary Clinton has said that the thousands of children who have crossed the border by themselves should be deported. That attitude, in someone who aspires to be president of the United States, is worrisome because of the disinformation and apparent lack of compassion it reveals.
“They should be sent back as soon as it is determined who the responsible adults in their families are,” the former First Lady declared last week. The author of “It Takes a Village” added that the U.S. should send “a clear message” to prevent children from attempting the dangerous journey.
We should ask Clinton what she thinks should be done if it is determined that “the responsible adults” are here, in this country. Would she sent the children back anyway?
It is no mystery that one of the reasons why thousands of these innocents undertake such an adventure is because they wish to rejoin their parents, who are living in the U.S. as undocumented migrants.
Clinton also said that “the main reason” for the wave of children crossing the border is that “the violence in those Central American countries is increasing dramatically.”
This, of course, is completely true. That reality is testified to by the children themselves, who don’t tire of repeating that they’re afraid to return to their hometowns, ravaged by the violence of the drug cartels and the murderous “mara” gangs.
Then, shouldn’t we ask Clinton how is it possible that, in good conscience, she can propose returning to the places they fled from to save their lives thousands of defenseless children who arrived in the U.S. almost by a miracle?
No, the issue is not so easy.
In fact, the wave of unaccompanied minors has not stopped and the humanitarian crisis — that’s how President Obama describes it — worsens by the hour. It is estimated that the number of children from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico detained after crossing the border could reach 90,000 by the end of September.
Clinton’s position coincides with Obama’s, who, although he described the situation as a humanitarian crisis — and faithful to his reputation as the Deporter-in-chief — proposes solutions of a nature that’s essentially police-related.
That was clear Sunday in an open letter to the Central American parents, signed by Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, the federal functionary who oversees issues of immigration in this country.
The letter, published in the Spanish media, says that there will be no “permits” and the end of the voyage.
“Under current U.S. laws and policies, anyone who is apprehended crossing our border illegally is a priority for deportation, regardless of age,” Johnson says, expressing the White House’s official position.
Evidently, both Clinton and the White House are proposing measures that do not affect the people really responsible for a crisis created not by the children who cross the border but by the violence of the drug trade, fed by the multimillion-dollar market represented by the United States.
Worse still, their proposals ignore Washington’s historic responsibility in creating the terrible situation afflicting those countries by overthrowing democratic governments, financing devastating armed conflicts and imposing commercial treaties that benefit only the U.S.
We should ask Clinton and Obama — and we have said this before — if they understand that the problem is not one of domestic policy but of foreign policy, and that there is no possible solution unless they begin to repair some of the damage historically caused by Washington in those countries.
To do that, they would have to invest in the future of the children there, rather than in useless repressive measures here.