Praying for Answers

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Load up a big ole bus this weekend. Slap together a bunch of signs which condemn your fellow Americans. Get that screeching voice into shape.You are going to the Border, Baby. Hey, perhaps you can even get paid to create chaos in this country! 

Like you, dear reader, I, too, have been greatly moved by the hurt and sorrow caused by the programs our government has in place regarding children of parents who must be incarcerated, questioned, and investigated before they can either be released into our country or sent back to their own. I, too, am concerned that it may take several days before they are reunited with their children. However, I am heartened to see that these children seem to have been cared for in clean, safe facilities, fed, clothed, and even entertained.
I am also greatly distressed by the fact that these parents knowingly put their children in this situation, knowingly brought them here illegally. Or worse yet, that these parents have sent their children unaccompanied, alone, and afraid to our borders. Even more distressing is that one in five of the children that are unaccompanied by a parent have been given over to a “Coyote!”
There has been much said, much hand wringing, and much hollering about “we have to Do something.” I watched the news for hours waiting for these folks to come up with just one workable, legal solution. They offer none. They just hide behind their signs and their shouts; do they really believe that the chaos they create is somehow going to “fix things?”
There are 500 would-be migrants a day who assault our borders. Would those screaming and spewing hatred simply have these poor families join the ranks of the homeless, now an army of over One Million living on the fringe of society? Should we release these families to join those who crowd the parks, who seek shelter in abandoned buildings, live in cardboard boxes under bridges, and who become part of the tragic problem which our police and social workers must attempt to alleviate. Should they become a part of our Welfare System, already broken? Why not throw away those signs, soften your voices, and volunteer to work in one of these centers who must care for the children until the tikes (or in most cases, the teenagers) are reunited with parents who knew the rules but chose to ignore them.
These adults were aware that their kids would be removed from their care and held safely in conditions far better than those they left. These parents are willing to make that short-lived sacrifice in hopes of getting into the United States of America. I feel sure that the parents of those children of school age had been rehearsed and coached in what would happen, in what to expect. “Nice people will take you somewhere that you must stay and wait on Mommy until we can be together. It will only be a few days. Be good now and I will see you very soon.” Babes in arms are allowed to stay with Mommy.
Did you notice how well-mannered the children seemed? How content they were even to lie together in an air-conditioned facility (what a relief from the torturing hot sun of the desert) resting on those famous blue mats until better facilities could be arranged, until more cots with nice clean white sheets could be found. None seemed to be shaking with fear or crying uncontrollably. They seem calm and even content for the time being. They know this is only part of their journey. A necessary part. Something they must endure in order to be allowed into this great and wonderful land of ours.
It is my belief that most of the children who must leave the care of their parents for a few days do so in the company of siblings or cousins or young teen aunts or uncles. Many of people are from the same villages; these kids know one another! And if we can believe the authentic photos of the “detention” centers, conditions are very acceptable. Soccer in the fresh air, video games inside, healthy trays of food, and clean sheets on those comfy cots! Yes, this does look like a nice place to rest for a while. When did any of these children have clean sheets? I truly doubt that these children suffer in these “centers,” certainly not as much as they did in the scary journey to our borders. Do you imagine for one moment that these children are “ripped from their parent’s arms?” Have you listened to the border agents tell of taking food, toys, and clothes to these immigrants at the border, supplies paid for out of their own pockets? They have no desire or interest in mistreating these children.
The dedicated workers, border guards, volunteer organizations, the hundreds who are charged with managing the thousands who must be cared for, have been given a daunting task at best, the vast complexities as caretakers of the border is impossible in truth. This is a situation where there seems no solution. How can they even catch their collective breath when the flood at our borders never ceases and seemingly, cannot be stopped?
I was stunned to see a young news woman stating that people should be barred from public places if they support the president’s agenda. Maxine Waters, a ridiculous excuse for a member of our congress, calls for harassment of those supporting a “lying president….You create a crowd. You push back at them!” she screams. She is stirring a boiling pot. Later she refuses to accept responsibility when we hear news of ruffians accosting a woman who works for the government. And, Hello Hollywood. John Legend, who ironically recently portrayed Jesus, has weighed in with a filthy comment? Everyone, of course, has heard Peter Fonda’s nasty remarks about the President’s son, and most of us are disgusted. Have we lost our civility? Has the world flown off its axis? There seems to be no restraint.
We, the little people out here must hold on to our dignity. We believe in laws. We are a compassionate citizenry; we are also fair. So, we ask that those who would come to our country would learn how to become a citizen. Come legally and your family is sure to thrive in this country, the greatest country in the world. May we remain the UNITED States of America.

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