I always record "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart because I know I will get the news from an honest perspective, albeit usually in a humorous way. By the way, I believe much of the news is humorous. This morning I watched the show from last night and learned a great deal from his interview with Sonia Nazario who has written "Enrique's Journey" which sounds like an incredible book on the dilemma young children are facing as they try and escape what is happening to them in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Nazario has been working on this book for approximately ten years. At one point, she spent approximately three months riding on the top of a freight train with children as young as seven traveling through the three countries and Mexico trying to escape literally with nothing but the clothes on their back.
The book chronicles the journey of one young boy on his entire trip to try and find his mother. Here is a photograph of Sonia Nazario at a book signing:
Click on the image to make it larger:
She told how these gangs made up of children as young as twelve would go into a school and kidnap, rape and take kids to their camps to prepare them for a dangerous ride to get to the American border. Some of her stories were unbelievable! If you saw the show, you know what I am talking about.
She told of how bad the situation was ten years ago; and it is much worse today as these gangs have had ten years of experience, and the way they are being treated and sent back to their native countries in violation of a United States law passed in 2007 strictly prohibiting children from being returned to be put in harms way in their native countries. Even President Obama is trying to get this law overturned!
There are reports on all the news stations showing Texans yelling things like this at these Spanish-speaking youngsters to " Go back to where you came from," "You're not welcome here," and "What you are doing is illegal."
The irony in these intolerant people is the children do not understand a word of what they are being told. I just love ignorant Americans! The fact all of them came to America as ancestors of immigrants themselves is completely lost on them.
Many of our ancestors came to America as refugees; and these dolts at the border have forgotten that.
A poll published in the New York Times yesterday shows there is growing support for classifying these children who are fleeing for their lives as refugees.
America has a long history of bringing in immigrants from war-torn countries. Think of as recently as Vietnam and how we have seen a huge influx of Laotians, Vietnamese, Cambodians and Hmong just to name a few from Southeast Asia. The Khmer Rouge fell over thirty years ago, yet their culture of impunity remains as strong as ever according to Human Rights Watch in an article I read.
We continue to bring in refugees from the ongoing war in Somalia. FYI, the Minneapolis and St. Paul area has the largest concentration of Somali refugees in the country.
We can go farther back in our illustrious history and find many more examples of how we have taken in refugees whose lives have been threatened if they stayed in their nations of origin; but I think you get my point.
Something needs to be done about this influx of young people at our southern border. However, I do not think sending them back to be raped, beaten, enslaved and even murdered is not the compassionate America I live in.
As always, I look forward to your comments.