Like huddled masses yearning to be free, children as young as 1 year old are cloistered in the United States.
Some were sent here and arrived illegally, many are offered free legal advice and others are being dispatched to people who claim to be “family.”
Working on a domestic case in Maryland, I witnessed minors being handed over by judges. The children could barely speak English, and many of the adult “family” members spoke no English at all.
Spanish was their first and only language. In those cases, the judges made sure a translator was available.
Sometimes the judge queried about the minors’ education, sometimes not.
Sometimes the judge queried about the child’s home country, sometimes not.
I was a bit more comfortable when questions were asked about the minors’ home country because I’d witnessed adults from Central America get into nasty verbal matches with a Mexican translator at a motor vehicles office, a public place where English-to-English arguments are already quite frequent.
I mean, oy vey. I wondered why translations were necessary since our laws and motor vehicle signage were in English anyway.
To know that our borders once again runneth over with unaccompanied children — while their family ties remain in their home countries reflects as much on their countries of origin as America’s policies.
See, U.S. immigration reform is a political hot potato.
Corporations like cheaper labor. Cheaper foreign labor.
Rawlings Sporting Goods likes Costa Rica, and Americans love baseball. Some baseballs come from Costa Rica.
Americans of all sizes and cultures, and the iconic Levi’s makes some apparel in Bangladesh, China, Mexico and Vietnam and other countries.
The hugely popular American Girl dolls, automakers, confectioners, fruit and other production lines other U.S. edibles, parts are also made overseas.
So the next time you see those huge, graffiti marked shipping containers and railroads, think. What’s the cargo, where’s it coming from and where’s it headed.
Jobs and wages make it all happen, and America moves the needles.
Thing is, those workers and potential workers (and voters) and making “livable wages” stuck in poor nations in the Caribbean, or Central or South America, or even Mexico.
They and their “family” members know the U.S. pays you for doing nothing.
They know too that our benefits are more generous if you have children — dependents you can claim by simply raising your hand to the Bible.
The huddled masses will never totally disappear or go poof.
That’s not the way immigration works.
We’re overwhelmed with immigrants because we lay out the welcome mats and ask questions after it’s too late.
In other words, those poor children and their families, who are far, far away, follow our lead.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.
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