Years ago I did cartoons for the Dorchester Community News. I did some cartoons dealing with the U.S. involvement in Central America back in 1982-83
This is one I did related to Alexander Haig claiming there were Nicaraguans involved in things although he had no concrete proof at that time.
A few years later when I taught in Los Angeles, there were students at Carnegie Junior High that had come from Central America through Mexico before getting to the United States.
Their journey wasn’t an easy one as some were victims of rape, and some were victimized by the unscrupulous the coyotes who had escorted them to this country after having led their parents to believe that for a price they could get their children here safely.
Knowing there was really no one they could turn to, or with whom they could communicate along the way, the coyotes made more money by pimping some of the girls along the way.
Although we were never told specifically who they were, we were informed to be sensitive to all students as some would be these.
The Republicans in the State House came up with the idea that all teachers must ascertain who in their classes were here illegally and report them under threat of loss of certification with a further threat being that if it was discovered that we had such kids in our classes and failed to turn them in, regardless whether we willfully withheld the information or could not prove we were ignorant of it if someone else discovered it, a teacher could be decertified. There was no room for innocence.
The state teachers’ union fought this as it was obviously very wrong, would create an adversarial atmosphere in the classroom, and could scare kids into avoiding school as they might be legal, but some relative might not be, and would be discovered through them.
Later in Oklahoma City I was certain that some of my students may not have been born in the U.S.A., but had been brought over the border so young, that as far as they knew, they were always citizens.
Some found out when applying for college as the end of their senior year approached that they actually weren’t.
But they had played with their classmates, worked hard their whole school careers so they could be the first to graduate from college, and had jobs to help support their families.
They were for all intents and purposes real Americans.
When the dream act was discussed, I knew it would affect kids I had had in class, and I was glad that conditions they were not responsible for would not turn around and bite them in the butts just when they became adults and thought they would have good lives in the only country thy ever knew and thought was theirs.
I was glad when President Obama made it possible that children who were brought here by their parents prior to 2007 could stay here. It made the lives of former students so much better.
And I was glad that it was clarified that kids fleeing horrendous conditions and possible death in their home countries could find asylum her.
I knew kids who fell into this category.
Now we have our infighting, do nothing GOP congress finally getting together to, on one hand, vote to provide emergency funding to deal with the border crisis, but, on the other, to rescind President Obama’s authority to decide whether to deport certain undocumented immigrants.
Basically, even as it is obvious that the White House will not agree to this, The GOP can say, ”Hey, see? We took action on the crisis, so now it is okay for us to go on vacation”.
Just the other day when they failed to overcome themselves and come up with a way to address the problem at the border, John Boehner and other Republicans said Obama should handle things on his own.
So, “I’m going to have to act alone,” was Obama’s response.
Members voted 223 to 189 to approve $694 million in additional funding for federal agencies dealing with the influx of immigrants.
They also voted to adjust the 2008 anti-trafficking law and make it easier for the government to deport Central American minors who have entered the United States illegally, and to give money to the border states to pay for using the National Guard.
They also voted to remove the Obama administration program that provides protections to about 500,000 immigrants who were brought to the country as children.
So the DREAMers need to stop dreaming, and the children need to realize that they are just going to be sent right back into the jaws of what they were fleeing.
In a bit of irony senators failed to confirm the U.S. ambassador to Guatemala where much of the immigration crisis originates.
Maybe when they are on vacation the members of the House will think of ways to deal in a substantive way with what is going on in Central America, and, perhaps undo some of the mess this country is responsible for and which makes it necessary for the kids to flee.