In writing recently about the humanitarian crisis along the U.S. southern border involving young children, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, couldn’t manage one word of compassion for Central American children fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries.
Not one word of compassion for children is found in a recent message from Rogers to his constituents. Many of these children captured along the border travelled without an adult from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. These children — estimated to be at least 50,000 in the last 10 months — covered more than 1,000 miles. Along the way they faced danger and uncertainty just for the dream of escaping a life of torment in Central America.
The hard truth for these children is they most likely won’t see their dreams come true. Most probably won’t be granted asylum. A a 2008 federal law requires that an immigration judge review the cases of undocumented children from places other than Mexico or Canada. The Obama administration predicts in most instances these children will be shipped back to their homelands.
It’s heartbreaking, a situation that should touch the hearts of every American.
Yet, some choose to play politics with the issue, blaming the Obama administration for the border crisis, which is something Rogers’ message does.
Busloads of immigrant children have been greeted by angry Americans hurling insults at them.
Is this the face of America these children imagined when they began their long journey to what they hoped would be a better life in the United States?
Hear the words of Rabbi Asher Knight of Dallas’ Temple Emanu-El: “The question for us is: How do we want to be remembered, as yelling and screaming to go back, or as using the teachings of our traditions to have compassion and love and grace for the lives of God’s children?”
Hear also the words of Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention: “The first thing is to make sure we understand these are not issues, these are persons. These children are made in the image of God, and we ought to respond to them with compassion, not with fear.”
Moore told The New York Times that “the anger directed toward vulnerable children is deplorable and disgusting.”
We would add that unsympathetically playing border politics with their plight is equally distasteful. We deserve better from Congressman Rogers.