Even as children are dying at the U.S.-Mexico border, congressional Democrats are hiding from a bill to resupply devoured resources to relieve the misery of thousands of immigrants, and what we have is proof of something important. Democrats can be inhumane, uncaring and a national disgrace.
The party’s warriors have their excuses, of course, but sadly, very sadly, those excuses will do nothing to supply the thousands of beds needed to serve unaccompanied children who might otherwise have to sleep on cement.
Neither will the excuses improve food described as inedible, or keep the travelers warm or provide close to enough medical care. The excuses won’t build shelters replacing tents in parking lots or assist in costly transfers to other well-equipped facilities. They won’t keep record numbers from debilitating desert treks leading possibly to 1 million apprehensions this year.
The Democrats are largely responsible for this surge, this crisis in which five children have died, and not just because they lately denied President Trump funding for a 234-mile steel barrier, less than half as long as a Democratic-supported 654-mile barrier completed when Barack Obama was president.
Worse steps included opposition to hiring more border agents crucial in controlling such situations, and, most important of all, the fight against a change in an asylum law that releases asylum seekers after capture. When judges are finally available, the vast majority do not return to demonstrate Central American imperilment, a way of saying come one, come all, refugees or not.
A revamped law letting no one loose until cases are adjudicated, providing order and assuring conformance with the law’s requirements would have prevented this flood. But there was Trump to detest and foil and a voiced Democratic fear that some of the new humanitarian bill’s $4.5 billion would go to enforcement, which is in fact part of saving lives. Most of the money is aimed at humanitarian help, and every day the Democrats sit on their hands they are afflicting the sick, the hungry, the sleepless, the fearful, the hurt.
There’s lately been some movement, however, and Democrats may bend some in the Republican-controlled Senate so that the humanitarian bill will be passed and sent to the Democratic-controlled House. There it will encounter Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York City Democrat so rambunctious and uninformed in her leftism that she recently called facilities at the border concentration camps. No, they’re not, but it’s her party that pushed them in that direction and it would be interesting to see how Ocasio-Cortez and others vote on Trump legislation rescuing the poor.
Trump, in the meantime, appears to be prompting massive roundups of illegal immigrants living in the country, and this could be a horror depending on its focus, methods and extent. As of this writing, nothing much is known about it, but we do know about a better side of Trump that wants to bring employable legal migrants into the country, boosting the economy and avoiding the torment so many of the unskilled often endure.
What’s needed is not a comprehensive plan that could be comprehensively wrong, but a step-by-step plan that stops illegal immigration and overstayed visas, reforms legal immigration and then turns to the illegal immigrants and decides what’s fair, would work and is good for America.
Jay Ambrose is a syndicated columnist.
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