Anyone who imagines that U.S. policy in Central America has nothing to do with the flood of unaccompanied minors on our doorstep hasn’t been keeping up. Given that responsibility, what can we the people do?
As a start, we can summon up the political muscle to beat back those who would have Central American children stepping onto the fast track along with unaccompanied Mexican and Canadian children, who, under current law, can be sent home quickly without even seeing a lawyer or judge.
While Democrats have for the most part lined up with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to oppose such changes, Republicans in Congress (and one Democrat) have introduced bills that would amend the 2008 law that protects these children’s right to a day in court.
Meanwhile, the President does need more funds to process these children’s cases under existing law.
Both topics may come to the floor of Congress this week, according to a July 21 report in The Hill.
The American Friends Service Committee makes it easy to contact our members of Congress and ask them to hold that protective line and provide funds for protecting the children’s wellbeing and legal rights: http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50601/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14383 .
Anyone who belongs to a faith community, social justice group, rights group, peace group, professional group, or any other group that might be bestirring itself to action can seek out or initiate other avenues for action.
While we cannot undo overnight all the damage inflicted on Central America over the years, we can act now to protect these children from being returned to danger without the due process granted by law.