LatinaLista — Children are sacred.
Industrialized countries understand that universal edict and defend children â€” no matter their circumstances.
The countries that enslave children and prostitute, exploit and press them into soldier-duty are routinely considered less than civilized and unfit to join the power ranks of the developed world.
So, it’s rather ironic that the leadership in this country can still hold their heads up high while they blatantly follow the paths of those countries we purposely shun for not being smart enough to safeguard their most precious asset â€” the children.
(Source: University of Michigan)
It doesn’t matter that the children are undocumented or immigrants. They are children with potential to grow into accomplished adults, able to achieve great things.
But the actions of the federal government and local leaders, who are on a path to cleanse cities of undocumented immigrants, are also in the process of washing away a reservoir of great potential for future leaders, scientists, writers, entertainers, etc. â€” but most of all, contributing citizens.
All over the nation, immigrant children, of all ages, have felt the ramifications of what it means to not be born in this country.
Undocumented college-age students spent as much time watching C-Span as MTV over the last two weeks as they waited for the Senate to vote on the Dream Act amendment that was to be added to the Defense Reauthorization Bill now under debate in the Senate.
Yet, like with the Immigration reform bill, the Senate couldn’t come to an agreement. So the Dream Act amendment has been put on hold.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised to bring the measure back for a vote by mid-November. In the meantime, students who were ready to go to school are having to put their lives on hold â€” yet again. No one can blame them if they’re frustrated and feel like life is passing them by as they watch their friends whom they went to high school with enjoy their college years.
In Irving, Texas, school officials are reporting that, so far this week, about 90 immigrant chlidren have been pulled from the public schools by their parents.
Police have stepped up their efforts to deport undocumented immigrants so much that parents are worried that their children will be targeted in the schools.
In the neighboring suburb of Farmers Branch, city attorneys, on behalf of the City Council, have asked the local school district to supply them with the name and address of every child living in the city and enrolled in the public schools.
From a city council that earlier this year passed punitive measures meant to drive out undocumented immigrants from their suburb (like not allowing undocumented immigrants to rent apartments), no one trusts the motives for such an unusual request, and the City Council isn’t explaining why they want it either.
Yet, the biggest blow this week came in the form of the Democrat’s handling of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP. Though Bush vetoed it and congressional Democrats blasted the President for depriving thousands of low-income Latino children of needed health coverage, the Democrats had earlier disappointed legal immigrant children by dropping the Immigrant Children’s Health Improvement Act or ICHIA.
It didn’t matter to the Democrats that Republicans were supporting this one measure that dealt fairly with immigrant children; they dropped it without explaining why.
Some have speculated it’s because the term “immigrant” was in the name of the provision, and the term has such a negative connotation these days that politicians want to distance themselves as far from it as possible.
Maybe so, but distancing ourselves away from something or someone is also a way to abandon that issue or person.
As a country, we can’t afford to abandon any child.
Because there’s potential in their destiny, and that’s worth caring about every time.