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The Border Crisis and the Question of Who Gets What

Written by Jerry Kammer

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They say government is the process of deciding who gets what. For an example of how that is playing out today, consider the The Beastinterplay among the New York Times editorial position on the crisis at the Texas border, Times readers outraged at what they see as the newspaper's errant liberalism, and a plea from New Mexico Senator Tom Udall (D) regarding unmet needs of Native American children.

The Times editorial, June 16:

The administration, which has been racing to set up emergency shelters on military bases in California, Texas and Oklahoma and a converted warehouse in Arizona, needs to investigate and immediately correct conditions that threaten any child's safety and health.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for taking custody of the unaccompanied Central American children, badly needs to increase its ability to shelter thousands properly as they wait to reunite with their parents and be seen in immigration courts.

A Times reader wrote this response, which was endorsed by 186 other readers. It was one of many expressions of outrage at the editorial:

So, NYT is now advocating that US spends our money, earned by our citizens, to take care of little innocents from other countries while neglecting the same little innocents we have here? If NYT's argument has any validity, then shouldn't we take care of any little kid who appears at the border? Do we have the resources, as a nation, to shelter and feed the little innocents of the world? If not the world, then how shall we choose whom we take care of and whom we reject?

It should be obvious to everyone who can think for themselves that the little ones just didn't appear there — they were transported there by the governments involved. You propose to feed them? How about billing those governments for the care of their citizens? That would be fair to the Americans, wouldn't it? How about advocating that, hmmmm?

On the same day, the Times Editorial was published, Sen. Tom Udall sent out an email on the unment needs of Native American children. Here is an excerpt:

There's a bipartisan effort moving through Congress to examine and address the many challenges Native children face, including poverty, educational shortfalls, and access to health care. Sign our petition to support Native children, not just in New Mexico, but in Alaska, in Hawaii, and all across the United States. New Mexico has higher population of Native Americans than most states, and according to a 2012 study, nearly 40 percent of those Native children live in poverty. Additionally, these children are more likely to be victims of abuse. They have lower graduation rates, and suicide rates that are 2.5 times higher than the national average. Every child deserves an opportunity to succeed, but too many Native children simply don't have the chance.

Source: CIS: The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985, we have pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.

Jerry Kammer's Blog

Jerry Kammer, a nationally recognized journalist, is a Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). The Center is a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the impact of immigration on American society.

 

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