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Perhaps you have heard something about illegal children crossing our southern border? More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors and 39,000 women with children have been apprehended on the southern border this year. How should we handle this surge, especially since a law passed in 2008 forbids returning children from non-contiguous countries — for example, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — which happen to be the three countries most of these children are coming from. This law requires that each case be reviewed to prevent abuse of the children from human trafficking. Imagine the ongoing chaos. Something like 70 percent of our border patrol are taking care of this constant influx of children. It is not as if the children are sneaking through. No, not all. They walk up and present themselves to the border patrol. President Barack Obama has requested $3.7 billion to deal with this humanitarian crisis. How much of that proposed $3.7 billion is to be used to secure the border? About 2.7 percent, or $433 million.
Now I just mentioned the children, but understand we have a serious criminal problem of gang-related activity and the drug cartels accompanying this influx of children and adults crossing the border. Wouldn't logic suggest surging force to our southern border to stem this astounding number of people crossing into our country? Yet, the Obama administration has determined that out of $3.7 billion, only 2.7 percent should go towards protecting our border, and the other 97.3 percent goes to the Department of Justice, the State Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help with the processing of these children.
Here's the thing: The world is exploding with the Middle East going up in flames between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant declaring their territory seized in Syria and Iraq, the new Caliphate; the terror group Hamas, now part of the Palestinian government, sending hundreds of rockets into Israel and Israel, in self-defense, pinpoint targeting Hamas rocket sites and shelters, blowing them up. Israel is now poised with their troops on the border to Gaza for a possible ground invasion. That's just the Middle East in a brief precis, not even going into Iran achieving nuclear weapons status. There is trouble all around the world, gathering strength and speed in violent spasms.
And the best fighting force in the world is receiving pink slips. Yes, the U.S. Army is downsizing due to budgeting and so the ones best equipped and experienced are being fired. Worse yet, those pinks slips are being delivered to men and women fighting in Afghanistan. Every day, our volunteer force puts their lives on the line in a war zone and they just received notice they're out of a job. Simultaneously, the Veterans Administration scandal of failing to deliver medical treatment to our current veterans goes on with no solution in sight. Not one person fired. Not one person fired at the IRS. Not one person fired at the Department of Justice. But the force best equipped and experienced in dealing with the enemies of the United States of America are being fired. Huh.
The Governor of Texas has asked Obama to surge the National Guard on a temporary basis to the southern border to prevent more illegal crossings and to send a clear message back to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to stop sending their children. That seems reasonable. Except, the National Guard is still being used to back up our all-volunteer military in Afghanistan. Yeah, that same place and force receiving pink slips that their services are no longer needed. Huh.
I find myself yelling, "Now? Have you lost your mind!"
What do you think?
Peggie Duggan, Federal Way