border protest

Protesters at the Clint Border Patrol station in Texas call attention to the deplorable conditions at migrant detention facilities. (Briana Sanchez/El Paso Times via AP)

In June, inspectors from the department visited five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, and found children had few spare clothes and no laundry facilities. Many migrants were given only wet wipes to clean themselves and bologna sandwiches to eat, causing constipation and other health problems, according to the report. Children at two of the five facilities in the area were not given hot meals until inspectors arrived ... Overcrowding was so severe that when the agency’s internal inspectors visited some of the facilities, migrants banged on cells and pressed notes to windows begging for help.

– The New York Times

Irony and hypocrisy rolled across America’s beautiful fruited plain as surely as the thunder of Independence Day fireworks after pre-Fourth news reports confirmed what most of us feared if not suspected: Thousands of migrant adults and children, many seeking asylum from foreign government oppression, are being subjected to horrendous mistreatment while hoping for legal admittance to the greatest nation on earth.

Our country faces a national emergency at its southern border and it’s not about building a wall to keep people out. It’s about taking proper care of the huddled masses being detained at facilities that are hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with them. People are getting sick and even dying, including children, as government officials at every level do nothing but prattle and posture.

This situation flies in the face of everything we stand for in this country, not just at a time when we celebrate America’s birth but every day, all the time. If these people were being treated this way in another country we would be airlifting water, food and medicine and pressuring that country’s government to fix the problem. But it’s happening here, on American soil, and we do nothing.

We are a country that has shown time after time over the 243 years since we declared our independence that we can solve just about any problem in the world if we marshal our resources and come together as a united force for good. Unfortunately, we have shown little if any inclination to come together – as a nation, as a people, as the massive collection of compassionate and conscientious individuals who have so often in the past joined hands in the service of humanity.

It’s past time for all of us to put aside our political differences and petty grievances and demand that our national leaders do the same. A country that just congratulated itself on being a beacon of freedom for nearly two and a half centuries simply cannot let this immigration tragedy continue.

Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at rconnor@bizpress.net

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