So you can continue feeling loose and amused, a piece from the Colbert report:
So you can know that not all Americans are anti-immigrant children, my old home state of Texas isn't all bad.
And here are some letter writers to the NY Times, the paper of choice in my home town.
La Jornada has been covering this migration story pretty extensively. Below you can find my translation of parts of La Jornada's David Brooks' column in La Jornada yesterday (July 19). This isn't so amusing or uplifting, but it is important reading.
"The influential comic Jon Stewart on his . . .show 'The Daily Show' gave examples of an almost obscene fear which could be seen in the political debate over the crisis of the exodus of migrant children. In the face of the question so many politicians were asking,'Why you couldn't just deport them,' he responded, "What the fuck is going on with them? We are talking about children.' And in response to the repeated rhetorical phrase of many politicians that "this is a nation of immigrants," he said, yes, "We have always been a nation of immigrants who hate the most recent immigrants."
"Washington, so as not to [seem inconsistent], continues to be overwhelmed by a debate which does not offer a solution to what everyone now calls a "humanitarian Crisis", let alone to its root causes. Meanwhile community service organizations, immigrant rights groups, lawyers, immigrant activists, religious groups and civil rights groups continue to help and defend the tens of thousands of childrn from Mexico and other nations of Central America who now find themselves distributed not only along the frontier, but in diverse places across the country.
. . . .
¨But although they are offered medical checkups and other urgent services at the beginning, the children can't count on long term assistance including treatment for trauma-caused conditions which many suffer, and it is here that organizations dedicated to bringing services to migrant communities find themselves burdened with the recently arrived. Although not all the communities where new shelters are being considered offer the migrants a welcome, others are opening their arms.
"In the city of New York where almost half of the city is made up of immigrants, the municipal authorities and social organizations are collaborating to develop a strategy to bring support to the more than three thousand minors who have arrived there and in other parts of the state (it is expected that another seven thousand will arrive in the next months). At the national level, there are approximately 100 shelters under federal government supervision.
"Although the government of Barack Obama promises that "the rights" of the minors will be respected, even if the rate of deportation [cases] is successfully accelerated, as [who? the President?] desires, this [increase in availability of lawyers?]has not happened, lawyers and civil rights activists say.*
"The immigration lawyer José Pertierra affirms that you can't guarantee the legal rights of migrants without a lawyer. He explained to La Jornada that at this time the children don't have a right to a lawyer. The problem is that a violation of immigrant law is a civil matter, not a criminal matter and as such there is no automatic right to a lawyer. . . . Furthermore, by law, a minor does not have the capacity to represent himself before a court.
"Pertierra offers the example of a Honduran girl of eight appearing before a judge who did all he could not to scare the child while he explained the process to which she would be submitted, that she would be subject to deportation and would have to present herself on a certain date to argue her case, none of which she understood. Having just arrived, after crossing Mexico, she was brought to the immigration authorities, was transferred to a center and from there to the outskirts of Washington. Then an unknown man in an unknown land explained the law to her. These scenes are repeated thousands of times around the country.
"Even worse, in some cases in which lawyers are presented to represent the minors, the federal government has tried to deny access to them.
"Because of this, the demand before a federal court presented recently by the ACLU and the National Center of Immigration Law to oblige the government to guarantee legal representation to these children is among 'the most important steps in practical terms at this point' says Pertierra.
"'It is incredible that the government has been categorically denying to children in custody in Nogales who are fleeing violence, access to lawyers,' says Jennifer Chang Newell, of the migrant project of the ACLU, shortly after a judge ruled that the federal government had to permit a group of Salvadoren children to be able to consult with their lawyers. However, the ruling is not so extensive for all minors in this exodus.
. . . . The religious activist Juan Carlos Ruiz of the group Nuevo Santuario declared in an action in front of Federal Government offices in New York, 'today the children of Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador -- like those of Gaza -- shout for protection and defense from all of us.'"
Brooks finishes by asking whether Obama who has done more to fortify the border than any president before him and who has deported more than any president before him will be remembered as "The Deporter in Chief" or whether he will have the courage "to face the anti-imigrant forces that have prevailed in recent years."
* This paragraph puzzles me. In Spanish it reads, Aundque el govierno de Barack Obama promete que "los derechos" de los menores serán respetados, aun si se lograr acelerar como desea, el proceso para facilitar su deportacion, en los hechos esto no ha ocurrido, denuncian abogados y defensores de derechos civiles.