“Other” People’s Children

There is no doubt the foster care system in America is overwhelmed. Hundreds of thousands of abused, neglected and homeless children swarm in and out of its complexity. However, America still has a moral obligation to help innocent immigrant children escaping religious, personal,  and sexual persecution who bleed through our borders daily.

Me, a year after being taken from my abusive mother and entering foster care, 1981.
Me, a year after being taken from my abusive mother and entering foster care, 1981.

I know this is not a “popular” school of thought. However, as an advocate for healthier, stronger and safer children, how can I not be proud that my country has the ability to shelter and protect children who are not American, but who come here seeking refuge? Children who come from blood stained streets, homes with no electricity, war-torn towns; children whose last hope rests in this country.

As a former foster child myself, a child that was abused and thrown away,  I know first hand that the system here falters. But I also know that children can come from the darkest place, the dungiest corners of the world, can encounter the most violent atrocities, and be healed. If given the opportunity at a young age, a child can be saved!

Me and my beautiful daughter, 2014.
Me and my beautiful daughter, 2014.

It is reprehensible that my fellow advocates across many media platforms are condemning the education and support of innocent immigrant (unaccompanied)  children. I question the intention of any advocate who thinks discarding “other people’s children” is the right thing to do, and I wonder if they sleep at night and what they are really advocating.

Let me be clear, I am not a proponent of unrestrained illegal immigration. I am a vehement supporter of national security, and a passionate supporter of national defense.  The children I am referring to are not in any way associated with those that CLEARLY want to bring more drugs or guns into this country. They are not associated with the deplorable terrorist murderers who want to instill fear and mayhem in our streets. Moreover, amongst the drudgery that comes in to this country, are the innocent.

Many immigrant children lose their lives along the route to America, many young bodies are strewn across the deserts near our borders. Families put all they own in their pockets and walk, hitchhike, and float on rafts to get here. HERE.

Thousands of parent-less children have left countries that allow “rape” camps, allow drug cartels to break down family doors, who do not allow the education of children or women, who ration out minimal food to their communities and who have the legal right to steal and take income from households.

These children are coming here for exactly what our constitution DIRECTLY offers: the right for all to live free. It is a place where the tired and wretched can come to find opportunity. America.

I do not think we should open our borders and allow anyone in, but I do think that the thousands of children risking their lives crawling across the border, do so because what is behind them is far worse and sickening than any persecution in this country. Some of these children, if given the chance at having loving families and an education, can grow up to make America  a better place. They can improve us, as generations of innocent immigrants have before them.

We DO have the resources here to do as our nation promised hundreds of years ago. WE can find  a way to protect our borders from terrorism, but PROTECT the children clinging over wire fences, dredging through the hot desert, looking for salvation. I am proud to be an Italian American, and even more proud of the opportunities this country can and should provide to children needing salvation.

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7 thoughts on ““Other” People’s Children”

  1. Amen! My heart hurts for the displaced, thrown-away kids who really need love.

  2. As always, your on point with your discussion! I could not agree with you more that helpless children who are trying to cross the border into the U.S. should be given a chance to grow and live in our country. I’m sure there are those out there who would argue that our borders would become flooded with children trying to cross over. I would argue that the present situation is more dire than they realize. You are right! Many children never finish the treacherous move through the desert and are either turned back or sadly perish along the way. I also agree with your point on national security. We have an obligation to protect and defend our borders, but not at the expense of the lives of helpless children.

    My mother is living proof that, given the opportunity, a child can enter this country and be productive and accomplished citizens. Like the many thousands before her, my mother entered the U.S. through Ellis Island. She spent time in a home for displaced persons with her sister and mother, and was sponsored by a kind and decent man. I realize times have changed since the late 1940’s, but at the end of the day, our constitution does guarantee our citizens the right for all to live free. I agree the helpless children deserve a chance and should be allowed to stay.

    Sorry about the long winded response 😉

  3. Thank you for sharing and reading! I always find the stories of our nation’s immigrants to be so inspiring. Unaccompanied minors have sparked tremendous debate. While there are challenges, I think every child deserves the right to live free and safe.

  4. While this is a complicated issue from a macro/political level, on the personal level you are right. When a child is in need, adults must fill that need. Adults must sacrifice for the sake of children, all children. Each soul is precious, especially the most vulnerable among us.

    Phyllis, I can hear your voice so clearly through this post. Thank you for sharing.

  5. These posts are terrific Phyllis – you are doing some incredible work. Thank you for writing.

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