Anyone who has followed the chaos on America’s southern border knows that the United States is enduring a slow invasion. That invasion has recently come in the form of unaccompanied children, primarily from Central American countries like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. They are being sent, so the story goes, by their own parents to escape extreme poverty, drug cartels, and gang violence. They are processed, sort of, as they cross the border into Texas and other border states. Then they are told to come back, usually years from now, for their deportation hearing. Of course this will not happen, and they are free to enter the country anywhere, often sent to live with friends or relatives.
But what about those children who have no one to be sent to, and have no where to go? In some cases, they are being taken to states without the approval or even the knowledge of those state’s Governors. Some are being dropped off in cities, again without the knowledge or consent of the mayors of those cities. In certain cases however, city mayors are not only welcoming illegal immigrant children, they are looking for ways to fund their stay.
Recently, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced that he would apply for a federal grant to help in offering temporary housing for up to 60 children from Central America. The grant would help to feed, clothe, and shelter the children. Currently, the children are still in Texas, but if brought to the Gateway City, they would reside in one of three residential facilities until they are placed with relatives or foster families. The program is being run by the Department of Health and Human Services and would cover the cost. The city of St. Louis would also be helped by St. Louis County, Catholic Charities, and others.
The American people are the most compassionate on Earth, certainly when it comes to children in need. But how much more are they expected to take? If this influx of illegals continues, it will force more hospitals to close their emergency room doors, and more school districts will collapse under the weight of too many students.
Most large American cities already have their own homeless problems, and St. Louis is no different. As of June 20 of this year, the homeless population was a little over 1300 people. The Mayor’s office claims that figure is down 7% from 2013. An offshoot of the homeless problem is the incidence of homeless veterans. Currently, 17% of St. Louis homeless are veterans. Even thought we are talking about children, should people whose first act on American soil is to enter it illegally be given what seems to be preferential treatment over men and women who bravely fought for and defended this nation? Add to that the state of the entire Veteran’s Administration system right now, maybe a federal grant would be better spent on the needs of our brave fighting men and women. Just why are so many veterans homeless?
As we all know, it is an election year. The track record of the Obama administration is abysmal at best, and polls tend to show that Americans will take out their frustration on Democrats in November. African Americans and Hispanics have always been a reliable voting bloc for Democrats, but even that is being challenged this year. With the stagnant state of the American economy and job market, minorities seem to get hit the hardest. St. Louis is a heavily democratic city, and Hispanics make up roughly 2.2% of the city’s population. With a growth rate of about 7.9% per year in recent years, it would seem that it would be to democrat leader’s advantage to keep this growing segment of the population, one that is usually reliable for Democrats happy. Is the best way to do that to bring illegal immigrants, even children, to live in St. Louis? Will those children, although it is a small number, have family members meeting them here? There is already much concern among Black and Hispanic leaders that any sort of amnesty programs or executive orders signed by the President hurt their existing communities where unemployment continues to be high.
Securing America’s borders so the invasion of its cities can be stopped should be priority one, not just for the Obama administration, but for Francis Slay’s administration, and other big city mayors as well, not securing the next generation of Democrat voters.