"We Can't Solve All of The World's Problems with American Tax Dollars"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Monday, July 21, 2014

It’s time we looked at our country’s history. The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor on June 19, 1885. Miss Liberty soon became a symbol of freedom and democracy for our nation. Nearby Ellis Island’s immigration station welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to America from 1892 to 1943 when it closed. The first image newcomers to our shores had of their new country was — Lady Liberty, who declared on her pedestal: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Immigrants who arrived and spread throughout our land came from Ireland, Germany, Poland and many other countries. Just about every nationality and race was represented. Many suffered hunger, illness, lack of a home or place to lay their heads. Venturing forth, often in groups, they eagerly set out to establish their trades and build shelters. They worked the rich earth, growing food for their families.

The blending of many ethnic groups became part of our country’s culture and future. None of the early immigrants were given asylum, financial support or health care. They came as family units: parents with children. All worked diligently together with those who came before them to develop the young country. None of the early immigrants sent their children to America expecting that they would be housed and cared for by strangers. They certainly did not place them in harm’s way to make the journey alone.

Recalling the statement on Lady Liberty, there was no mention of: “Send me your troubled children and I will feed, house, love and care for them.”

There also is no directive in any interpretations of our Constitution that state we must care for other country’s children.

Government reports state the immigrant children count is at 52,000 since last October, a 100 percent increase over the prior year. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has asked for assistance in the form of the National Guard to police his borders. Why can’t our troops returning from overseas, seeking jobs do the work needed to secure our borders?

The youngsters arrive daily from Central American countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Seventy-five percent are males 14 years old or older. Many are hoping to reunite with relatives already in the U.S.

Why has no one spent the time to contact the relatives of the young people and tell them to pick them up? If they agree, fine. We can feed and house them for a set number of days until they are released to relatives. A mistaken belief was spread (perhaps by smugglers hoping to capitalize) that the U.S. would give the unaccompanied youngsters permission to stay and they could apply for citizenship in the future.

In the Thumb area, a controversial offer from a Grosse Pointe Park group known as Wolverine Human Services has gained attention. In the past, the group opened a number of work and learning centers in Vassar. Two of them are available to house some of the immigrants Wolverine is proposing the community welcome them.

It is reported that the Wolverine group is not working with a federal agency but a go-between for Heartland Alliance of Chicago, which hopes to receive contracts with the federal government. Derrick McCree, Wolverine Human Services senior vice-president, said the facilities in Vassar could house up to 120 male immigrants aged 12 to 17 for up to a month at a time. The youth could arrive within two weeks, and according to McCree, create 115 jobs.

As I see it, an escalating cost is occurring: Heartland Alliance fees, Wolverine group fees, 115 paychecks — all just to process 120 youngsters. Do we assume our tax dollars will carry the tab? It’s puzzling why Wolverine has not located any facilities in the Grosse Pointe Park area.

It’s also hard to disagree with the growing opposition by citizens in Vassar. There is no way to know the background of those who may become neighbors. They can’t be certain the immigrants are not carrying disease. In a Tribune article on July 11, health officials were assuring there is no public health concern. They said, “Immigrants will stop at another processing center and have their health histories done, have vaccinations brought up to date and be evaluated for communicable diseases.”

How can health histories or vaccination records be updated for youngsters arriving with just the clothes on their backs? Who will provide the data?

Communities all over the country are locked in conflict and in Washington there is a major political standoff. President Obama, by requesting such a high amount ($3.7 billion), has sent not only the Congress but also everyone hoping to grasp a portion of money into frenzy.

Mr. President, if you are able to raise the funds you seek, I would like to suggest you first search our country to find the children born here who are hungry, living in cars and cardboard boxes. They need medical care and homes and are suffering through no wrongdoing on their parts. They are from families who have fallen upon hard times.

Mr. President, if you wish Congress to allocate funds, spend the funds to help our veterans who gave up their jobs and families to support and protect our country. Give them the medical help they deserve and urgently need. We cannot house and care for the world’s children.

We can’t and don’t even take care of our own.

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