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Justice for immigrants not as simple as it might seem

Letter to the Editor

09/07/2018 | Comments

In his Aug. 17 Herald commentary, Andy Barton explains the difficulty of administering justice for immigrant families crossing the border illegally. He claims that Jesus’ injunction to “love your neighbor” should supersede the practice of separating children from their parents.

Of course, what he fails to mention is that a not insignificant number of those children are being trafficked for sex and labor exploitation. There are no identifying markings on these children and, too often, the birth certificates presented to border agents by the “family” have been forged. This is a problem endemic to illegal immigration.

According to the U.S. State Department, “the United States is a destination country for thousands of men, women and children trafficked from all areas of the world.” And in the May 8, 2018, issue of the L.A. Times, Sister Norma Pimentel, who runs the Sacred Heart shelter in McAllen Texas, said of the U.S. Border Patrol, “One thing we have seen are a lot of are people coming with children who are not theirs . . . they do weed out a lot who say they are parents but they are not.”

And the Associated Press recently reported that a man was arrested for taking part in a scheme to smuggle teenagers from Guatemala into the U.S. and force them to work on an egg farm for little pay.  When we allow sentimentalism to rule over reason, innocents pay the price in such unintended consequences.

Let the people on the ground at the border do their jobs. They’re much more likely to have a realistic picture of conditions there. We all want justice for immigrant children. It’s just not as simple as keeping them with the adults who brought them here illegally and who may be exploiting our sympathies in order, ultimately, to exploit the children.

                Jen Koop

                Colorado Springs

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