As a parent, one cannot help but feel the heartbreak of seeing so many unaccompanied children attempting the journey to enter into the U.S. illegally through our southern border. The horror of the so-called “Death Trains” these kids hop aboard (the name being derived from those who do not successfully get onboard) not to mention the unspeakable abuse some of these children suffer at the hands of the criminals they were entrusted to on their passage here is simply unimaginable.
According to a Texas congressman I spoke with last week, the typical cost to have someone smuggled into the U.S. from Central America is between $2800 and $5000, yet the average salary in the countries where the refugees are coming from is only $1/day or $365/year. So, where is the money coming from? In many instances, these children’s parents who came to the U.S. illegally years ago, are sending the money back home (thank you Western Union, MoneyGram and Walmart) so they can bring their kids here now.
When the kids are apprehended (in reality, willingly surrender) at the border, they aren’t being shipped off to states at random to be housed. They are being sent to states where they have family waiting. That is why the Feds wanted to send kids to the small town of Lawrenceville in rural Southwest Virginia to be housed at the closed St. Paul’s College – their parents and relatives are waiting for them here in Virginia from the last wave of illegal immigration a decade ago when the U.S. economy was booming.
If any of us were to send our kids on such a dangerous journey on their own along with smugglers and criminals (some of whom are reported pedophiles), we’d lose custody of them. Instead, our government is facilitating their reunions. After they are released into their custody, how many do you think will actually show up for their scheduled immigration hearings?