Your Views: Are immigrant children really safe in our country?

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

I worked for an immigration attorney for seven years and now volunteer for a group opposing sex trafficking. Facts and experience demonstrate that moving 40,000 undocumented, unaccompanied, foreign children across the U.S.-Mexico border is not compassion. It is akin to human trafficking, which is modern-day slavery.

Unanswered questions abound. Who verified that the children’s parents gave informed consent with full knowledge and understanding of this procedure and its risks? Who confirmed that the “relatives” are actually related to, and known by, the parents? Who is responsible to ensure the children are safe from physical and sexual abuse en route to, and in the homes of, the prospective relatives?

What is known about the integrity of the people transporting the kids? Are they humanitarian organizations or human traffickers? Who knows if the waiting relatives are willing and able to provide for the physical, emotional and material needs of these children?

It is bad if children are in danger in their own countries. It is worse if they are in equal or greater danger here in the U.S. This situation should neither be allowed nor labeled as compassion.

What is the solution? Kids should be raised by their families under the authority of stable governments with equitable legal systems. The U.S. government should collaborate with reputable nongovernment organizations who are already working to make that possible. Anything less endangers thousands of children.



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