I watched in horror on the news the other day as residents spewed hatred at busloads of frightened children whose only crime was trying to escape violence. These children are as much refugees as those people fleeing the violence of Syria and Iraq. How can we care for them here, but how can we live with ourselves as human beings to send them back into the violence?
There are burdensome and difficult consequences no matter what decisions those in power ultimately make. We need to build bridges, not walls of separation with an American equivalent of the Berlin Wall. We cannot insulate this country from the effects of violence and poverty overflowing from our neighbors.
Until we act on a vision of all the Americas as one large continent and invest in helping our neighbors to develop the infrastructure of education, health and economic opportunity that addresses the causes creating these waves of refuges and illegal immigrants, there will only be increasing insecurity for the U.S.
It’s not an easy or quick solution, but it is the only lasting and honorable solution.