Tommy: Charity begins at home, not the border

Tommy Tucker, WWL First News
November 27, 2018 - 12:06 pm

It seems like only yesterday when I heard Jim Acosta say the “Honduran caravan was hundreds and hundreds of miles away.”  It WASN’T yesterday, but he was wrong nonetheless.  As we should all know by now they’re here.  An incident unfolded over the weekend that led to tear gas being lobbed into a group, which unfortunately included young children.  That’s unfortunate; but I blame the parents for that, not the Border Patrol.  Nonetheless they trying to gain entrance to our country illegally.  Or were they?

Under the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 protocol, and adopted into U.S. law, the U.S. must recognize refugees that fear persecution and are not able to get help from their home country. In other words, if you can make it to United States soil and claim persecution you’re in regardless of how you make it in.  It could be an airport, a port of entry or if you manage to use your wits and cunning to enter unnoticed.  Once here an asylum seeker is Interviewed by an asylum officer; and they must show credible fear based on one of FIVE protected grounds: Race, Religion, Nationality, Membership in a particular social group or Political Opinion.

The number of refugees who can enter the country under the Immigration and Nationality Act comes from the president's recommendation to Congress. Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, which clearly defines refugees under the aforementioned United Nations Convention. The refugee program is run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, through the Department of State. Each year, the director sends a report to Congress, which is used to determine how much funding will be allocated to the program the next year.

I mention all of that because it seems like a patently unfair system.  If there are only SO MANY applications that will be accepted and they will be accepted once you’re on US soil, where’s the incentive to go to a legitimate point of entry?  It in essence becomes a game show…a survivor-esque competition.  Avoid the Border Patrol and make your claim - you win and leave all of the “suckers” trying to do it the right way in your, pardon the expression, dust.

There are a lot of Americans who feel persecuted by criminals, excluded and marginalized by those because of their race, religion, social prejudice (sexual orientation) and more.  Perhaps we should pay more attention to Americans that need asylum from American society?  Shouldn’t the problems those AMERICAN CITIZENS face take priority over migrants at legitimate ports of entry?  And what of those who cunningly enter the country simply because they can? I WANT to help everybody.  I WISH WE could help everybody.  But we can’t.  It’s simple.  Charity begins at home.

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