McAllen has been ground zero for a range of experiences for asylum-seeking families. On the one hand was the saintly generosity of this beautiful city. A tireless, lovely offering of aid and support went out to the thousands of people who found themselves at the McAllen bus station, waiting to make their way to family and friends in other parts of the US.
On the other hand, the city was ground zero for the separation of families, the detaining of children in cages, and for all manner of other abuse.
Now we learn of another horror perpetrated in our community: the housing of children, without parents, by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at the Hampton Inn hotel. Records showed that 123 of these children — one of them as young as 1 year old — were held for days, under the watch of people who were contracted by ICE as “transportation specialists” — not child-care experts.
The Department of Homeland Security has demonstrated time and again its disregard for human life. The only thing surprising about this latest incident is that it came to light. Most of the other barbarities that DHS has done to the asylum seekers are hidden deep in bureaucratic shadows.
The “public/private” cooperation in this particular bit of vile work, however, is soul-bending. How does a company in the “hospitality” industry lend its facility to such an operation? How does the management so blithely look away? Surely these people have children and even grandchildren of their own. And they must be aware of the next moment awaiting these children: deportation back to that horror from which they fled.
That the hotel would contract with ICE in order to turn a profit in this iteration of human trafficking is startling.
Where do these people park their souls at night?
Rein in Trump
In these days of the coronavirus, all its accompanying anguish and fear plus the realization that many of our citizens, through no fault of their own, are still being denied the same benefits granted to the majority, why, in the name of the Almighty, are we putting up with a minority president like Trump? Why, when the opportunity presented itself, did the Republican Party through the Senate continue the obstructionist policies it has displayed for the past 12 years?
The House of Representatives, the voice of the people, told them what the people wanted. Why, even if the Republicans do not have the strength of will to approve his removal, can’t they at least stand up and defy his behind-closed-door conferences with Putin, his courtship of white-power organizations, his ignorance of the bounty put on American servicemen’s heads, his massively egotistical belief that he knows more than medical professionals, scientists and local government officials, plus his recent announcement that he will leave the White House only if he, Trump, wants to.
Please, Republicans, rein in your pit bull. Give the rest of us a chance to rebuild the nation you seem to want to destroy.
Offering for combat vets
In my continuing effort to give heroes of America their due, I would like to submit the following, which is an excerpt from my book “All Expenses Paid.”
I do appreciate, as well as all veterans, your mention of members of the Armed Forces, and also our terrific first responders — law enforcement, fire fighters, doctors, nurses and teachers, to name just a few.
For those Vietnam veterans who served in the combat infantry.
Youths, Pawns, Victims Stand tall, young man, be proud.
And listen to a Greeting from me.
I give to you this duty, To help me keep people free.
You’ll have to leave your loved ones.
Give up your youth, your plans.
But in return a Combat Badge, I’ll put into your hands.
I won’t look back in years to come, Or hear the tales you tell.
But I know you’ll go to Heaven, ’Cause you’ve served your time in hell.
Let police use force
The way I see it, the demonstrators are hell-bent on doing damage and harm. The police are not only being disrespected, they are being harmed.
I say, once they start throwing projectiles in the direction of the police or innocent bystanders, the police need to use all the force necessary to bring them under control and restore law and order. In this country, “the tail doesn’t wag the dog.”
Civil disobedience is one thing, mob rule is another.
José C. Coronado