Rep. McNerney’s Thoughts on Unaccompanied Minors at the Border

July 20, 2014

By now most everyone has heard about the increasing numbers of unaccompanied minors at our southern border seeking entrance to the United States and protection under our laws.

There are many reasons for this “surge” in the number of children at our border, including the bloody drug wars in Central America, and a misunderstanding of the Wilberforce Law of 2008, which was signed by President Bush to discourage human trafficking.

Unfortunately, this situation is being exploited by the Republicans in Washington for political advantage. The United States is a nation of laws, and each person in this country is assured due process and the protection under those laws. Any attempt to shortcut those legal protections would be a tragedy and a crime. Each case must be decided on an individual basis, taking the child’s best interests into account, and what their reasons might be for leaving their country of origin. As in the aftermath of World War II, when the United States helped rebuild Europe, taking the moral and humanitarian road will benefit us in the long run, whether this means finding homes for these children in the U.S., or helping their home countries develop the infrastructure to receive them back.

This will help create stable, safe, and friendly neighbors. I urge all Americans to consider and support the only morally acceptable approach of helping these children, which will benefit us as well.