Letter for Thursday, January 10, 2019

US must do right by the children

Open letter to Ms. Kirstijen Nielsen, Homeland Security:

I am truly dismayed about the lives and mental health of the children you hold in custody. I have listened to and read arguments for not giving the poor, tired, weak, a chance to be free, to come to our shores for sanctuary, a second chance, a new beginning. I cannot be content with the unswerving and resounding no.

This has been echoed by those whose ancestors came to this country for the very same reasons (all except Native Americans). And yet we have not listened to their pleas for help. Instead we have committed the most egregious part of this new order or lack thereof, which is support for the most vulnerable in the world, the children.

We have failed to support the value of a child’s life. To be separated from a parent, to not know the language, to be caged, to have new and different food, to cry and have no one to comfort you or explain if and when your parents will come back or why it is not your fault.

They still love you and could not leave you in the violence, threats, fear, hunger, lack of work and opportunity to bring you to a decent life with the possibility of a positive future.

Why as citizens of these great United States have we allowed this to happen? It does not reflect the home of the brave or the land of the free. This is not what I served in the military for.

We did not even care enough to keep records of which child belonged to which parent. My question is how do we return the children to the rightful parent, or do we intend to?

Do the children get dumped into child slavery, become a child predator’s dream or be turned over to cruel and uncaring families who are only interested in the money they can bring?

Who will see to their adjustment, their mental and physical health, their language skills and their education?

When does this end and what are you doing about it? This is not about Democrats or Republican ideology. This is about children! By not talking about this, it will not go away.

Find their parents and return them as soon as possible.

Beverley D. Tobias, Kapaa

16 Comments
  1. ruthann jones January 10, 2019 12:30 am Reply

    Beverly…thank you for your thoughtful letter. I so agree with you…what is wrong with people in this country who espouse this cruelty as necessary and acceptable? Truly shameful and history will be our witness.


  2. I saw a Vampire once January 10, 2019 6:31 am Reply

    If you feel that way. Most are Trump supporters.


  3. Bluedream January 10, 2019 7:06 am Reply

    Beverly, stop following corporate news which hides the fact that most females that are a part of the border crossing industry are raped, and the sex slavery that you are concerned about is a result of poor security at the borders. Wake up and see past your corporate media fueled falsehoods that obsess over hating our president.


    1. Pete Antonson January 10, 2019 2:42 pm Reply

      So what’s left for your search for truth? A handful of right wing bloggers; some of whom reside in Russia? We have several good reasons to hate your little racist, sexist, immoral, bigoted, orange blob with the white tanning bed goggle marks that symbolize his dishonesty in most remarks. Most of the Nation, and the World, at least dislike him because of his dreadful social skills or his pathetic language skills that cannot explain the awful contents of his gut where his “enormous” brain proudly resides! Oh, but all those millions have been easily misled by a vast media conspiracy (not one person has blown the whistle on in an age of whistle blowing), all except for Bluedream, deep in his bunker, under a 40 watt bulb, and huddled over an aging Dell laptop!


  4. Ken Conklin January 10, 2019 7:27 am Reply

    Open letter to Beverley D. Tobias, Kapaa

    Your letter to Kirstijen Nielsen, Homeland Security is a perfect example why we need a physical barrier to stop illegal border-crossers from getting across the border. Listen. Once someone gets across the border and says the magic word “asylum”, our laws forbid us from sending them back. They are entitled to a hearing before a judge, and it might take several years to provide such hearings to the tens of thousands of people crossing the border illegally. Meantime we let them stay, and we provide them with housing, food, and healthcare, and their kids get free schooling at our expense. That’s unacceptable.

    This situation has been going on for many many years, with no solution in sight. One option is to stop giving asylum to anyone. Would you like that? Another option is to shove them back across the border to wait for their so-called “asylum” claim to be adjudicated. Would you like that?

    But, you say, families need to be reunified. Well, if the family is already unified back in its country of origin, then let each family member go back home and they will be unified again! Duh! If Mexico lets someone from Honduras walk or ride a thousand miles through Mexico to get to the U.S. border, then it should be Mexico’s problem to take care of them. It’s not my problem.

    Don’t blame me. Don’t blame the U.S. government or Trump for the fact that thousands of children end up in U.S. custody. Blame the parents of those kids, and the countries they came from. Blame Mexico for letting them into Mexico in the first place. Am I sorry for those poor, innocent, suffering kids? Actually, no. I am in favor of protecting my country and my wallet against hordes of invaders. The children are no different from the human shield hostages which evil criminals or enemy troops put in the front line when they launch an attack. It’s not the hostage’s fault when they get killed, and it’a also not my fault when I must shoot through them to defend myself against the attacking enemy hiding behind them. What kind of parent would put her child through all these horrible things just to break into America to get free stuff and to take away a job from an American? I have no sympathy at all for them. And I have no sympathy for you, either, Ms. Tobias, when you (ab)use the children, using them as pawns for your own political agenda of pushing for open borders. If you truly felt the way you say, then you would open your home to be foster parent, at least temporarily, to some of those poor little kids stuck at the border. Your letter to Kirstijen Nielsen should have been an offer to her to open your home to those kids, rather than a bunch of nasty rhetoric.


    1. Pete Antonson January 10, 2019 3:19 pm Reply

      Even though trump has turned conservative thinking into a dung heap of misinformation, you will, if you persist, find that conservatives still consider lack of empathy for children to be a poor social skill. It is also still relatively easy for a conservative to ignore the dissonance and determine for themselves that most “illegal” immigrants fly in as “legal” immigrants and overstay their visas or that most drugs come through Ports of Entry or by plane. Therefore, a $25 billion dollar wall, or a $5 billion dollar portion, would be ineffective against MOST of a problem which IMO is truthfully a problem that has greatly diminished since 9/11 rather than grown into a crisis.
      As for “free stuff,” have you really not known for 23 years that Bill Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996? Congress legislated that not only would undocumented immigrants not receive welfare, but legal immigrants wouldn’t get benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or money for child assistance until they’ve lived in the U.S. at least five years.


    2. Kauaidoug January 11, 2019 8:50 am Reply

      Mr Conklin ,you are the one with the unbelievable nasty rhetoric. Have you ever thought what motivated YOUR ancestors to pick up and leave their Homeland? Ever wonder how they were treated. I hope it was better than what you espouse. SHAME!


  5. gordon oswald January 10, 2019 7:44 am Reply

    Beverly, you are well meaning, but naïve to the point of being ridiculous! These so called “children” you’re so concerned with and whining about for the purpose of having we the virtually bankrupt Tax Payers of the United States of America should save in reality number in the billions! Yes, it’s billions of children in the world that are in need of help, not just those coming from Countries in South America and Mexico. Did you know our Country, thanks to the past administrations is $20 TRILLION in debt your own children already are burdened with? Why don’t you turn your solution agenda to the parents of these children who sell them to “Cayotes” and drug lords so they can get a free pass into the United States by entering with a child? The same parents who endanger the lives of their children by marching them thousands of miles allowing 80% of them to be raped, become dehydrated, carry horrible illnesses, and make them vulnerable to the most horrible examples of the human race along the way! Why don’t you turn your efforts to the Countries who have gone down the Socialist/Oligarchy path that people like you are striving hard to take our Country down? Why don’t you turn your ire towards Mexico who allows, and is even complicit in allowing, vast numbers of illegal idiots to invade our border from their country? Why don’t you place blame and disgust where it belongs, at the feet of a Congress of mostly Democrats who over the past two decades has needed votes for power so they have created a system to entice these uneducated, unskilled, hordes of people to view America as their new Mommy and Daddy providing free stuff, medical care, money, housing, and so much more FOR VOTES! You are misguided and wrong to assume we can care for these children. So thank you for posting, but get your facts, frustration level, and civil discourse going in the right direction instead of pushing a false agenda based on false assumptions? The United States is not responsible for any of it, with the exception of giving too much foreign aid to these Countries that their leaders don’t disperse to their children and poor, but instead line their own coffers with wealth and opulence at the poor’s expense. You can not save the world Beverly. You can’t afford it, and I sure as hell don’t appreciate you laying your stupid, untrue, false agenda guilt trip at the feet of hard working Americans to try and make yourself feel better! It’s not about “feelings” Beverly! It’s about “reality”!


    1. Pete Antonson January 10, 2019 3:25 pm Reply

      What is “vast numbers” supposed to mean? And we “enticed” them? You’ve had 23 years to learn that Bill Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996? Congress legislated that not only would undocumented immigrants not receive welfare, but legal immigrants wouldn’t get benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid or money for child assistance until they’ve lived in the U.S. at least five years.

      Here’s a list of benefits undocumented immigrants expressly do not receive:
      Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP)
      Disability, aka Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
      Food stamps, aka The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
      Health insurance, aka insurance via the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
      Medicaid
      Medicare
      Social Security
      Welfare

      They haven’t got any of this for 23 years. Why have you said they do?


  6. RG DeSoto January 10, 2019 8:45 am Reply

    Novel thought, Beverley: Perhaps the children’s parents should have considered what could happen when they, the parents, violate US law and enter our country illegally. But no, it’s “our” fault, right?

    The US justice system separates children from criminal parents all the time. Should we abandon the incarceration of violent criminals “for the children”?

    RG DeSoto


    1. Pete Antonson January 10, 2019 3:27 pm Reply

      That’s a “straw man argument.” I hope you aren’t smoking!


      1. RG DeSoto January 11, 2019 2:52 pm Reply

        “Description of Straw Man Fallacy: Substituting a person’s actual position or argument with a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of the position of the argument.”

        Sorry Pete. What I did was simply juxtaposition two examples of how criminals are treated with respect to their children—one for people illegally crossing the US border and the other for people committing any number of other crimes and being imprisoned. The PRINCIPLE is the same and therefore the results with respect to children. FACT
        I of the opinion that your approach is one driven by your particular stance ideologically, emotionally and/or politically. So this results in your failing to act or judge based on principles.
        RG DeSoto


        1. Pete Antonson January 12, 2019 1:20 pm Reply

          Sorry, but your “changes” are too removed from the issue Ms. Tobias is writing about. First and foremost, if Mommy robs a bank, they don’t take her little 6 year old Johnny, throw him in a cage with a number on his arm like 1942 nazis!
          The dangerous and brave decision by a family with little means, to flee their present danger and seek asylum (which is a legal action) is not comparable to a family (I’m sure it happened at least once!) who robs a bank together with little 6 year old Johnny drawing a bead on the security guard!
          The only comparison you can make with the parent who chooses crime is to compare them to those parents who abandon their children. This doesn’t apply to those desperately trying to keep their families together in the face of difficulties we can’t even fathom! Those people deserve our empathy and consideration, unless you’re a nazi.


  7. manongindashadow January 10, 2019 4:01 pm Reply

    Beverly, “what do you expect us to do?” Didn’t you serve in the military to protect our country from people who take advantage of us. Who don’t appreciate the protection our young men and women in the military provide them.


  8. Lawaibob January 10, 2019 7:05 pm Reply

    Stop trying to use reason to argue with Trump supporters, they don’t get it.


  9. Suzan Kelsey Brooks January 11, 2019 9:07 am Reply

    We can always find reasons to reinforce our chosen beliefs; but there are still realities. One reality is that there are potentially billions of desperate refugees from poverty, war, and criminal elements who are desperate to escape. Solutions lie with their governments; and there does not seem to be any effort by the US to attempt discussions. Another reality is that this border policy was undertaken in such an inept fashion as to be criminally negligent: no identification or means of reuniting children with their families; lack of background check on employees quickly hired to deal with those who were seized; utter lack of capacity to deal with the numbers of children for whom we forcibly took responsibility; enormous expenditure of tax payer money for private contractors with little or no knowledge or regard for juvenile justice and child welfare laws in the United States. (Yes, we still have those.) The overwhelming source of terrorists and illegal drugs is air traffic that makes a multi-billion dollar wall an ineffective tool whose greatest effect will be seizing the land of Americans and creating a No Man’s Land between said wall and the Rio Grande. Spending money on something that won’t work and is too outmoded to address the greatest source of danger is a divisive political trick that demands compliance and fealty to those who conceived it. No heart needs to bleed to recognize that.


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