By Raynard Jackson
Since the economic crash of 2008, I think everyone has had to make adjustments – except the federal government – including cutting back on discretionary spending, fewer weekends at the beach, eating out less, etc. What I like about Americans is that when times get hard, we have a tendency to reach out to help those around us who are less fortunate. We will share a loaf of bread with a neighbor. We will give a bag of groceries to a needy member of our church. We will pay the fees for our child’s friend to attend summer camp.
Those we have some connection to will always be on the receiving end of our largess when we have the wherewithal and after we have fulfilled the obligations we have to our families. This is the America I love and cherish. But this love is becoming somewhat diminished in light of recent numbers on the level of homelessness among children in the U.S. There are two groups in the U.S. that we should never allow to suffer – children and senior citizens. Children are pure, innocent and totally dependent on us adults. Senior citizens have paid their dues to society and paved the way for us to enjoy the privileges we have.
But those aren’t the only two groups we should be concerned about. A record 1.16 million students in the United States were homeless last year, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education. These were students from K-12 for the school year 2011-12, the latest numbers are available. This was a 10 percent increase from the previous school year. According to the federal government, there were 55.5 million students enrolled in school during this period, meaning about 2 percent of all students were homeless.
The states with the largest increases of homeless students were: California, New York, Texas, and Florida. What is interesting about those states is they are the same states with the largest population of people in the U.S. illegally.
The Obama administration has actually encouraged a flood of illegal children to trek across Central America through Mexico into the U.S. because they have made it perfectly clear that they will not enforce our immigration laws. This public declaration has put our own kids at dire risk.
According to Reuters, “An estimated 60,000 such children will pour into the United States this year, according to the [Obama] administration, up from about 6,000 in 2011. Now, Washington is trying to figure out how to pay for their food, housing and transportation once they are taken into custody.
The flow is expected to grow. The number of unaccompanied, undocumented immigrants who are under 18 will likely double in 2015 to nearly 130,000 and cost U.S. taxpayers $2 billion, up from $868 million this year, according to administration estimates.”
So, if these are the numbers the Obama administration is using, they are probably conservative.
We are already more than $17 trillion in debt and you want to take money (that could be used for citizens) away from our homeless children to take care of those noncitizens who are in the country illegally? Really? I am totally with humanitarian aid, but not at the expense of my own U.S.-born children.
The problem has gotten so bad that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up an emergency shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas that can hold 1,000 illegals. That’s right, we are housing illegals on military bases; but our own children are living on the street or in a homeless shelter. We Americans are the most generous, kind, giving people on the face of the earth; but enough is enough. Let’s take care of our own first.
America doesn’t have an immigration problem. We have an enforcement problem. There is nothing wrong with the laws on the books; we need to simply enforce them. The interesting thing that my open borders and pro-amnesty friends will never discuss publicly is this: America accepts more legal immigrants into the U.S. annually than the total of all the other nations of the world combined.
So, I will not allow those who disagree with me to dismiss me as xenophobic, heartless, without compassion, etc. Show me a parent who will take away from his family to give to a total stranger and I will show you an unfit parent. Because you are in my house does not make it your home.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Website, http://www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.