The Central American Crisis

For nearly 20 years young people, mostly women, have been the victims of rape and murder in Juarez, a city neatly adjacent to El Paso, Texas.

They even have a name for it–feminicidio, the murder of women.

Not once have I ever heard anyone in our government say we need to provide asylum to the women and children of Juarez.

Perhaps we should.

But as a one-time resident of Central America and a long-time advocate for children, especially those who have refugee issues, the sudden trucking out of an “emerging Central American crisis” feels deeply political and not very honest.

When in our lifetime has Central America been stable? The eighties?!?

Not a chance.

This particular iteration of the absolute disaster that is American foreign policy ignores completely the fact that…

These countries have been de facto war zones for decades.

The children have not just started coming, some of them came years ago. Many came to the US and joined gangs affiliated with the conflicts in their home countries.

And many also have the usual spectrum of emotional and mental problems that go with trauma, upheaval, social disintegration, and loss of caregiver relationships.

We cannot afford to anonymize these minors. Where they go, who they go with, and how they cope all matter so much.

What do you know about the gang affiliations of refugee and immigrant teens in your area? What do you know about attachment disorder?

You cannot haphazardly throw money or executive orders at children.

You gotta have an actual plan.

Yep. And I still think we owe the children of Mexico an apology.

Isn’t their failed state as disastrous as all the others?

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