Poor Children, Wimpy Democrats, Amnesiac Republicans, A Virginia Town, and Jonathan Swift

Dear Virtual Editor,

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Maria Eva Casco, left, and her son Christian Casco of El Salvador, sit at the Greyhound bus terminal in Phoenix. credit: AP

Do not be outraged at the wimpy Democratic administration that apologized profusely for leasing a defunct black college with perfectly good dorm rooms in Lawrenceville, Virginia for use as temporary housing for some of the many Central American children who are sleeping on the floor and doing without showers or toilets in Texas and Arizona. The government has abandoned the plan and withdrawn in shame. Do not be outraged. That is what Democratic administrations do.

Do not be outraged at Republicans for forgetting the that the program under which the children would have been housed was a product of the George W. Bush administration, or that President Obama is secure in the title of Deporter-in-Chief. Do not be outraged that Republicans oppose a path to citizenship even for those who have served in the military, gained an education, and have no criminal record. Do not be outraged. Try to understand. In their view (1) This matter has something to do with immigration— somehow. And (2) Obama is still President. Ergo, there is money to be raised by demagoguery. Facts have never been an obstacle for John Cornyn, Jeff Sessions, or Virginia’s own Bob Goodlatte. This is just what Republicans do.

A “Sleepy” Little Town

What about the town where the children would have been sheltered? The one where most of the town’s 1400 or so citizens packed the local high school to echo the words of brave Marine Corps Iraq veteran, Aaron Smith, who attended and said, We don’t want illegal aliens in our town. Surely we cannot find any fault there. After all, the town must be concerned about public safety, and the Sheriff was apparently somewhat frightened. He remarked that the process that was going to put illegal alien children in his “sleepy little town” “put more fear in our eyes”.

It’s too much fun to beat up on politicians. Let’s look more closely at this sleepy, fearful little town where the Sheriff also opined that those children were just “not the right fit for this community.”

img_lawrenceville_downtown-2Lawrenceville is in Southside Virginia, the tobacco belt. The last time I was there, the area was the last bastion of overt racism in the Commonwealth. I gave it high marks at least for honesty on that score, but I do not doubt that things have gotten better. The Lawrenceville city administration is bi-racial.

The population total of 1400 obviously does not include the population of the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, a medium security prison with about 1500 inmates, all of whom are presumably documented U.S. citizens and so well guarded as to pose no threat to public safety. And murderers, rapists, and robbers doing life must have served at least 20 years to be eligible for incarceration at LCC.

God seems to be important in Lawrenceville. A lot of people seem to take seriously the words of Jesus Christ–with the notable exception of the suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven part. There is one Christian church in the town for every 48 Lawrencevillians.

Finally, while we might expect a few politicians to know the law, there is no reason to expect that the good people of Lawrenceville should be aware that some of these kids are likely not, in fact, “illegal aliens”. The U.S. is a signatory to international agreements providing for protection of refugees. The purpose of the temporary housing is to permit assessment of such claims.

The Threat from Washington

CollegeLawrenceville is also the home of traditionally black St. Paul’s College, which folded last year under a mountain of debt. The diabolical White House plan to sneak dangerous alien children into the sleepy town involved lease payments that, while not saving the college, would have permitted it to maintain and guard the buildings and grounds, and search for a buyer. Foiling the plot at the last moment undoubtedly allows the townspeople to sleep better at night. Homeless folks in the area are reputed to be notoriously law abiding and are thus unlikely to sneak into abandoned unguarded college buildings.

A Modest Proposal for Compromise

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I know this is a scary word for Republicans, but hear me out. There is a way to deal with this horrendous influx of dangerous children that may satisfy timid Democrats and the natural Republican constituency. The solution may also drastically reduce the scale of the problem. The few of you who did not sleep through English Lit may remember Jonathan Swift. (Southern Republican readers take note: That’s Jonathan, not Taylor) He wrote A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from Being a Burden to Their Parents, or Their Country. Using hard nosed economic, no-tax reasoning that would make Ayn Rand proud, as well as a bleeding heart moral stance about alleviating the suffering of poor families, Swift proposed that a percentage of Ireland’s poor children be fattened up and sold to meat markets for ultimate consumption by the rich. Swift was a Brit, but he apparently had a U.S. outlet: I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance that a young healthy child…is a most delicious and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled.

Think about it. The deficit would be reduced by the cost of warehousing the kids, albeit minus what could be a considerable fattening up expense. The Job Creators would be provided with an additional protein supplement (unregulated, of course) at a deeply discounted price. Mothers in Central America would no longer be burdened and could lift themselves out of poverty by the straps of their botas in their own country. Lawrenceville, and the rest of Christian America, could rest easy, knowing that the Lord’s will had been done. Of course, all children would not qualify for the program, but didn’t Jesus say, The poor we will always have with us? All in all, it is still a win-win.

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