Open hearts for refugee dogs, but not for children

Photo of golden retriever by Franco Vannini, published under Creative Commons license

Photo of golden retriever by Franco Vannini, published under Creative Commons license

Last week, the United States admitted 15 Golden Retrievers, fleeing the hard life on the streets of Istanbul. The dogs were welcomed and given new homes in Minnesota, joining more than 60 others who have been admitted this year. More dogs will be coming, as efforts continue to raise money to rescue homeless dogs from Turkish streets. Meanwhile, one year after the United States launched a program for Central American children to apply for refugee status, not one child out of more than five thousand applicants has made it through the lengthy process to safety in the United States.

One week of immigration news: because it’s important. And because it’s important, during this Give to the Max week, please consider donations to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota and the Advocates for Human Rights, two organizations doing good and important work. Monday: Immigrant hunger strikes; Tuesday: Dogs before children; Wednesday: Deportation numbers and the latest ruling on the president’s plan; Thursday: Broken immigration courts; Friday: Changing face of immigration, nationally and in Minnesota.

According to the New York Times:

“So far the Department of Homeland Security has interviewed only 90 of them, and lengthy procedures for getting airplane tickets and processing paperwork have delayed those whose applications were approved.

“’Really, it’s pathetic that no child has come through this program,’ said Lavinia Limón, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a nonprofit organization.”

Instead of helping Central American refugee children, the United States is paying Mexico to stop them from crossing. Sonia Nazario writes in the New York Times that:

“Beginning in July 2014, Mexico redirected 300 to 600 immigration agents to its southernmost states, and conducted over 20,000 raids in 2014 on the freight trains migrants ride on top of, and the bus stations, hotels and highways where migrants travel. In a sharp departure from the past few years, in the first seven months of fiscal 2015, Mexico apprehended more Central Americans — 92,889 — than the 70,448 apprehended by the United States. This year, Mexico is expected to apprehend 70 percent more Central Americans than in 2014, while United States apprehensions are projected to be cut by about half, according to a Migration Policy Institute study last month.”

While some nonetheless make it to the United States, the Advocates for Human Rights reports, “more than 2,000 immigrant mothers and children are in for-profit detention facilities because they dared to flee to America to escape the horrific gang and domestic violence plaguing Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.”

Want to know who these children are? The Washington Post interviewed young refugees and published their photos and their own words.

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3 Comments

Filed under human rights, immigration

3 responses to “Open hearts for refugee dogs, but not for children

  1. Pingback: Deportation numbers and the latest ruling on the president’s plan | News Day

  2. Pingback: Overworked and underfunded immigration court system can’t do the job | News Day

  3. Pingback: Changing face of immigration, nationally and in Minnesota | News Day

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