We now know that facts concerning thousands of undocumented immigrants crossing our southern border are muddled and scarce. Blame secrecy by federal agencies who transport illegals to non-border states to become permanent residents with absolutely no thought of informing us. It is shameful that our Governor’s staff had to search a federal website to learn Louisiana is now the permanent home of more than 1,000 undocumented immigrants. They are enrolling in our schools and are in line for public assistance. Their sponsors will likely receive tax dollars to cover costs.
Although our hearts are broken by images of innocent young children, we should not act hastily or.
We do not know the ages, locations or health status of those already here or how many are truly “innocent children.” At the border, we don’t know how many innocents are mixed in with adults, criminals, gang members and profiteers. For any true minors already in Louisiana, we know nothing of the screening and supervision of or payment to those who sponsor them. This so-called humane effort may not protect innocents from those who would take advantage of them and may foolishly shelter illegal adults. And we don’t know the impact on our citizens’ wallets as costs rise.
Here is what we do know: the average age of illegals is more adult than child; some have been diagnosed with infectious disease; others have committed horrendous crimes, including murder and rape. We know hidden among the so-called “unaccompanied minors” are drug-related gang members who are here to actively recruit. And we also know that many innocents who paid a lot of money to be transported by illegal traffickers (called coyotes) are being forced to make continued, long-term payments at threat of harm to their family members left behind.
We also know that, according to a recent Reuter’s poll, 70-percent of Americans, “believe undocumented immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs,” and, “Americans are deeply worried that illegal immigration is threatening the nation’s culture and economy.”
So what to do? It seems some who have given this very little thought, including many of my fellow Christians and leaders of the church, simply say “be compassionate;” take innocent children into our country, our state and our homes, and care for them with no questions asked. Yet, those urging “compassion” are not offering to foot much of the bill. A so-called compassionate act that forces you and me to pay is not really compassion; it is another taxpayer-funded entitlement. True Christian compassion is an individual virtue; it is not a clamor for another government-run program.
I have a better idea. Our President, our Governor, and our legislature should multiply our limited resources by putting immediate pressure on home countries to open their hearts – and wallets. Home countries should “man-up;” live up to their duty to care for and protect their own innocent children. We should demand a plan to separate criminals from innocents; quickly deport the criminals; treat the immediate health needs of the innocent; then demand their home country officials safely and humanely reunite them with their families – and keep them safe! It is not compassionate to keep innocent children in a strange land away from their families.
We must stop ignoring our immigration laws and depleting precious resources to allow unlimited entry to select, so-called “unaccompanied minors.” It is unfair and even harmful. The spectacular video from federal housing areas – complete with big-screen TVs, playgrounds, toys, and colorful, comfortable rooms, beds and furniture – is a lure in sending the wrong message; candy dangled in front of children and families, tempting them to make the dangerous trek here.
The current effort unfairly excludes and discriminates against all of our welcome, legal immigrants as well as all other children of the world who long for safety and freedom.
I urge a more intelligent and more compassionate plan based on an accurate count of exactly who is an innocent child and who is not.
In 2016, I led the fight to put an end to sanctuary cities in Louisiana. Additionally, in 2015, I formed an Immigration Task Force (HR175) to determine the fiscal and economic impact on taxpayers for multiple aspects of illegal immigration. As a result of the task force findings, in 2016, I memorialized Congress (HCR121) asking for reimbursement of costs incurred by Louisiana taxpayers due to federal mandates. These costs have added to the state’s already strained deficit budget.
I have continued to work hard to hold those accountable by introducing in 2019, HB530 would have deterred the theft of our LA tax dollars by requiring that the taxpayer certify in the filing process that the dependent they are claiming actually does qualify as a legal citizen of Louisiana. It really is time that we protect those dollars that you work hard for rather than just asking for more.