“If I’m sent back, they will kill me,” says Cristóbal, who is staying temporarily at a shelter for unaccompanied migrant kids in Mexico. He says he was forced to work for the gang as a cocaine courier beginning at age 14 — a gun was held to his head, and he was told he would be shot if he declined. He finally quit and fled after he witnessed gang members murder two of his friends. Now the gang is looking for him, he says, and it already sent a hit team to his home.Yet he may well be sent back under a policy backed by Obama and Peña Nieto. I admire much about the Obama administration, including its fine words about refugees, but this policy is rank with deadly hypocrisy.
I really wanted to weigh in and disagree with Nicholas Kristof here, but the comments were closed. Luckily, and to my amazement, someone wrote a comment with my three main points, so I completely endorse the following comment:
“Nick, I refuse to fault Obama here inasmuch as this is clearly one of those scenarios where a President is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.
The furor over uncontrolled immigration is one of the factors driving the Presidential candidacy of an American fascist – and yet you see fit to blame Obama for not doing more.
The human rights situation in Mexico is a horror story as is, as drug cartels and criminal gangs wreak havoc across that nation, largely, if not exclusively, because our American appetite for narcotics is unacceptable to our moral elite. And yet you expect Mexico to do even more for us, by providing sanctuary to these children.
The reality is that we need a comprehensive economic and cultural strategy for the Americas if we ever hope to address this problem – and part this strategy must involve the decriminalization of narcotics. Another part of this strategy must involve real world grassroots economic development for Mexico and Central America, so that these governments have a prayer of dissuading their youth from choosing a life of crime and violence. There’s no reason but sheer corporate greed that these nations can’t be hubs of manufacturing for the Americas – with their workers being paid FAIR WAGES (not serf wages) for the work done.
Nick, what you propose is a band-aid – but what’s required is a greater vision, a truly American vision.”