Nativism in its most incendiary way is rearing its ugly head in regards to the mass migration of women and children, some of them babies, but all under adult age, who are fleeing persecution, bloodshed, and potential death in the unstable nations of Central America, some of the most violent nations on earth.
This is specifically the case of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, with about 90,000 expected to flee their nations, walking on foot, going through tough terrain, many drowning or being overcome by the elements otherwise, but all wanting a better, more secure existence in America.
But the hysteria has grown, that somehow, these women and children are involved in drug smuggling, or are future terrorists over the next generation, or other such ridiculous, hard hearted views of their plight.
One must not forget, however, that this kind of nativism is nothing new in America!
It was visited upon Jews, Italians, Irish, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, and migrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries over the long haul of American history!
This nation refused to open its borders to Jews wishing to escape Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, and very small numbers of children were ever allowed in, and many died in the Holocaust!
Nativism was also utilized against Vietnamese escaping the collapse of South Vietnam forty years ago, with many “Boat People” dying in the South China Sea or the Pacific Ocean, but others making it to America, of all ages.
Cubans escaping Fidel Castro, including many children in the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980, were seen as dangerous and should not be admitted, but eventually were, since they could not be returned to Cuba.
The attempts to bring some Iraqis and Afghans of Muslim religion to this country has been a long battle as well.
But we have a tendency to forget we are a nation of immigrants, and particularly in times of political, social, and economic turmoil, we are the last best hope of mankind to offer asylum!
So now, IF the families of these children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be reunited, then they may be returned to their host nations, but that should only be if their lives are not in danger, as to return them to certain death is unconscionable!
But IF the families cannot be reunited, sad as that may be, we have no realistic choice but to house, feed, and educate them, and give them the possibility of the “American Dream”!
If we simply reject these children and young mothers, we are losing the whole purpose of the American experiment, as expressed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We cannot turn our back on these children and condemn them to death, particularly in a nation which claims to support life itself as a goal!