Escondido Revolt Against Refugees Avoids the Real Federal Policy Problem

Brian Brady Brian Brady 35 Comments

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What happened in Escondido the other night was very unfortunate.  The populist revolt against the conditional use permit, to house Central American refugee children at a temporary facility in Escondido, is an understandable reaction to failed federal immigration policy.  The federal government has failed to enforce our borders (almost willingly) for at least two Presidential administrations now.  Naturally, people are frustrated.

The protest looked really bad — indifferent at best and xenophobic at worst.  Doug Porter at San Diego Free Press suggests that it’s bigotry (it’s not) and Logan Jenkins thinks it’s a form of tea party, anti-DC, NIMBY-ism (closer to the mark).  It’s frustration, but it’s frustration with the wrong failed federal policy.  Make no mistake about it, these kids are war refugees, refugees from the failed war on drugs.

Conservatives should measure policy on results rather than intent.  We are constantly bemoaning “liberal do-gooders” who persist with bad policy because “they mean well” but refuse to pull the planks out of our own eyes when it comes to the failed war on drugs.  The war on drugs creates more violence in America, along the border towns of the US and Mexico, and now in cartel-controlled, Central American cities.  The war on drugs created a “right-wing jobs program” with our prison system.  Real reform then, aimed at drug users, becomes almost impossible because of the need for more prison space, more prosecutors, more judges, and more prison guards.  Any attempts at reform are constantly opposed by special interest groups, seeking to keep or expand the status quo.

The war on drugs has failed it hasn’t met it’s goals.  Reforming how we deal with drug users is essential.  Should we legalize all drugs?  Probably not, but imprisoning teenagers for life, for baking and selling pot brownies, is clearly not the answer.  In many ways, the war on drugs has become identical to LBJ’s war on poverty.  It replaces the State for what should be families’,  churches’, and other civil institutions’ roles in society.

The callousness of the Escondido mob the other night is but a side effect of the wrong prescription to the disease.  Drug abuse is a horrible disease in America but, as is with most problems, more government is not the cure.  Conservatives will see more foreign orphans crossing our borders if we insist on prescribing medicine that isn’t effective.  If Americans took better care of our kids, we wouldn’t have so many foreign kids at our doorsteps.

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Comments 35

  1. Have you heard of the Pottery Barn rule?

    I’m serious when I say this;when American parents delegate parenting to the State (war on drugs), they shouldn’t be surprised when foreign kids become their responsibility because of the poor consequences of their negligence.

  2. Congrats to Harold Schwartz for reacting to something it seems he didn’t read.

  3. It is interesting how so many children moved through Mexico and got close to our borders without Mexico doing anything.

  4. I feel really bad for those parents who spent thousands of dollars to have coyotes bring their children to the US (they think they are doing something good, but children need their parents, no matter what circumstance), soon it will be children from other places in the world. When will we say no Mr. Brady? it sounds like you will never say no if they are from a country that is in distress, well, that is most of the world. Considering we are borrowing 40 cents on each dollar spent by the federal govt, plus the local $$$$$$$$$ that will be spent and your children and mine will be liable for it, what is it worth? How much treasure and lower education for our young ones is it worth? Would they do it for us? I am a very charitable person, but how much of what we have worked for should we give up? 50%? I already do that, 75%? Why should I work? This policy is very irresponsible.

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    Maybe the best point you made is about the borrowing 40 cents of ever dollar our federal government spends, Ms, Right.. I think you and I would agree that the “war” on poverty is a failed experiment and a waste of money. Would you stipulate the same about the “war” on drugs?

    This has nothing to do with charity. Rather, this federal policy is creating more problems than it fixes and kills more people than it saves, Of course, it does dole out (borrowed) federal dollars to a mostly Republican voting bloc

    If co

  6. I think what Brian is saying is that the kids are going to get their government funded place and it doesn’t matter if we like it or not. They are kids and they are desperately poor. Nobody (especially any of the elected) is going to throw them out. Brian is not advocating for letting them stay or for kicking them out. He is pointing out that the reason these refugees exist is because of the “war on drugs”.
    Our efforts have failed and our approach is ineffective. So change it.
    Fighting over whether or not to house some underage refugees isn’t where the focus should be. If you don’t want to house underage refugees from Mexico who are fleeing a corrupt, narco-state…then look at solving the problem. And the root of the problem is, again, our failed war on drugs.

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  9. Is there any reason they are moving these children to California, instead of other areas of Texas, or nearby state like New Mexico and Arizona?

  10. I feel sorry for these kids but they are NOT the responsibility of the American citizen. I don’t care what the reason is that they left. They are NOT refugees. They are coming here so the American citizen can take care of them. That’s what they believe in Latin America. Sorry, but that is their responsibility. Don’t make their problems become the permanent problems of the American citizen. You want to be humane? Feed them temporarily, give them a new set of clothes, temporary medical care and send them back where they belong…their country. When they get sent back, the message will get out that they can not stay here. They will stop coming. The flood will slow and then stop.

  11. “I don’t care what the reason is that they left. They are NOT refugees”

    The hell they aren’t. This government’s “war on drugs” exported the violence. You can accuse me of being a “Blame America” pinko but until American citizens dramatically reduce the welfare state, and give up this joke of a “war” on drugs, more people will be coming…and coming…and coming.

    Wake up. Your government is bankrupting you to reward jobs to people. You just don’t see it because these federal workers happen to vote Republican.

  12. TA: Forced to flee…Oxford Dictionaries…no, they decided to come here thinking they could stay and have Americans take care of them. War and poverty have been going on for a long time in Central America. This is just the latest excuse to get into the country. The answer is still to send them back otherwise they’ll keep on coming.

    Brian: Come on man. As we’ve discussed many times, the war on drugs is a joke. You know that I don’t like the govt any more than you do. Federal workers voting Republican?! Never saw it and never will. I feel sorry for these kids but they need to go back to their parents. NOT the responsibility of the American citizen.

  13. “The answer is still to send them back otherwise they’ll keep on coming.”

    What if they were Cuban defectors? Would you send them back?

  14. It is a tragic situation that ALL AMERICANS need to step up and help with. We are a nation of immigrants. We each have a debt to pay for our freedom. Stop being selfish and pay it forward!

    The private sector needs to handle this not the government. Sponsorships, church mission projects on our own country’s soil, foster families, work projects, orphanages and more! We can do it!

    Our children are our future and our hope. I have faith in America!

    A cry for amnesty from a child should not go unheard…ever!

  15. I agree with Brian that the War on Drugs is a complete failure. I also love Ms. Brent’s comment. If any of you have been to El Salvador, or some of the other Central American countries, you will know how desperate these parents must be to send their children north. I cannot even imagine ever having to make that choice. It reminds me a bit of the book by William Styron “Sophie’s Choice”. And so much of the violence in their countries was created by the U.S. government’s policies on drugs. Forget Republican or Democrat. We are all complicit in some way. I think we owe these children and their families something. We cannot solve all of the problems in the world, but I would bet if we tried, we could get a handle on the cartels, thereby decreasing the violence in those countries. Mexico is just as bad, as far as the cartels,( I think there are 3 main ones in Mexico at the present time) and they are all violent. I can understand parents not wanting to send their children there. If anyone has ideas on how to help, I sure would be interested.

    I also wanted to say that It’s rather strange to me to be posting on this blog, as I am a lifelong liberal, (just ask Jerome), but I have to say it is the most interesting and intelligent blog I have found, and it is so well moderated. No one is calling anyone names. What a concept. I hope you don’t mind an old “hippie” posting? If you do I really will stop, as I respect that some of you may not want me to post. Just say the word and I will just read and retreat. Don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

  16. Lorri, you are welcome to comment here anytime. As stated on our “about” page…

    Commenters of all political persuasions are invited to comment and debate on the blog. The general rules are that commenters should be respectful, deal in issues instead of personalities, and stick to the topic. Foul language and name-calling will not be tolerated.

    The last one is difficult at times, but we try to keep it respectful. Thanks.

  17. So let me get this straight. We let anyone in regardless of whether they can take care of themselves just because they’re poor? Where does it end? The more you let stay, the more will come. America will continue to be inundated with poor, uneducated people who will be burdens for the rest of their lives. 10- 25 million illegal foreigners isn’t enough for you? Sorry, I strongly disagree. This new flood of illegals needs to take care of themselves back in their own country.

    Legal immigrants have to sign an agreement that they will not take any govt benefits for 5 years. But Illegals get free medical at emergency rooms while our vets wait 2 years for appointments. This is totally wrong. We reward illegal foreigners while Americans suffer.

    My grandparents were poor Irish who came here for opportunity, not a hand-out. They never asked for a penny or took a penny. A far cry from the poor people from Mexico and Latin America. A large percentage of the illegal poor Mexicans and Latin American people come here to be taken care of, not for opportunity. Since I was raised in the barrio of La Puente in So. Cal, a high percentage of Mexican and Latin American illegals that I knew and was raised with, believed that success comes from hand outs from the govt, not from hard work and individual effort. The American people don’t need or want this.

  18. The report linked below is based on interviews with the unauthorized immigrants who have come here recently. It lists the reasons they are coming now.
    1. To take advantage of what they believe is a new law that gives them a free pass (permiso) to stay in the US. The permiso is the notice to appear given to immigrants when they are released from custody.
    2. To escape gang related violence
    3. Many adult females mentioned escaping from domestic violence or from husbands who are unable or unwilling to support the family.
    4. Most unaccompanied children were traveling to the US to join family already in the country.
    5. All the interviewed subjects said they were headed to places in the US where family or friends were already living.
    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0kkOiAWUCUGclJUdTFlMmZEUzA/edit?pli=1

  19. Thank you, Lorri. I honestly feel that this forum is fair for all sides of any issue. It is liberating to discuss issues in an open forum and know you will be respected. SD Rostra would definitely benefit from more diverse opinions. I value your input.

    Thank you, Brian for opening the discussion on this topic. I know we cannot fix other country’s problems but we can discuss ideas that may ultimately resolve many of the issues that effect our great nation. I pray we find a solution quickly.

  20. “I hope you don’t mind an old “hippie” posting”

    Oh, please do Lorrie and please don’t shy away from making an argument. Like this:

    I’m pleased that you and Elisa agree with me about the source of this unrest (failed war on drugs) BUT…

    …these kids ain’t the US taxpayers’ long-term responsibility. If individuals, churches, or NGOs won’t step up and take responsibility for them, and soon… they have to leave.

    I share Elisa’ passion but part just as passionately from her comment:

    “It is a tragic situation that ALL AMERICANS need to step up and help with.”

    Oh no “WE” don’t.

    I sincerely hope my church gets involved in this because I share your passion for American Exceptionalism. I hope I can help one of these kids discover the principles which advanced human liberty greater than any other society in the history of the world…BUT…

    I’m not stealing money from Dan Holstein, Barry Jantz, Lorri Greene or Dave Rankin to fund our passion.

    At the end of the day, Honduran families in our communities aren’t the problem; taxpayer-subsidized American families are. The LAST thing we need are more taxpayer-subsidized American families

  21. “The private sector needs to handle this not the government.”

    Hmmm. As much as I believe the private sector is much better than government at many things, I don’t believe the private sector can perpetually resolve and address the failures created by government.

    So, whatever problems created by the fed’s failures, compassionate businesses, churches, and individuals will just fix? How long can that last?

    Let’s just allow the government to continue it’s failures, so the private sector can compassionately pick up the pieces, forever. There’s an economic driver.

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    “I don’t believe the private sector can perpetually resolve and address the failures created by government.”

    The private world is the ONLY solution to the failures of chintzy Marxism. It really is.

    If true Liberty-minded people don’t start solving problems, or showing the path to those solutions, the Marxists will fill the vacuum.

    I would rather lead then complain at this point. Follow me–I won’t force you to do anything.

  23. @Brian, if the private world’s resolution includes changing government — “showing the path” and making it happen — I can’t agree with you more. No question.

    If the answer is what I saw implied in some discussion above — the private world in perpetuity reacting to government failures, by addressing the symptoms instead of the cause — it simply can’t last.

  24. I see a lot of empathy for the illegal foreigners who come here and steal opportunity, money, education, and medical care from the American people. Does being poor nowadays mean it’s OK to steal money that is not yours? I reject the argument that you can’t blame poor people for taking advantage of what is available. They have a choice. They can work and not steal the money. It’s called taking responsibility for yourself. Since you feel sorry for them, go to their country, and help them start businesses and create opportunities for themselves on your vacation time. But don’t add to the problem by letting them stay here, and supporting them.

  25. I wonder why we cannot get a better handle on the cartels that are creating so much violence in Central America, as well as Mexico. I truly believe that the so called War on Drugs has failed all people, in those countries, and in ours.

    As a psychologist I work a lot with young people. The drugs they’re taking today are not the same as in the 60’s. In Encinitas, where I practice, many kids are into heroin. That was a drug none of my friends would have ever touched back then, or even now. And, the cartels are well aware of what the users want. They are getting out of the marijuana business, as they know it is just a matter of time before it is legalized. The thinking is that either Big Tobacco or Big Pharma will soon have a marijuana that will meet US standards of consistency. When that happens, it will become legal. (Full disclosure, I used to sell pharmaceuticals). It’s just a matter of who gets there first on that one.

    The biggies, at least in my part of the world are Meth, Cocaine, Heroin, Mushrooms, MDMA, and a few variations on those themes. Heroin users have learned to smoke it rather than inject it, therefore it doesn’t seem so bad to them. Then there are the RX drugs such as Oxycontin, which is also easy to get in Mexico. Again, the cartels control it down there.

    So, if our country would take the money we are spending on the War on Drugs, and use it to “HIT” the cartels, we might see less people attempting to cross the border illegally. I’ve spent a lot of time in Costa Rica, which has a stable democracy and has resisted allowing the cartels in, and very few Costa Ricans are crossing our border. In fact, there are many expats down there, from our country.

    Lastly, thanks for letting me post on a “real” blog.

  26. Dan, I have empathy for anyone that struggles. Even if it is a struggle with something I don’t struggle with.
    I want the borders completely controlled and the social programs scuttled for the good of our country/state. I want laws obeyed and the proper role of government respected. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have empathy for those who struggle.
    It’s the very reason I agree with Brian regarding the war on drugs. Because the people we’re talking about…their struggle was created.

  27. Michael: Agree completely. I have empathy for them too. If I was in their shoes, I’d try to come here too. But I would work. Why should I work and pay taxes to take care of illegal foreigners? I get sick and tired of people, American or otherwise ripping off America. I especially have a huge problem with illegal foreigners ripping off American citizens. Do illegal single moms with kids come here intending to work knowing that they are uneducated, have no skills, and have kids to take care of ? Of course not. They come here expecting to be taken care of by America. It’s a poor person mentality. I have 2 relatives on welfare. Their attitude is “You have plenty of money so you should give me some” and “Everyone is getting free money and benefits so why shouldn’t I?”. The illegal single foreign moms with kids are no different.

  28. “by addressing the symptoms instead of the cause — it simply can’t last”

    Agreed Barry.

    “steal opportunity, money, education, and medical care from the American people. Does being poor nowadays mean it’s OK to steal money that is not yours?”

    Now who is stealing from whom? You’re defending Marxism, Dan. Each issue you cited was a redistribution of wealth. If you’re going to call these people thieves, I”m going to point out that all of this “stuff” are stolen goods in the first place..

    “Lastly, thanks for letting me post on a “real” blog.”

    It is I who thanks you, ma’am. Please keep coming back, Lorrie. Your comments are excellent.

  29. @Barry I would like to see our nation is less concerned with selfish ideals. Back in the era of the Great Depression when someone was down on their luck neighbors would help neighbors. There is not enough passion out there to help our own homeless and veteran issues let alone the plight of refugees from Central America.

    Our welfare system is off the charts out of control with freebies and a lack of work ethics. We can change that by taking an old fashioned approach and lead by example by being neighborly.

    You say you aren’t going to pay for it, well let me remind you we taxpayers already are paying for the governments welfare and immigration debt. If we can get everyone to chip in and help then perhaps the government will eventually relinquish control.

    If you don’t take the first step toward change then change does not stand a chance. I believe in America and I know people will come around and do the right thing.

    By the way, Father Joe’s is not government owned and operated. They have been successfully helping families for decades. If there are more businesses and volunteer organizations out there addressing the basic needs of humanity then we stand a chance.

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    I mostly disagree with Tim’s suspicions. His request for the Border Patrol to verify the refugees’ American contacts is far from unreasonable though. It’s just due diligence and a good practice.

    I’m not pollyannish enough to think these kids could be released into America and all will be well. I think I’ve stated before that an American sponsor, who assumes financial and legal responsibility for these kids, is a smart practice. That requires a degree of vetting.

    Are those kids covert agents for the cartel drug producers? I don’t think so but I don’t know. I know how to find out though and Tim’s suggestion is a good idea.

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