This appeared in today’s issue of TCPalm, a Scripps newspaper serving four counties from Vero Beach to Palm Beach.
For every action, there is a reaction.
The recent flow of young immigrants from Central America is reminiscent of bygone days in Miami when Fidel Castro opened all his jails and mental institutions and dispatched children, the disabled and other unwanted citizens from the Mariel port so thousands could come to the United States.
While the softhearted press primarily focuses on the many thousands of youths who have been trekking through Mexico and over the Rio Grande, a significant number of these “children” are actually male gangster kids ages 13 to 17 whose contributions to American life will undoubtedly include a bloated crime rate wherever they land. That translates to many American victims.
Much like the coverage of bleeding little kids in Gaza, camera shots of small kids always touch the heartstrings, but it does not present the whole picture.
In 1980, while many good and decent people did arrive on the shores of South Florida during the infamous Mariel boat lift, the fact remains that the community was suddenly overwhelmed with a 120,000 new residents who had nowhere to go other than living under expressway bridges, parks and jails. The crime rate in Dade County tripled overnight. I know, because I was the captain of Homicide in those months and years. We all felt like Lucille Ball trying to keep up with the conveyor belt.
Bodies were turning up everywhere and could not be identified because we had no records of the victims. Rapes and other assaults doubled. Thefts, burglaries, vandalism and murder spiraled beyond the capacity of local resources to handle. The Medical Examiner’s Office had to rent a giant refrigerated trailer to store the accumulation of bodies. Fingerprints were not on file because all the victims and criminals came from another country.
President Jimmy Carter welcomed the refugees with open arms, but he had nothing to say to the victims of rape, assaults, thefts and murders left in the wake.
Many of the new immigrants were shipped to other states for “resettlement,” but that didn’t last long because most of the Cubans remigrated back to Miami, where they felt at home among their cultural peers.
The impact extended beyond criminal issues, as the infrastructure of state and local government was stressed beyond capacity. Schools, medical facilities, traffic, housing, personal necessities, courts, cops, jails and local budgets were unable to cope.
From all reports, the southwest United States, particularly Texas, can expect about 90,000 illegal immigrants this year, costing taxpayers $900 million. Reuters predicts the wave of youth immigration will reach above 130,000 in 2015, costing Americans $2 billion and more. Certainly, there are sad stories among the child immigrants. But rest assured, they are creating a wave of equally sad stories among American citizens and their families as well.
A quarter-million more people invading the United States is like a city larger than the population of Richmond, Virginia, being dumped in your backyard. It is naïve to think it won’t negatively impact the lives of American citizens, the people we are supposed to represent first and foremost.
And while our current administration has basically announced an amnesty pass to any immigrants under 18 who can find their way across our borders, what’s to stop the millions of Africans, Asians, middle-easterners and South Americans who are desperate for a better way of life? Where will this end?
Pardon my cynicism, but I seriously doubt the administration is supporting this influx of mass numbers because of bleeding hearts. They know that, 10 years from now, illegal immigrants who received entitlements will be most appreciative to those who paved the amnesty road to America. They are the future voters of our country. In essence, the political spectrum of America is being carved out for the 21st century. There’s the rub.
It is a clever ruse, indeed.