There’s no shortage of bluff and bluster about the Central American child immigrants who have been flooding across the southern border. Former Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, declared the nation’s hospitals “under siege” from immigrants wanting “free everything,” while Rep. Louie Gohmert, a current Republican from Texas, declared that “our continued existence is at risk.”
Such hyperventilation is expected from Washington, but it’s sadder when it strikes closer to home. The Holy Family Institute, a Catholic nonprofit based in Emsworth, announced plans to house some of the unaccompanied migrants no older than 12 for 30 to 40 days while they await the outcomes of their immigration proceedings.
Unfortunately some residents, including the town’s mayor, voiced unfounded concerns about the childrens’ health and possible cartel affiliation. It’s worth repeating that these are children — most of them are fleeing from cartel violence, not taking part in it.
Furthermore, the children are screened at the border, and Holy Family won’t be accepting children in medical quarantine or in need of psychiatric care. New immigrants have almost always been typecast as dirty and diseased. But xenophobia shouldn’t impede fine charitable institutions like Holy Family from giving aid to those who need it most.