It has been many months since the American people saw a wave of youthful illegal immigrants break upon our southern border. Thousands upon thousands of children were swept up in the near vicinity of our borders and were warehoused in whatever large buildings were available to lay down a steel bed, a cot, or a pad on the floor. There they passed their time, with virtually nothing to do as they sat idly biding their time while politicians fought over why they were here and what to do with them. These children may still be in those soulless warehouses but we have moved our national attention on to weightier issues; ISIS, the midterm elections, the four-team NCAA football playoffs to name a few, so I don’t really know.
This status somewhere between life and death comes after a nearly two thousand mile trek in which rape is guaranteed, exploitation in all conceivable ways is assured, hunger, thirst, physical abuse and sometimes death are common. The level of despair endured by parents that would induce them to entrust their precious children to the tender mercies of demonic ‘coyotes’ who run the immigrant railway from Central and South America through Mexico, and who then throw their children at the border like shooting a shotgun, figuring that a few might get through to burnish their coyote credibility, is a level of despair which I cannot even begin to assess. I would do anything I could to alleviate this level of suffering, and I believe that there is a way that I can suggest to at least try to help some of the sufferers. I can do that by making the following proposal.
The nation which consistently holds second place for sending immigrants towards ‘El Norte’ is El Salvador. The reason is easy to see. Crime and violence and hopelessness are the very bread that Salvadorans eat. The power of violent street gangs, known as ‘Maras’, is far greater than that of the police and other government agencies which are tasked with ensuring tranquility and an environment in which a parent might raise his or her children and hope to enjoy their children’s families in their old age. Sudden and purposeless death are regular visitors to Salvadoran households and cleaver and creative ways of dealing out public and painful deaths are common and even recreational activities for the Maras. The government treats with the gangs in the same manner in which governments normally treat with other governments, and the police and law enforcement establishment are thoroughly corrupted and infiltrated by the Maras.
This is couples with a government which discourages any foreign investors who might be foolish enough to try to engage in honest business (if there is such a thing) in El Salvador. International business has virtually ceased trying to invest there, and take their business and their money elsewhere. If I lived in El Salvador, I would try to make it to El Norte too.
My proposal is to examine whether or not it would make sense to offer to the people of El Salvador the opportunity to become an unincorporated territory of the United States in the same manner as Puerto Rico. Under the U.S. legal system, even with it’s flaws, crime would be challenged head-on and an effective counter to the power of the Maras would at last be visible on the streets. Realizing that the Maras are attractive to young people because opportunities for advancement are not available in other areas, a revamp of openness to foreign investment, plus investment from a Unites States which would no longer be foreign, would expand job opportunities and give young people jobs which do not include the possibility, nay probability, of dying a violent and premature death. The infusion of input into the education system to train young people to fill the new jobs would also result in the production of Salvadoran jurists, educators, writers and scientists; people who would use their skills to benefit their people and, beyond them the world.
Is my idea sheer madness? Possibly. It is the result however of my revulsion that I feel when I consider the pain which Salvadoran parents must feel when they kiss their children goodbye and send them to hell in order to escape the even greater hell of remaining in El Salvador. If I have the ability to help somebody and do not help them, I bring judgement upon my own head and richly deserve it. What do you think?