Over lunch Mickey and Minnie were talking about Governor McCrory’s statement last week on the influx of child immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Mickey was outraged. “McCrory must figure he’s losing the education debate. So he decided to bash child immigrants!” He noted that the N&O said McCrory’s remarks were “tinged with election-year politics.” He thundered, “’Tinged’, my foot. They were dripping with demagoguery.”
But Minnie saw it differently: “Look, 1,200 of these children have already come to North Carolina. And more are on their way. Right now, we’re barely able to take care of the people here. Our schools are overcrowded, and our health care system is overwhelmed. Who knows what kind of health, social and developmental issues these children have?”
Both Mickey and Minnie are Democrats. They are compassionate people. But their discussion shows how politically divisive and morally and practically vexing this issue is when you step away from the knee-jerk politics.
Our hearts tell us to take care of these children, the way religious charities are doing in our state right now. But our heads worry over our ability to take care of them.
In the end, one fact in the story jumped out at both Mickey and Minnie. A refugee group in Raleigh that has helped 130 unaccompanied minors reported that 95 percent of the girls in their program were raped before they came to the U.S.
Mickey shook his head sadly. “And we’re going to send them back?”