This past week, Representative David Vieira showed that he prioritizes Republican orthodoxy over demonstrating compassion to migrant children in need.
The children that would come to Camp Edwards are already in the US and they are being processed by the government. Eventually, each child will leave detention. Most will be deported. The problem is that these children currently reside in terrible conditions in vastly overcrowded detention centers near the border. Edwards can provide temporary space where the children can await their fates in humane surroundings.
Let’s examine some of the things that Mr. Vieira said this past week:
He expressed concern that the children won’t have the same immunizations as American children. But this would only be a problem if the children came into contact with unimmunized Americans. This won’t happen as the children will not leave the base.
He worried that children will need to be housed and educated in the long term. What’s more likely is that, once most of the kids have been processed and moved, the few remaining kids will be moved back to facilities near the border. And anyway, who cares if a few kids stay at Edwards for a long time? The Feds are footing the bill and the community will not be affected.
He has broad concerns about what prompted the children to cross the border in the first place. This is irrelevant to the Edwards question. The kids are in the US now and the question is: How should we treat them while they’re here?
With hurricane season coming, he has concerns about using the Upper Cape’s emergency shelter of last resort. This is a reasonable concern. But is it a great enough concern to deny 1,000 children humane treatment?
Overall, I was very surprised to see Mr. Vieira work so hard to ferret out ways to avoid being charitable to children in need. Try as he may, Mr. Vieira can’t alter the fact that helping 1,000 needy children at Edwards will affect the community very little. The kids will not leave the base and the Feds will pay every dime of the cost. Locals won’t even know that the kids are here unless they visit or read the paper.
Sadly, Mr. Vieira has demonstrated a lack of compassion for kids in need.
David J. Kent