Bob Meade - Address the real problem

  • Published in Columns

As this is being written, the government shutdown has ended. It had been brought about by Senate Democrats refusing to pass a budget or a continuing resolution if the House and Senate Republicans didn’t vote to legalize Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and for the president then to sign the bill. We’re now waiting for round two ... who knows?

In June of 2012, DACA was brought about by President Obama taking executive action to allow over an estimated 800,000 immigrants under the age of 32 (called “Dreamers”), who were brought to this country illegally, to be given legal status. (Please note that estimate is low and some believe the number to be upwards of three million.)  At that time, President Obama had Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issue a memorandum to the acting commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, directing them to use “Exercise prosecutorial discretion with respect to individuals who came to the United States as children.” The agencies were essentially directed to not follow the normal process for their deportation unless the individuals had been involved in serious criminal activities.

That action led a number of states to challenge the constitutionality of the DACA program and, according to Politifact.com: “Texas and 25 other states won a lawsuit against the Obama administration by having a federal district judge block the implementation of an expanded version of the 2012 DACA and of another deportation reprieve program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). An appeals court upheld the ruling, and in 2016 the Supreme Court ruled 4-4 on the case, leaving in place the lower court's ruling.”    Since that ruling there has been a plethora of additional lawsuits filed in numerous Federal District Courts seeking to reverse those rulings and return back to the Napolitano memo.

President Trump had a widely televised meeting with Democrat and Republican members of Congress and openly stated he was sympathetic to the individuals in the DACA program and said if the Congress could work out a Legislative solution, he would sign it.  However, he also stated that their deliberations must also address the border protection problem – including provisions for a border wall where necessary.  That’s when Democrat leadership chose to initiate the “resistance” that led to the government shutdown.

At some point politicians have to understand that at the top of their “to do” list is to protect our sovereignty, our independence. If we don’t reasonably protect our borders, we are ceding our sovereignty. At the same time, our leaders have to understand that sympathy alone is not a solution to the global poverty problem. Roughly half the world lives in poverty as they earn less than $2 per day. Clearly, because of our privileged position, we should do everything we can to help them overcome poverty and achieve a better life.  For every one million in poverty that we accept in this country every year, the countries from which they come add another 80 million to their poverty numbers. In short, our sympathy and our generosity do almost nothing to stem the rise in poverty across the globe.  (Please copy this link into your browser and take a few minutes to watch this presentation:( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpjzfGChGlE)  — if you are unable to copy it, please  email me at:  (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> and I will send you the link.) 

The bottom line is that we need to use our resources, our people, our technology, and our knowledge and go to where the poverty is rampant and teach them how to overcome and outgrow poverty.  To not do so is shoveling sand against the tide — you can’t eliminate a nation in poverty by adding poverty to other nations.

We must address the basic problems at their source — education, job training, clean water, transportation, infrastructure, housing, medical, safety, and other issues must be addressed and be overcome or improved if we/our objective is to reduce the additional 80 million people that are entering into poverty each year.  Clearly, this is a challenge  facing not only this country, but all nations of the world.  The United Nations should have the poverty issue at the top of its priority list and develop and implement a program to address the issues mentioned, and every U.N. member should actively participate and contribute to the solution.  The United States contributes over 22 percent of the U.N. budget; we should insist this issue be its number one priority.

The skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary to eliminate poverty across the globe exist.  All it takes is a willingness to do so and the leadership necessary to make it happen.  If the United Nations can’t step up and address the issue, why does that organization even exist?

Bob Meade is veteran, retired businessman and longtime volunteer in Laconia.