The barbarians are at the gate and Trump is terrified on our behalf. Republicans may have some hidden empathy for the 7,200 tired, poor Hondurans yearning for a better life — they are actual human beings, after all, just like us — but think about the consequences of allowing them to apply for asylum.
Do the math.
It’s 7,200 people but — assuming you don’t separate parents from their children — perhaps 2,400 family units.
Say we had two such enormous caravans each year– 2 times 2,400 = 4,800 — and that they somehow disbursed evenly, one family settling in each of America’s 19,000 cities. Within four years, each city in America would find itself having had to accommodate a Honduran family!
A city like New York or LA — even Cleveland or Phoenix — could handle one new immigrant Honduran family every four years. Easy.
But at the other extreme, what about a “city” like Paris, Texas, with a population of just 25,000 (2,000 of them Hispanic) and just six churches. Could a “city” so small really handle a new Honduran family every four years? How many more police would they need to hire? How many more schools would they need to build?
Think about it: each of the six churches (if they shared the burden equally) would face the challenge of helping to welcome and integrate a new Honduran family into the life of the community every 24 years!*
But it’s worse than that.
Trump has people from Montana to Maine genuinely fearful of the crime, rape, drugs, and economic hardship he’s persuaded them that non-white asylum-seekers, giving themselves up legally at the border, bring. Indeed, he has pledged to send our military — not just the National Guard, the military (which is illegal) — to repel them rather than grant them asylum to clean our toilets, pick our tomatoes, and trim our hedges. (How, by the way? Shoot them? Tase them? Force-march them 2,500 miles home?)
Yet realistically, these Hondurans are not likely to walk to Montana or Maine. Let alone disburse evenly among America’s 19,000 cities. No, they’re all gonna settle in Texas, which has just 27,000 churches, and maybe a few in Arizona and New Mexico, which have 3,000 and 2,000 churches.
I mention the churches, because Republicans are the religious party. Many of them believe America is specifically a Christian country. So is this something churches could do? Help the poor and needy? The least among us?
Something most religious voters — even in Texas — could embrace?
*Correction: I was wrong to say there are six churches in Paris, Texas. According to a friend from Paris, “There are WAY more than six. That link is incredibly wrong (it doesn’t even include my family’s church!). I’d say there are probably 30 or 40 at least, no joke. If you go to Google Maps of Paris, and type in Church, at least 20 pop up.” So each church would have to help one desperate Honduran family more like once every hundred years.
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Triumphant wife to down-and-out husband: I've consolidated all our bills into one missed payment.~Frank Cotham cartoon in the October 11, 1999, New Yorker
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