Viewpoint by Kyle R. Cotton
Across the world people have seen one powerful image that has sent an outcry of support for refugees trying to escape the Syrian Civil War by fleeing to Europe.
The image is that of a little boy who drowned as his family tried to seek a better life.
His body lay lifeless along the Turkish shore, and then motionless as a police officer carried what has now become a symbol for Europe’s refugee crisis.
Yet it is what isn’t seen and what isn’t said that is the problem.
It shouldn’t have taken the image of this little boy to create international sympathy for the struggle of refugees.
The fact that these people are crossing the most dangerous region in the world in the Middle East should have been enough to inspire support for these people.
The fact they are willing to cross the sea on whatever random raft they can find to get to Europe should have generated support.
However, in this situation, the Syrians are lucky to even have this moment frozen in time to inspire action.
They are lucky the current of ocean carried that child to that shore.
For those who are unaware, the U.S. has had a similar problem for years.
That problem is Central America, a region that has been unstable because of U.S. intervention dating back to the mid-1800s.
Panama only exists as a country thanks to American interest in creating the Panama Canal.
For years, the U.S. hasn’t had a relationship with Venezuela because the Venezuelans opted for the late President Hugo Chavez, a vocal critic of U.S. policy, and his plan for nationalizing the OPEC nation’s oil industry.
Unlike Syria, we don’t have a miracle current to send a message to the world in Central America.
In October 2014, an article by The New York Times said more than 68,000 children from Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Guatemala cross the desert and mountains of Mexico to make it to the U.S.
Unlike Syria, you don’t get to see the children who didn’t make it, you don’t get to see these children being exploited or dying alone on a thousand-mile journey for a better life.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump rants and raves about building a wall along the Mexican border to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.
Given what has happened to these European immigrants, it is shocking that the U.S. still has a cap on the number of immigrants who can enter this country each year.
The same cap that caused the S.S. St. Louis to be refused entry to port from Germany despite its Jewish migrant passengers trying to escape Nazi Germany.
It’s time to fix the system, not build a wall and ignore the humanity lost.