In The Cub Foods Where You Live
It is estimated that 60,000 undocumented children from Central America will flood across U.S. borders this year. Under the law, they can't be sent back until they appear before an immigration judge. As a practical matter, this means that it is unlikely that many - if any - of the minors will ever be returned to their native countries.
The city of Madison is apparently open to providing housing for some of these unaccompanied minors. The suggested locations: a vacant Cub Foods grocery store (currently intended to be used to house snowplows) or a former Shopko department store.
I can hear the discussion now: "Where do you live"? I'm currently in the former frozen food section but I'm hoping to move to the produce aisle before winter".
At the risk of being labeled "xenophobic" by the Mayor of Madison, has everyone lost their minds?
It's one thing to place these minors (many of whom are teenagers) with family members. It's quite another to bring large numbers of kids across the country and dump them into a vacant Shopko - especially if there's no long-term plan to deal with them.
Seriously, how long can an unaccompanied minor really live in a vacant grocery store in Madison, Wisconsin if there's no realistic chance for permanent placement in the community?
Tom Barrett and Chris Abele are also apparently open to providing housing in Milwaukee. Maybe we should consider the former Milwaukee Auditorium (now Milwaukee Theater)? At least then it would get some use!
What should be happen immediately is to change the law to treat undocumented minors from Central America the same way we treat undocumented minors from Mexico. In other words, send them back immediately. The United States simply has to get control of its borders once and for all.
Given that we don't have sufficient resources to deal with the problems of children in this country, how can we expect to handle the continuing influx of tens of thousands of minors from other countries?
The mantra of many illegal immigrants is allegedly "Obama will take care of us". If Mr. and Mrs. Obama want to take that responsibility personally, I'm cool with it. However if the President expects the taxpayers to pick up the tab, that's another story.
Regardless, housing unaccompanied minors in a vacant grocery store a thousand miles from the border strikes me as being ill conceived at best ... and incredibly stupid at worst. But that's Madison for you.