Within the last couple of days, I have come across two different pieces of writing containing opposing pieces of information. And it's important.
First, a letter from Dr. Dobson, best known from his days at the helm of Focus on the Family. There's a lot to the letter that could and should be discussed and I refer you to Libby Anne who has done a good job with it.
What I want to focus on is this section:
Before I conclude, I must tell you about the agents who have to deal with this chaos. They are compassionate men and women, sworn to uphold federal law and protect our borders.
They obviously care about the detainees, and I respect them highly. They work tirelessly feeding people three times a day and providing clean clothing. They must also maintain the portable toilets in the cells. It is a never-ending task. There are only two large showers in the facility, one for males, the other for females. Their capacity is for only 20 people at a time, which is insufficient.
The border patrol agents administer this program, but most of them didn’t sign up to be caregivers. Agents were trained to patrol the border and apprehend drug runners, traffickers, smugglers, murderers, and every kind of lawbreaker. This is very dangerous work. But, please understand this: the border patrol agents are so busy caring for refugees seeking entry to the United States that they have very little time to police the borders.
According to Dr. Dobson, the border patrol agents are upstanding people who are caring people and are just doing the best for the people that they detain. And, certainly, they have a difficult job. And, I imagine that they put on a good face for their visitor, even if they aren't as nice and good as they actually are.
Here is the other piece I came across today. You need to read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt.
Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.
In one exchange, group members responded with indifference and wisecracks to the post of a news story about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas. One member posted a GIF of Elmo with the quote, “Oh well.” Another responded with an image and the words “If he dies, he dies.”
Created in August 2016, the Facebook group is called “I’m 10-15” and boasts roughly 9,500 members from across the country. (10-15 is Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody.”) The group described itself, in an online introduction, as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with the patrol. “Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said.
It appears that at least 9500 members of the CBP are not the wholesome and upstanding hard workers that Dr. Dobson met on his visit. Or, at least they put on a good show.
The CBP members who are members of this Facebook group and those who hold similar views have no business whatsoever taking care of detainees, particularly children. No matter why these people are in detention and no matter how the CBP employees feel about it, the people that they care for are human beings and deserve to be treated with all the dignity and care possible.
That being said, CBP has an incredibly difficult job. Not nearly enough money has been allotted to take care of these detainees, so there are too many people in too little space. This leads to pressure on toilet and washing facilities, so most of the detainees are dirty and smell. There are not adults to take care of the small children, so older children are acting as parents, which places more responsibility on the CBP employees. They don't have nearly enough supplies, as we read regularly on news websites.
And none of this is CBPs fault. It is the government's fault. Congress is debating whether or not to send more funds; some want to increase funding for detention, but others don't want to fund detention in the efforts to get kids out of detention. Clearly, it's a problem.
We've placed CBP agents in a very difficult position. It appears that a few of them are living up to the challenge and good for them!! Those are the people who understand the promise of America.
Unfortunately, there are far too many xenophobic and racist people in the CBP as well. And children are suffering for it. There are reports of agents treating children poorly. These children have a hard enough time in awful conditions, but to have the adults supervising them actively disliking them and disliking their job is unacceptable. Those in this Facebook group need to be either fired or moved to jobs in which they don't deal with detainees, particularly children.
Those of us who are Christians must continue to pray for the situation at the border. These two articles make it clear that we must include the CBP agents in our prayers. Their jobs are difficult and those who are truly working for good may be in a minority. Please pray.