A recent 60 Minutes story profiled migrants from Central America and Mexico caravanning in a mass migration north to the U.S. border. They are attempting to escape their counties of origin which are impoverished and/or war torn due to rival factions fighting for power. According to the report, thousands make it the border every day in a desperate attempt to cross our border, where upon doing so they can immediately ask for asylum after being apprehended.
The way current immigration law is written, U.S. border agents must process all people who ask for asylum, allow them to stay until their hearing which can take up to five years or longer, and relocate them to somewhere in the United States. This is a daunting task for the border control, which is currently maxing out at around 5,000 immigrants per day.
Sonoma Valley has a substantial Hispanic population, many residing in Boyes Hot Springs and Auga Caliente. It is largely a Democrat left-leaning community, one that voted in large numbers for former governor Jerry Brown and current governor Gavin Newsom, both who strongly support California being a sanctuary state.
The question I pose to this audience is: “Would you bring these immigrants here to Sonoma?” Imagine a weeks’ worth of migrants relocated to Sonoma, which would be approximately 35,000 people. Obviously the first thing you would notice is that our collective population would more than double. Then the hard questions begin. For example, where would they live? How would you house them? Would you allow tent cities in our community? Where would they work, or would they become wards of the state, which is already heavily in debt? Would our already crowded schools be able to accommodate the extra children? Would our hospital be able to see to their medical needs? When you start looking at the reality of the situation it becomes clear that it would be more than just a challenge — it would be virtually undoable.
Now if you’re in the camp that says “yes, let’s bring them in, but not in my backyard,” then you’re in the same camp as Gavin Newsom, which in my opinion is a very elitist view.
The example I bring forth is a very realistic, as it highlights real numbers on real people. Is the solution to bring impoverished people into this country, no matter what, and if so, where does that end, or is there another option?
One issue that is never really looked at is the responsibility of the leadership of the nations where these people come from. Why are they exempt from blame? After all, it was their actions, corruption, and/or lack of leadership that drove these people away in the first place. Regardless, this is an extremely serious problem that requires thoughtful solutions. Our government, both state and national, are notoriously lazy and disingenuous when it comes to addressing problems of this magnitude. Currently our politicians seem to be fighting over some of the stupidest things… I fear this situation will not be resolved until it’s too late.