Catholic News Service
A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle leaves the Nogales Border Patrol Station in Nogales, Ariz., June 25. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the facility to view the governments response to the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the Southw estern U.S. border.
Catholic News Service
A U.S. Border Patrol vehicle leaves the Nogales Border Patrol Station in Nogales, Ariz., June 25. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the facility to view the governments response to the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the Southw estern U.S. border.
On this Independence Day, let's remember that children fleeing violence ought not be treated as criminals.

Sounds like common sense, but that’s lost on some lawmakers in the nation’s capital. In response to news that more unaccompanied children are trying to cross the border, several House committees are discussing bigger walls and more enforcement, as if that would solve the problem.

We may not like the real answer, because it’s so much more complicated than barbed wire. But we must face the fact that children are leaving places like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador because of violence and crushing poverty. Our nation, still the richest on earth, should work with respectable leaders in these nations to set up clean government and good business models.

We played the imperial exploitative role over the last century and now it’s time to facilitate efficient democracies and insist on fair pay for workers, better infrastructure and an end to junta-style cronyism. This revival of Central America could be carried out in partnership with Mexico and the relatively prosperous nations of South America, like Argentina and Chile. We all have a stake in our continents’ well being. The church, so heavily invested in education and social welfare in Central America, could be a primary consultant on achieving the common good.

To help Central America, we may well have to pay more for our lattes and other products, but that is a small sacrifice indeed.