Monday, December 11, 2006

America, please allow for the use of chaperones at the borders

Sir, so much has been spoken and written about the “brain drain” in relation to migration, and so little about the much more serious and final “heart drain” that occurs when the homeland is forgotten. Currently millions of illegal immigrants are de facto imprisoned in the United States since they do not dare to go back to their homelands. Of course, they can always go home legally, but they cannot afford to lose their option of returning here, once they leave. This is the source of millions of human tragedies when they cannot visit a grandmother who is ill, a father on his sixtieth birthday, a sister’s wedding, and perhaps even a daughter’s First Communion. And all this happens, in fact, for absolutely no good reason at all.

While America makes up its mind about what to do with all the illegal migrants, could it not at least show some of its well renowned kindness? Could it not, for instance, authorize respectable American citizens, churches, or recognized NGOs to operate as official chaperones and to make themselves responsible for accompanying an immigrant to his homeland, for a week or so, to help him warm up his heart, and then returning him here, with no one at the borders objecting or making a record of it?