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We MUST Understand
By Roy Douglas Malonson, Chairman

Late Comedian Richard Pryor once told an immigration story and in that story he talked about how immigrants were brought into this country in boatloads unabated – no questions asked.

They were brought welcomed, coddled, loved and cared for. In his act, Pryor made a great point in that during the entire process, Pryor talked about government officials who said, “Bring em on over, Niggers won’t Mind”.  Move them into their neighborhoods and let them find a way to get along with each other. Then Pryor goes on to say… “They (White folks) didn’t ask us S!*t”. 

Pryor was alluding to the fact that the immigrants stepped right over Blacks and helped themselves to the “spoils of America” while Black folks could not even get a crumb.

Well in 2014, the tide has turned and some Black folks are speaking out; do know what is going on and do mind the wave of young immigrant children coming in and this time have stepped up to the plate with their concerns.

The move to bring some children into HISD and possibly to I.M. Terrell Middle School- a HISD neighborhood school that was closed and is now being considered as a temporary shelter for immigrant children.

What has raised the ire of Black residents living in the community is how elected officials like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee opened dialog with the government and HISD to consider bringing Central American children into Black neighborhoods, but failed to Ask or consider needs in her own district. It was done without discussing the proposal or plans or timetables with people living in the neighborhood.

As one resident put it, the people are concerned about safety, crime and the lack of control of immigrants who might inhabit the neighborhood.

It was also made crystal clear that while being saddened by the conditions in Central America, the most important thing Lee, HISD, the government should do is to take care of home first and care about what is going on right here in our backyards.

Looking at numbers and proposed $4 billion spending during the crisis, the government has projected the following breakdown:

According to a report by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, this emergency supplemental request is a direct result of the urgent situation in the Rio Grande Valley. In fiscal year 2013, CBP apprehended approximately 24,000 unaccompanied children at the border.

By the end of June of this fiscal year, that number has already doubled to more than 57,000, and it continues to climb. The DHS are preparing for a scenario in which the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border could reach up to 90,000 by the end of fiscal year 2014.

According to Johnson, the President has requested support on emergency supplemental appropriations legislation providing DHS with $1.5 billion for fiscal year 2014 and 2015 costs related to surge in unaccompanied children and families. Of this amount, $433 million is included for CBP and $1.104 billion is included for ICE.

Of the $433 million included for CBP, $329 million is for operational costs to include care, feeding, and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups. In addition, this amount would provide $35 million for new processing and detention facilities at Nogales and McAllen.

The requested amount would include $116 million for operational costs associated with the transportation of unaccompanied children to HHS custody, and $879 million for 6,350 additional family unit beds, 23,000 additional alternatives to detention participants per day, additional prosecution capacity, and related transportation and removal costs for family groups.

We Must Understand that taxpayer dollars are being spent on a situation without taking of complete look at the needs of Black neighborhoods at home.

Politicians, like Congresswoman Jackson Lee are quick to jump on the bandwagon and offer up the Black neighborhoods and communities as sacrificial lambs in the name doing something.

We can identify with the plight of unaccompanied immigrant children, but We Must Understand what is at stake in our communities and the importance of balancing the scales at home.

Our children need magnate quality schools in every neighborhood and a education plan that keeps school open in these neighborhoods and with fair, equal and balanced programs and services that ensure equality and success.

When will all Black local elected officials going to stand up and truly be a proactive voice and represent the people who elected them. We have parents and children living in poor, squalid homes and tough conditions right here in Houston too.

When will Black politicians care enough about their own to be motivated, excited and aggressive about the problems children and adults are experiencing in their districts such as closing schools, equality in education for our children, crime, injustice, unemployment and economic development just to name a few topics…. Right now, WE DO MIND and WE ARE ASKING THE QUESTIONS!!! 

More to Come.