Thursday, August 09, 2018

Rural editor: Why do Americans care about Thai boys in cave but not undocumented kids separated from parents?

When 12 Thai boys were trapped in a cave a few weeks ago, the news captured the world's attention.

"Why did we care so deeply? We didn't know them. We didn't know their names or their families. We didn't speak their language. We didn't really understand why they had entered that cave, or ventured so far inside. Most of us had never been to Thailand. Many of us still probably couldn't point to it on a map. And yet, there we were, trapped in a dark cave along with them," Editor-Puiblisher Laurie Ezzell Brown writes for The Canadian Record in Canadian, Texas. "During the long ordeal, we prayed for those children, wept for them, eagerly followed every report of the effort to find them--and then, to rescue them before the monsoon rains could seal their fates. We cheered the rescuers' bravery and cunning, and mourned the death of one diver who sacrificed his life to save them. Heroes, all."

But America's public outpouring of love for those Thai boys contrasts sharply with the nation's attitude toward immigrant children separated from their parents back in the U.S., Ezzell writes.

"We don't know these immigrant families. We don't know their names or where they come from, Most of us do not speak the same language. We don't really understand why they came here illegally, or what sacrifices they made to do so. We may never have visited their native country, and probably, if asked, could not pinpoint the hometowns they left on a map," Ezzell writes. "But if we try, we might be able to imagine what could cause us to make such a desperate decision. We can imagine leaving our homes, our loved ones, and all that is familiar, to embark on a difficult and dangerous journey."

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