Recently, I woke up at 4 a.m. and drove to Oracle to welcome the refugee children who fled their country to escape poverty, violence, terror and murder. My purpose was simple and clear — I was concerned about the welfare and treatment of these innocent children. When I arrived, I was joined by 150 like-minded persons who came together to peacefully show compassion and respect for the rights of these victims whose countries were in terrible conditions. These conditions were caused by bad decisions made by adults.

To my surprise, when I returned home my precocious, middle-school granddaughter expressed curiosity and concern about my trip. Apparently, she had followed the news all day and had a litany of questions and comments about what was happening in Oracle.

First, she asked in an altered voice, “Tata, was it safe there for you and the children? I saw on the news that a group of people were very angry and it looked like they wanted to bully the children just like bad kids do in playgrounds. I noticed some of the angry people were wearing military uniforms, some had guns, were yelling and screaming and were carrying flags with a snake on them. I heard on TV they wanted to stop the buses and make the children go back to their country right away. Aren’t these children very poor, some are homeless and if they go back to their country they may be killed?”

Then she shifted gears and offered her solution to this problem. She told me, “I read in my history books that we are a country of immigrants where many poor immigrants escaped poverty and violence by entering our country through Ellis Island near the Statute of Liberty. Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we moved Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty to the USA and Mexico border? Then, everyone could stop yelling and not be mad at each other and everyone would be friends. We would be the friendly and caring United States of America.”

Go figure ... how young Americans really think.

Tony Bracamonte

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