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LET THEM STAY

Over 50,000 young unaccompanied children seeking to enter the U.S. without papers have been detained on the Texas border.  Few Americans appreciate the complexity of the situation or that U.S. policies toward Central America are largely the cause.   The children are fleeing a lawlessness and gang violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.  The threats to their safety are real but so is the reality that many come believing they will be permitted to remain in the U.S. due to a law enacted to combat trafficking in people.  On one side of the argument are those screaming “Send them home;” and, on the other side are those pleading “Let them stay.”  I choose the latter side because speeding up deportations would establish a bad precedent in denying them hearing rights and because we are the last refuge for these young “huddled masses.”  The numbers of children sound large but in actuality are a pebble in the stream of our over 300 million. The real questions:  Do we want to be moved by fear and hate or by compassion?  Shall we live up to the promise of our beginning and ideals or succumb to a baser emotion that pulls us downward into a spiral of falling short.

 

LET THEM STAY

(To tune of “Bring Him Home,” by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer (English Lyrics) from Broadway Musical Les Miserables)
U.S.A.
Keep them here.
In the past
We have always been there.

They are young.
They’re afraid.
Hearts turned brave
For the trip they have made.

Desperate times
On the run.
Don’t send them home
To the law of a gun.

Let them stay.
Let them stay.
Let them stay.

To show compassion isn’t wrong.
We can be kind and still be strong.

What they’ve seen
They’ve endured.
Fragile hopes
On our doorstep are poured.

Show them love.
Resist hate.
Look at them.
Do they threaten our state?

They’re just kids
Like our own.
Tired and hungry
Scared and alone.

Some have died
on the way.
All have cried.
Let them stay.

Who we are
Show the world.
We still care
For each boy and each girl.

Let them stay.
Let them stay.
Let them stay.

Lyric © 2014 by Robert S. Steinberg,
Esquire All rights reserved

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