From F5, Wichita:
by Bill Jenkins
August 7, 2014
Oh, Newton, I am so disappointed. Last week, at a city council meeting which was considering an action that could lead to bringing some of the young border jumpers to Newton temporarily, the local NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) showed up in force and made their wishes clear.
The actual item on the agenda was a request by EmberHope for a letter of support for their request for federal funds to bring 30 or so of these refugees to Newton, to the Youthville campus, for five or so weeks. Presumably, relatives would be located, the kids would be reunited with them and wait with them for the immigration status hearing that George W. Bush-era legislation says they have to have.
Youthville, once a Methodist home for troubled kids, seems a reasonable place for these young people to be kept in humane custody. It has a long history of this kind of work. The folks at EmberHope claimed that up to 50 jobs could be created in the community and that more youth could be served over a three-year period.
The NIMBYs were adamant. Some cited the possibility of contagious illnesses being brought to Newton. Perhaps the ebola epidemic in Africa sets off red lights in people's field of vision. Surely, these children have nothing that the local medical establishment can't handle.
Others raised the specter of gangs and gang violence being brought to town. Haven't these young folks repeatedly given gang violence as a major reason why they left Honduras or Guatemala?
Are they going to make a 180 degree turn and in the five weeks they are there and turn Newton into gang territory?
The language barrier was also cited as a problem. Really? In 21st Century Kansas? Where can you go without finding a Spanish speaker? Just an excuse!
Some of the audience members threatened to leave Newton if the children were admitted. Other speakers said that the government shouldn't be asked to pay; it was a job for private or church charities.
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