Friday, May 27, 2005

Child-Rape Suspect Is Illegal Alien

Milagro Cunningham, charged in the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Florida, leaving her for dead in a dumpster, is an illegal alien from the Bahamas. Since his arrival in 2003, he has three burglary arrests and was on probation at the time the girl was abducted. His prior arrest records are sealed because he was charged in juvenile court.

The 17-year-old appears to have entered as an unaccompanied minor on a short-term visitor visa. He had been staying with an aunt and uncle until about 4 months ago, according to the AP report.

There is no excuse for juvenile courts not checking the immigration status of those arrested. He should have been deported long ago.

Better yet, bar unaccompanied minors from entry. Over 5,000 children -- unaccompanied by their parents -- are caught entering the US each year.

Some have been abandoned by their parents for years while they live & work in the US illegally, then hire smugglers to bring the children over, subjecting them to the horrors of smugglers' ill treatment as well as the hazards of illegal border crossing. Worse, parent-child bonds are broken, and all they learn from those parents is that "it's okay to break the law."

Some are trafficked through "intenational adoption" schemes or sold by parents who would rather get $500 than care for a child they didn't want and couldn't afford in the first place.

Some are teens seeking more money than they can earn at home, but they lack both job skills and education for jobs here, as well as being underage and illegal.

Some are brought by wealthy parents, who install them in a house and leave them in the care of servants -- just to get a free secondary education and entre to US universities.

The only way to stop child trafficking, child abandonment, child sales is to bar their entry. Hand them over to their consular authorities for repatriation and reunite them with parents or relatives.

It is utterly barbaric to take children out of their familiar countries, cultures, languages, friends and classmates, and dump them in a foreign land. Send them home. And by the way, other countries will be forced to step up to the plate and improve their child welfare systems, rather than dumping their responsibilities on the kind-but-misguided hearts of some Americans who make excuses for bad behavior.

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