There are 250 children illegally crossing into the United States daily. Most of them will eventually be released into our country along with those who we think are their parents. I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about this in the news, but I have a personal perspective that I would like to share.

For many of these children, we have no documentation, no family history, and we don’t know for certain where they come from; it could be Mexico, Costa Rico, or many countries most Americans couldn’t even point to on a map. Do these children understand our politics, our way of life, our Christian heritage or the basics of the Ten Commandments? It’s impossible to say.

As an Ohio foster parent, I can say for certain that the children we have had in our home always have had some connection to an illegal border crossing. I want to quickly tell you about three foster children.

One child’s father came to Ohio illegally and was working in the north central part of the state. He got an Ohioan pregnant, and when she was found to be an unfit parent by the courts, the child ended up in the foster care system.

Another child had a similar story. He had a father who went back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border. The foster agency knew the father, and refused to call the police and make him take responsibility for his child when the mother was found to be unfit by the courts. Yet somehow, while this child was in our home, the father somehow found a way to cross the Mexican border and all the way to north central Ohio, and did it many times with great ease.

Lastly, there was the third foster child who was not in our home. He told us when he approached the border, he went up to a man and woman walking together, held their hand, and they came into the U.S. Our Border Patrol had no idea these people were not his mother and father. In fact, they had no idea if the man and woman were even related, because we know nothing about these people crossing our borders.

We often talk about having big hearts and how we have to “do our part.” You may even have heard Laura Bush state recently she finds our policies cruel, immoral and it breaks her heart. I’d like to know if these political pundits who want to guilt us into changing to a no-border nation, would have done to take in these kids. The taxpayers are paying millions to house and feed these kids, not to mention the countless hours it takes to get them through our court systems and find them families.

Many who work for our state and foster agencies refuse to hold the father or mother accountable, even when they know who they are, where they are, and that they are here illegally. It’s time to cut the garbage. The best way to solve the problem of children being separated from their mother and father at the border is to not let them cross the border.

The first effect will be that a message will be sent to all the countries where these illegal immigrants are coming from, letting them know the U.S. border is no longer open. These people would then stop traveling thousands of miles on a dangerous journey to our border. This in and of itself would be a humane thing to do, since it will stop their dangerous travel.

Second, we would not be talking about these issues if the border were closed. There would be no need to try to discern who these people are, if they are even related, or whose children they are. This bleeding heart mentality is focused in the wrong place. Shut the border down, and have these folks come in legally, just like my grandfather did in the 1920s. My family waited some seven more years for my grandmother to be able to come over and live with her husband, because we followed the law.

Stop focusing on the wrong thing. Shut down the border, tell the people in these other countries that they can’t come across, and this problem ends. Americans will also be safer by knowing who is coming in, and taxpayers will not have to foot the bill for the many problems that these illegal people bring to our nation.


By Nino Vitale

Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) is the state representative for the 85th District.