land

This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land

The influx of Migrants continues to increase and is impacting great areas of land across the globe. For instance, almost 5,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel already this month, the highest rate since November’s 2021 record figure.

The Ministry of Defense said that 606 migrants crossed in 12 boats on Wednesday (August 17), taking the August total, so far, to 4,756. That took the total for this year to 20,858, according to figures compiled by The New York Times, which is almost double the number that crossed by the same time last year. It was not until November last year, with 6,971 crossings, that the annual total hit 20,000, which suggests this year’s total is likely to be about double last year’s tally of 28,526. As a side note, some of these migrants are being shipped off to Rwanda (that’s another story for another time).

So, what’s the point of this post?

Apparently, the influx of migrants isn’t a one-state or country issue. The dictionary defines the word “migrant” as “a person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.” For the most part, this is the common thread that links migrants together no matter where they are coming from or going to. Bringing the situation closer to home, migrant surges continue to plague the southern border, moving or being bused to places like Texas, Washington, D.C, and New York. Granted, migrants or asylum seekers should receive assistance in the first safe country or city they reach, however, that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening. The current migration situation is being used as a political pawn to get the attention of the White House and what Texas Governor Greg Abbott calls, President Biden’s “irresponsible open-border policies.” Really?

Places like New York City and D.C. are struggling to accommodate the surge in migrants as Texas begins busing them to northern cities. As city officials took aim at Abbott for busing migrants detained at the border as part of his campaign to draw attention to the influx of migrant crossing from Mexico, more migrants continue arriving in New York City and D.C. It’s clear that one city or state should not bear all the weight of the responsibility of migrants, but it’s only right that there should be a courtesy to communicate across the various city/state leadership to devise a plan to work together.

It was  reported that the transportation company Texas has been working with has a non-disclosure agreement that does not allow them to communicate with the city of New York. What kind of crap is that?! What kind of country do we live in? Aren’t we supposed to be the land of the free? I’m just saying there should be a more collaborative and workable solution.

New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, accused Abbott of forcing the migrants onto buses, an accusation denied by the governor’s office. Abbott’s office released a statement saying New York City is now a designated “drop-off location with Washington, D.C., for the busing strategy as part of the governor’s response to the Biden Administration’s open border policies overwhelming Texas communities.”

Abbott began sending thousands of migrants on buses to Washington, D.C. earlier this year as an intended affront to the Biden administration. Abbott claims that migrants willingly wanted to be bused to New York City and have signed a waiver consenting to their destination. What’s the problem here? A copy of the waiver obtained by CNN lists Washington, D.C. and New York City as “available destinations.” It also includes a line that absolves Texas and its officials from liability “arising out of or in any way relating to any injuries and damages that may occur during the agreed transport to locations outside of Texas.”

It was said that consent waivers were available in multiple languages, although some wanted to come to New York City, but how can we be sure they really understood what they were reading, signing or if they had limited reading ability?

Other individuals that arrived were seeking final destinations in Chicago, Miami, Maryland, North Carolina, along with Rochester, NY and the village of Westbury, NY. Whatever the location, people arrive hungry, thirsty and often sick while city officials detailed the challenge in providing services, such as housing, legal help and medical assistance.

About 10% of migrants arriving choose to stay in the D.C. region. Some of the families choosing to resettle permanently in D.C. have attempted to access the District’s family shelter system. Like New York City, busloads of migrants continue to stream into Washington, D.C. daily and the city’s homeless shelters are at capacity, while some of the migrants say they are staying in hotels or sleeping on the streets.

News4 reported  that The Days Inn on New York Avenue NE has become a temporary shelter for dozens of migrant families who came to D.C. from Texas and Arizona. A D.C. government official familiar with the migrant situation told News4 the city is aiding some migrant families with children, including connecting them to medical services. The official said the D.C. government is working to coordinate efforts with various non-government organizations in an effort to keep hotels from evicting migrant families.

Washington, D.C. will be offering financial assistance to local organizations that are providing resources to migrants bused to the district from border states, according to an initiative. Under the newly announced program, the district’s Office of the Attorney General will offer grants to local humanitarian groups to help cover the costs of housing, food, clothing, transportation, and legal assistance being offered to migrants as they await processing in the district. More than 6,000 migrants have been transported to Washington D.C. from Arizona and Texas.

With Covid still here, Monkey Pox and a resurgence of Polio, adding this bad situation to the mix spells possible disaster that impacts so many lives: yours, mine, and theirs. Do people also have to worry about not having a home, a place to sleep or eat, not having their bare human necessities met? Both New York City and Washington, D.C. have shouldered the burden of providing these basic needs and services, including transportation, and legal assistance, but as I stated earlier, they cannot be expected to carry this responsibility alone.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me.

Come on people, let’s work together!

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