[guest post by Dana]
At the risk of immigration update overload, I wanted to briefly mention a few interesting reports.
First, in Murrieta, CA, the local Penny Saver newspaper ran an ad seeking “loving, compassionate parents to provide a loving home”… for “unaccompanied refugee minors”. According to the ad, monthly reimbursement for providing a home can pay more than $6,000 per month.
Oddly, one Murrieta resident called to inquire about the ad and a staff member told her that the children being received are 12 years old and up. When she asked where the younger ones were, the staff member replied that he wondered about that, too.
As the illegal unaccompanied minors are being disbursed throughout Southern California in temporary shelters, local churches are stepping up to receive the children (and mothers) for a brief period until they are sent to be united with relatives throughout the country. Diocese officials stated that they are not receiving any federal reimbursement or monetary support, but that it is on a voluntary basis.
Also, the city of Murrieta, which recently received a black eye from some of the press due to protesting residents effectively causing three Homeland Security buses carrying illegal immigrant detainees to re-reroute from the Murrieta Border Station, has now hired a P.R. firm to help with damage control and handle media requests. And taking their cue from Sally Kohn, the firm has requested the “I” word no longer be used in reference to the children. Here are the management consultant’s suggested talking points for the city:
* Don’t use the terms “illegal” or “invaders”
* Say Murrieta is a family community and we have compassion for those kids
* Talk about Obama’s orphans being dumped in Murrieta
* Push the fact that [local Congressman Ken] Calvert is missing (in action)
* Use signs that are meaningful and convey a quick message
* Flag is good, but signs say more
* Don’t use the word quarantine
While city officials must certainly hope its frustrated residents fall in line with the prescribed messaging, it doesn’t appear that this is the type of crowd, at least at this point, willing to fall in line with much of anything suggested by a governmental entity. Also, I suspect residents don’t want to risk seeing their own blunt messaging watered down so much that it possibly loses its effectiveness. Frustratingly, while the messaging of protesters-at-large has become a convenient tool for this White House and a willing media to distract from those ultimately responsible for the problem in the first place, without it, they – and we – risk not being heard at all.
(#3 should be hammered relentlessly.)