Central Maryland is richly steeped in American history, making it not only a point of pride for Marylanders, but also a great point of interest for any red-blooded American. It is where the National Anthem was written, as Francis Scott Key witnessed British Royal Navy ships bomb Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore, Edgar Allan Poe crafted The Raven along its city streets, and it is home to the single winningest Olympic athlete of all-time Michael Phelps. There is also a world renowned hospital, Johns Hopkins, where people fly in from all over seeking medical attention. It may only be a tiny blip on the map, but it is a place for U.S. citizens to call home, and until very recently, it was a region that has always welcomed outsiders with open arms. The battle of immigration may be taking its toll though, and as tensions rise, some central Maryland residents are lashing out.
Just two weekends ago, hostility levels rose to a whole new level when a shelter site in the town of Westminster, Maryland, was spray painted with a slanderous graffiti marking, according to CNN that read, “No illeagles here. No undocumented Democrats.” The act of vandalism was a clear target toward a growing immigrant population in the area and Maryland law enforcement is investigating the matter as a hate crime.
Last week brought more unsettling news, this time involving a group of roughly 50 immigrant children in the town of Timonium, Maryland. Catholic Charities, a group that helps the less fortunate, is seeking help from Baltimore County officials to shelter the 50 immigrant children at a facility in Timonium. One state delegate, Wade Kach, a Republican running for city council was quoted as saying, “I do not support this proposal at all,” according to The Baltimore Sun, adding that the matter is “a federal problem.”
The next step is for Catholic Charities to apply for a federal grant to house the children that have fled from Central America. As it stands, the children are under the care of Catholic Charities, searching out some form of support from an outside party. The deadline for that application is August 5.
To date, 57,000 children, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, have fled to the United States since October, according to The Baltimore Sun, pointing to a significant and threatening issue of humanitarianism in America. The matter reaches well beyond the confines of central Maryland and is at the front door step of each and every American citizen. As officials decree where the responsibility lies, there is real potential that the battle over immigration in the US could be taken to a new level, one with the threat of violence.
Take away the borders and the lines drawn in the sand, and still, America is a country that stands united and is the first to lend a helping hand, but the fact is, illegal immigration is penetrating U.S. borders by the droves and the battle of immigration is turning Americans against one another. It goes beyond central Maryland, and has crept into each and every state where it has become a crisis on the national level, and one that if not addressed soon, could see Americans taking the law into their own hands. The time has come to stop and take a look at the writing on the wall before it is too late.
By Justin Williams