USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - WEATHER - RE­SPECT BOR­DER PA­TROL Marvin Woodie

Crit­ics of Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion and the Bor­der Pa­trol, who are tak­ing these agen­cies to task for the chil­dren who died un­der their watch, don’t know the whole story — and nei­ther do I.

Please, don’t crit­i­cize the gov­ern­ment for these hor­ri­ble tragedies. Crit­ics of the gov­ern­ment in these sit­u­a­tions are us­ing chil­dren’s deaths as a po­lit­i­cal is­sue. None of the peo­ple who writes these scathing opin­ions about our gov­ern­ment agents at the bor­ders were there. They don’t know what hap­pened.

Why did their par­ents bring these chil­dren on this aw­ful jour­ney? I know some say they did it to leave po­lit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion in their na­tive coun­tries. How­ever, they knew it was a hor­ri­ble and po­ten­tial deadly jour­ney through mul­ti­ple coun­tries be­fore ar­riv­ing at the U.S. bor­der. The par­ents of these chil­dren have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect them.

Stop play­ing pol­i­tics with this is­sue here in the U.S. If peo­ple want to en­act change, go to El Sal­vador or Gu­atemala and change the gov­ern­ments of those na­tions. That’s where the prob­lem lies. Make your state­ments to the gov­ern­ments of those hor­ri­ble, vi­o­lence-strewn coun­tries. But please, stop crit­i­ciz­ing our Bor­der Pa­trol and im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers. They do a very tough job, and I’m sure they have the in­ter­est of all peo­ple at heart. Blue­field, W.V.

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