Readers React: How many other Americans started here as 8-year-old migrants?

A boy carries a picture of Jakelin Caal, a 7-year-old who died after being taken into custody by the U.S. Border Patrol last month, as her coffin is taken for burial in Guatemala. On Dec. 24, another child migrant from Guatemala died in the U.S.
(Johan Ordonez / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: I am heartened that in our country, the death of an 8-year-old immigrant still warrants front-page news coverage.

My own grandfather was an 8-year-old migrant who came to this country by himself in the early 1900s. I know almost nothing of his journey here or his early life, as he rarely spoke of such things.

A rags-to-riches story? Hardly, but his is certainly a rags-to-solid-middle-class story. He was ultimately a successful businessman, a homeowner, a taxpayer and a proud citizen who stood with hand over heart whenever the flag passed by or the anthem played.


My heart aches when I wonder what we have lost in the death of that one child.

Nancy Garf Moses, Irvine


To the editor: It is a disgrace that people are trying to blame President Trump for the deaths of two children recently while in the custody of U.S. immigration officials.

These children were exposed to grave danger by their own family members. It is inevitable that there will be horrible outcomes when young people are put in such situations.

In fact, thousands more children who showed up at the border as unaccompanied minors were placed in harm’s way due to the lax immigration policies of the last administration. Where was the outrage then?

To blame Trump for these deaths underscores the irrational and warped thought process from those who just flat out hate the man. Get over the last election, people, and get on with your lives.

Joseph Schillmoeller, Gardena



To the editor: A young Guatemalan boy died in U.S. custody.

He was neither a rapist nor a drug trafficker, but merely an 8-year-old child seeking refuge and guided by the promise of the “lamp beside the golden door.”

Trump cannot lay this one off on Hillary’s emails, or Obamacare, or the Democrats, or the Federal Reserve chairman. No, just as surely as the president owns the government shutdown, he owns this one all by himself.

Thanks, Mr. President, for making America great again.

Herb Weinberg, Marina del Rey


To the editor: Although this is horrible for the little boy, does anyone not think that death is possible for a young boy after a dangerous trip through Mexico without reliable access to food, medicine or water?

How many Americans died when traveling across America in covered wagons? Most of them also walked. Sickness and flu were common occurrences. Death is not unusual under these circumstances.

The parents of these children are responsible, not the government.

Jeff Whitfield, Santa Ana

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