Manchester’s mayor and aldermen were wise to grant the request of the Holy Cross Family Learning Center for additional funds ($5,000) in its effort to avoid closing. The center does a world of good for small dollars to acclimate refugees new to the city.
Mayor Joyce Craig and the aldermen would also be wise to do a better job of examining how, why, and when it agrees to take on more refugees.
The logic used last week in agreeing to continue to accept refugees was a bit circular. Mayor Craig said that most of the 100 or so to come here over the next year are related to families already here.
If the city didn’t agree to take them, she said, they would still be coming to America and would likely wind up here anyway because of those family ties. By accepting them, Craig said, two agencies that oversee the program will receive federal funding to assist them.
Sounds nice. But what about extended families? What about friends of families? What about any refugees from the same country? Why wouldn’t they also be likely to come to Manchester?
“The government said it’s okay for them to come, and the federal money comes with them,” opined Ward 9 Alderman Barbara Shaw. “When you look at the big picture, they’re going to come one way or another.”
The big picture, however, includes not only refugees but immigration overall, including the continuing problem of illegal immigration. And there isn’t enough “federal money” in the world to address it.
But, hey, “they’re going to come one way or another” sounds like a great plan.
Perhaps it could be a new Manchester motto.