If only this were just happening in Texas

Instead of all over the country, now that we’ve had a downturn in the economy.
The Houston Chronicle reports a localized incident: needy kids can’t get toys for Christmas from charity until their parents present copies of their papers to the proper authorities, because having a child who isn’t here legally get a toy would lead to the collapse of the Empire, or some damn thing.

The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children

In a year when more families than ever have asked for help, several programs providing Christmas gifts for needy children require at least one member of the household to be a U.S. citizen. Others ask for proof of income or rely on churches and schools to suggest recipients.

The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

The point isn’t to punish the children but to ensure that their parents are either citizens, legal immigrants or working to become legal residents, said Lorugene Young, whose Outreach Program Inc. is one of three groups that distribute toys collected by firefighters.

“It’s not our desire to turn anyone down,” she said. “Those kids are not responsible if they are here illegally. It is the parents’ responsibility.”

Not all Houston charities are doing the “Papers, Pliss” grinch-act, for which I am very glad. That some feel it’s more important to dot the i’s and cross the t’s of taxable status or immigration status than to give a child some joy at Christmas is a harsh comment indeed on human nature.

The holiday’s called Christmas… why do the Christianists object so strenously to Christ’s message?
(Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and love thy neighbor as thyself.”

Houston’s PD may be doing the right thing, according to that Chronicle story, though:

Other groups don’t require specific documentation, relying instead on outside groups to recommend families.

“When you distribute toys to 10,000 to 12,000 kids, it’s impossible to background (check) every child,” said Fred Joe Pyland, a Houston police officer who oversees the Blue Santa program. Blue Santa doesn’t consider immigration status but collects names from police officers, schools and churches.

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