manufactured outrage
Ever since pictures surfaced of children being held at immigration detention centers, the mainstream media, social media, celebrities and world leaders have had harsh words and condemnation. To say Trump and his administration have experienced a firestorm of criticism may be an understatement. Actor Peter Fonda recently deleted his tweet where he said he wanted to 'rip Barron Trump from his mother' and put him in a 'cage with pedophiles'. Meanwhile, north of the border, a member of the Liberal party called Trump supporter's subhuman and said they should be rounded up and have their children taken away from them. British PM Theresa May said:
"On the very important issue that he's raised, of what we have seen in the United States, the pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong. This is not something we agree with. This is not the United Kingdom's approach."
Meanwhile, the UK has its fair share of deplorable conditions and treatments of immigrants and asylum seekers which sees people held for indefinite periods of time in what essentially amounts to prisons, before anything is done about it. And let's not forget that the UK also separates children. As for the rest of the world? Well, Canada is not exactly the most liberal when it comes to detaining families and/or separating children. Same goes for Australia and Germany. The blatant hypocrisy is even more apparent seeing as Western countries in particular are often the cause of refugee crises to begin with, fomenting destabilization and regime change across the Middle East and around the world.

This isn't a simple or easy thing to write about. Any sane person would naturally not agree to taking children away from their parents unless the children are in serious danger from the parents themselves. However, what 'the left' seems to have missed entirely is that this has been going on for decades and reported about, yet the stories received very little traction and interest from the mainstream media, the same media that shed crocodile tears about it just recently, which is why most people are only hearing about this now. Below we'll take a quick look at what they've been ignoring.

A Brief History of US Immigration

Throughout most of the 20th century, illegal immigration to the US had been handled by the (INS) Immigration Naturalization Services. After WWII, and since the 1950s and 60s, illegal immigration was not only tolerated, but encouraged because migrant and undocumented workers provided a cheap and expendable workforce in agriculture and other low-skilled jobs across the United States. And because they weren't official US citizens, there were no basic labor protections such as overtime pay, workers' compensation, protection for unionizing and collective bargaining, and child labor laws. Congress did nothing about this due to the lobbying powers of these same industries, but also because cheap and exploited labor had made up the backbone of these very same industries for the previous 70-80 years.

As the years went on, illegal immigration 'south of the border' into the United States approximately doubled every decade, with the 1980s seeing an explosion in border crossings, an increasing trend that continues up to today. Those caught by border patrol were handed over to the INS and detained for processing. This included men, women and children. Because the potential for molestation and sexual assault from other adults was high and the fact that the INS only handed over custody to legal guardians (who were often in custody with the children as well), the only options were to either keep the children detained for however long it took to naturalize or deport their parents or guardians, or move them to another facility.

This culminated in the Flores Settlement, which sought to 1) screen potential adults who weren't legal guardians to get children through the detainment process as quickly as possible, and 2) move them to facilities that were specifically geared towards the welfare of the child, which included schooling, regular check-ups, etc. In other words, the US government has been 'ripping children' from the arms of their parents for over 30 years, so why exactly are those on 'the left' suddenly up-in-arms about it? We'll come to that later.

In 1996 under the Clinton regime -- read: Democratic Party -- things became worse when he signed the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) as well as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). According to this report by Human Rights Watch, the law allowed the US to "authorize certain now-widely-used fast-track deportation procedures" and "eliminated key defenses against deportation and subjected many more immigrants, including legal permanent residents, to detention and deportation." It also made it "much more difficult for people fleeing persecution to apply for asylum." Both of these Acts were undoubtedly draconian in nature:
Over the last two decades, Human Rights Watch has documented how these laws rip apart the families of even long-term legal residents via the broad swath of criminal convictions considered triggers for automatic deportation or detention.

Antonio C. (pseudonym), a legal permanent resident from Ecuador, is just one current example. US authorities are detaining him for deportation on the basis of a 2005 drug conviction. He was brought to the US when he was a year old and has seven US citizen children, including a 3-year-old son with autism.

"I grew up in a neighborhood in Queens that was basically drugs and fighting," he told Human Rights Watch. "And I messed up. But I paid for what I did and I learned my lesson. Now they are trying to take me away from my kids."

The laws have also helped perpetuate a system of unnecessarily widespread immigration detention. They include provisions authorizing mandatory, sometimes prolonged detention during deportation proceedings for thousands of immigrants who have already served their criminal sentences for drugs or other crimes. The mandatory detention provisions also require detention of non-citizens in expedited deportation procedures while they apply for asylum or humanitarian protection.
After the events of 9/11, the US clamped down even further on immigration as part of the new anti-terrorism laws passed in the aftermath of the attacks. Shockingly, before the World Trade Centers were brought down, George 'Dubya' Bush met with his Mexican counterpart, Vicente Fox, several times in order to hash out a more comprehensive plan to bring more Mexican migrants into the US more easily, yet all of that was scrapped and the focus changed to enforcement and deportation. These changes led to immigration being controlled by the newly-created Department of Homeland Security and ICE, whose task it was to keep illegal immigrants out of the US.

The issue had become politicized and Congress couldn't sweep this under the rug any longer. With the media beating the drums of war and ramping up the paranoia switch, American discourse was ripe with fear that more terrorist attacks were imminent. The 'War on Terror' caused the public to become highly amenable to suggestion (as it still is) and people accepted without question the hard-line approach to border control.

Children Kept in Cages

More than anything else, it was a photo of children and families in detention centers and cages - tweeted by former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau (among others) - that brought immigration back into focus and allowed 'the left' to fan the flames against Trump and his 'racist' immigration policies.

Yet it turns out these images were taken in 2014 - during Obama's presidency. While it doesn't excuse the terrible conditions and stress that illegal immigrants to the US suffer, it does illustrate the apathy of 'the Left' that few screamed bloody murder at the Obama administration's horrific treatment of asylum seekers, or the fact that they were 'ripping' children away from their parents. What we have seen under Trump is merely a continuation of these laws passed under Bill Clinton's presidency and immediately after 9/11.

In Trump's original 'zero tolerance' policy, those who were apprehended for crossing illegally would have their children removed since it is illegal for the children to be kept in federal criminal detention facilities. And make no mistake, since the sweeping changes in legislation under Clinton, Bush and Obama, that is exactly how the US government views adult immigrants crossing the border illegally - as criminals.

What few people seem to realize is that Trump sought to amend this status with Executive Order 13841 , which sought to keep families together, although this was in direct contravention of the Flores Settlement mentioned above that was put in place to protect children by not allowing them to be kept in detention facilities for more than 20 days. And for those thinking that keeping them together is the right thing to do, you just need to look into the recent history of these 'family detention centers' and the conditions of the 'inmates '. Trump may be continuing on the path of mass deportations, but Obama paved the way for the violation of the original settlement, whose sole purpose was to look after the children's welfare.

Another distinction to be made is that in the majority of cases, children coming through are categorized as 'unaccompanied minors', so the DHS must hand over custody of these unaccompanied children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within 72 hours, who manage "custody and care of the children until they can be released to family members or other individuals or organizations while their court proceedings go forward". The left is eager to conflate the issue and make it seem like children are being kept in 'metal cages' indefinitely. But upon entry they are taken to placement centers (the pictures shown from 2014) and those who are separated are taken into custody by the ORR. Their facilities are very different from the 'cages' and conditions are better than the ones whole families are staying in, with as many as 25,000 children ending up in ORR care in 2013. That's more than twice the number of children currently in ORR care.

'Family' Detention Centers

What most reporters fail to mention is that accompanied children (those that are caught and have their parent or guardian with them) are moved to what are called "Family Residential Facilities" after placement. These centers have been steeped in controversy since their opening as they are where most illegal immigrants families will go - and remain - until a judge either allows them to remain in the US or they are deported. All of these facilities existed well before the current administration and the conditions that migrant families have had to endure at these facilities has been ongoing since their creation. It seems rather convenient that the media would turn a blind eye to this during 8 years of Obama, and almost 8 years of Bush, and only now make an issue of it.

The first family detention center was known as Berks Family Residential Center, in Berks County,
© Bill Uhrich/Reading Eagle
Pennsylvania. A former nursing home, it was used since 2001 to house families and is the only facility that doesn't have a time limit as to how long someone is detained, which includes children. Some have spent up to a year waiting to see a judge and some held a hunger-strike in protest. In addition to this, they also had poor access to medical and mental-health care, legal assistance and child-care, along with being subject to sexual abuse by staff, and have attempted suicides. There were even allegations that those who complained about the poor conditions in the facility were subject to 'retaliation' that influenced their asylum-seeking cases. Although it is not a penal facility and has marginally better standards compared to the other centers, it is still not considered an appropriate place to detain families, and, hence, children.

Don Hutto

T. Don Hutto
In 2006, one of the more notorious facilities was the T. Don Hutto detention center, a criminal medium-security prison that was to become the largest family residential center in the US at the time. As with Berks, in addition to the long detention times, conditions there were more akin to prison sentences. Among other things, children could not wear their own clothing and had no access to soft toys and very limited recreation time. Schooling was almost non-existent. Children would also be separated from their parents as a form of punishment. This 2007 report by the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children outlines in detail the conditions at both Berks and Hutto, which, for the most part, violated the terms set out in the Flores Settlement. This eventually led to a lawsuit filed against ICE for human rights violations. Although conditions had improved there, the facility was eventually closed down in 2009 after years of controversy. It was then reopened as what it really always was: a prison.

Outside the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Tex.
In 2014, the Obama government opened three new facilities to deal with the surge in migrant families seeking asylum. First was 'Artesia' in New Mexico (which was closed shortly thereafter), then 'Karnes' followed by 'Dilley', located in Texas, both privately operated, for-profit, corrections facilities. As with the other centers before them, immigrants are also kept in a prison-like environment where there is limited access to things like legal aid, medical care and child services. Here too, some of the 'inmates' were subject to sexual misconduct and abuse by staff. They have been described by some as a WW2-era internment camp and closure of the facilities has been advocated by various groups which have concluded that there is no humane way to detain families. Additional background information on the above facilities can also be found here.


Democrats Show Their Love For The Children

While all of this was happening under Obama's watch, there wasn't a single peep from Democrats. Indeed, both Democrats and the media seemed to engage in a concerted effort to actually keep quiet about the issue. In this video Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar told CNN, "It was kept very quiet under the Obama Administration. There were large numbers of people coming in. The Obama administration was trying to keep this quiet." Yet now that Trump is in office, Democrat Senator for New York, Chuck Schumer, said recently:
[Trump] Can fix it with this flick of a pen by signing a presidential order to end the agonizing screams of small children who've been separated from their parents. Mr. President, I'll lend you my pen, any pen. You can fix it yourself. So we're here today to say Mr. President, you should and you must fix this problem. But if you don't want to change this cruel policy, at least admit it was your decision. Blaming other's falsely is cheap, easy and dishonest.
Schumer ought to take a look in the mirror because his statement is nothing more than an underhanded, hypocritical attempt at stoking public emotions and using the suffering and plight of immigrant children as political leverage against Trump. This weasel of a character (of which there are many on Capitol Hill) cares nothing for the children that are caught at the borders, nor has he ever shown concern for the conditions they have been kept in over the years. Here's another video from 2009 showing Mr. Schumer's true colors when it comes to immigration. It's sickening how easily these people change their tune as soon as it suits their agenda. And let's not forget Hillary Clinton. The psychopathic darling of the last presidential election race is very much in line with her husband's policy changes in 1996, regardless of what she may say today. When questioned on whether immigrant children should be allowed to stay, she had this to say:

And in 2003 she was "adamantly against illegal immigrants":

And 'Deporter-in-Chief' Obama's message to migrant parents:

The Obama administration broke apart approximately 1.5 million immigrant families. Almost half of the 3 million adults deported through the enforcement of Obama's immigration policy had US-born children. Many of those deported had no criminal history or proper legal representation in court and often were the primary breadwinner, leaving families devastated. It was also under Obama's watch that children were placed in the hands of human traffickers. Contrast that with Trump 'losing' 1,500 migrant children (which turns out to be more media confabulation). Brittany Hughes explains:

And regardless of her 'right-leaning' stance, she brings up a very good point highlighted throughout this article - where was the outrage back then? Where were the cries of 'racism', 'xenophobia' or disgust at the US government under Obama separating parents from children?

Trump has received a lot of flack for wanting to build a wall (and no, he didn't get the idea from Pink Floyd), but back in 2006 the Democrats supported the idea presented by Republicans of doubling down on fencing and barriers separating Mexico and the US. This led to the creation of the Secure Fence Act of 2006 which saw, over the course of several years, the DHS build over 650 miles of double barrier fencing and spending close to $2.3 billion dollars from 2007-2015. The initial estimate for the budget on this fencing was $50 billion, more than double the amount budgeted for Trump's wall.

The reality is that a wall along the border, if it were to deter illegal border crossing, may actually be a benefit, although it may also be a colossal waste given that if someone really wants to cross the border, they will find a way, no matter how dangerous. As already pointed out, the amount of people trying to illegally cross the border has doubled each decade and there are severe backlogs throughout the system. People are being held for upwards of a year or longer in cramped conditions, living in limbo and unsure whether or not they will be deported. Children are often released and given to guardians, only to disappear and never be seen again. There are almost no case follow-ups to check if they are alright or alive. And given that some of the adults that try to cross the border with children aren't even their parents, but rather drug-smugglers and human traffickers, it's even more imperative to find out what has happened to these children. But no one, neither Democrat or Republican, seems to give a damn.

A secondary benefit to curbing immigration is that the fewer who make it across the border, the less will be spent on welfare, education, tax credits and other benefits that are often taken advantage of by undocumented migrants. If the wall even stopped half of the illegal immigration into the US from south of the border, close to $64 billion would be saved. But no, a wall would be 'inhumane' because it is 'racist'. To make matters more interesting, it appears the Republicans are more interested in dealing with the immigration issue than the Democrats are, even though they claim to be 'fighting for immigrant rights'.
Even if the false narrative of Nazi-like cruelty were true, naïve opinion columns in left-leaning media outlets are not the way to handle the problem. It can, in fact, be resolved without much difficulty by Congress. Indeed, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has already proposed just such a bill. The Texas Tribune reports that the provisions of the legislation would include doubling the number of federal immigration judges, authorizing new temporary shelters to keep families together, requiring immigrant families to be kept together in the absence of criminal conduct, and providing for expedited processing of legitimate asylum cases.

The bill has the support of prominent Republicans, and there is no doubt that the President would sign it into law without hesitation. It would not merely solve a variety of practical problems encountered at the border and stop most separations of children from genuine parents. It would calm down the hysteria surrounding this issue. But the Democrats aren't willing to support it. Why? Because they don't really give a rat's posterior about "the children." What they want is an issue that they can leverage into a majority in at least one house of Congress in the midterms. If this problem is resolved, they're toast. Thus, as the Hill reports:

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday dismissed a legislative proposal backed by Republican leaders to keep immigrant families together at the border.... Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump.
But all this leads to another important question - why has the US seen a massive influx in immigration over the last few decades, but particularly in recent years? Most of the refugees come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras (aka 'the northern triangle'). What happened in this region to cause so many people to flee to the borders of Mexico and the US? The long answer to that lies in US foreign policy over the last hundred years. A culmination of military incursions (overt and covert) and free trade policies that destroyed those countries' economies and infrastructure, creating conditions ripe for extreme government corruption, poverty and associated violence.

In addition to its policy of imperialist/paternalist intervention, the US' get-tough approach to immigration after the 1992 LA Riots led to the creation of a growing street gang presence in Central America. It reached a peak when a 2013 breakdown of a truce between two of the biggest rival gangs (MS-13 and Barrio 18) led to a dramatic increase in homicide rates in El Salvador, causing many to flee the violence and setting off the 2014 immigration crisis. In short, this situation is one created entirely by the US' many years of meddling in other countries affairs, and those chickens are finally coming home to roost.

How This Relates to the 'Bigger Picture'

So we ask the question again, why are the left up-in-arms about this? When we delve deeper into the complexities surrounding children and immigration, we see that not everything is so black-and-white. As easy as it is to lay all the blame at Trump's feet, powerful forces within the Democratic party have been complicit in perpetuating the immigration problem for decades (as well as the mainstream media, whose responsibility it was to inform the public). So why inflame public sentiment and create more division along political and racial lines? Does it have anything to do with distracting people from the Senate quietly passing a $716 billion defense policy bill that was voted on almost unanimously by both Democrats AND Republicans, who seem to get along just fine when it involves fleecing the taxpayer in the interest of their friends in big business?

What is also apparent is how dogmatic the left has become, or as Brandon Straka put it: "intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded, and at times blatantly fascistic behavior and rhetoric," and that it has been "co-opted and absorbed by the very characteristics it claims to fight against." He finishes by saying that the Democratic party will "do absolutely nothing for you..."

Migrant children represent one small part of the left's ever growing willingness to transform any and all issues into fuel for their radical platform. With the 2018 midterms coming up, we can expect to see more virtue-signalling as the Democratic party tries to maintain their grip on whatever power they have left. They don't give a damn about this 'cause' and neither does their libtard army. It is only by playing into our emotions and removing our ability to have rational and open discussions that they prevent us from arriving at possible solutions to entrenched problems. What's needed now, more than ever, is for more people to break free of the ideological prisons and right/left dichotomies they've created for us by learning to collaborate with each other in the pursuit of truth over lies, and separating fact from fiction. To do otherwise makes us pawns in the Establishment's dirty games for power and control.
"The more they can keep us factionalized, fragmented and insulated in tight echo chambers, the more politically impotent they make everyone in the world who opposes US imperialism, surveillance, CIA sociopathy and establishment cronyism. I speak from experience when I say that the walls of peer pressure, manipulation and manufactured taboos that they have erected around us to keep us from talking to each other are extremely high and very complex, but it's the only way sufficient force will ever be generated to shove any of the pillars of empire hard enough to make it fall."
anti-war left