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Boardman writes: "The pictures of thousands of children huddled in shelters are upsetting, and the tales some tell are horrifying, and that is all a real but sentimental distraction from the entrenched American power that created these conditions. American power uses these children and their families and their countries for its own ends."

The crisis at the border shows who we are as a nation. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
The crisis at the border shows who we are as a nation. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

Children at the Border, Another U.S. Foreign Policy Debacle

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

12 July 14


Seeing through the tear-jerking to the guilty U.S. Government

he pictures of thousands of children huddled in shelters are upsetting, and the tales some tell are horrifying, and that is all a real but sentimental distraction from the entrenched American power that created these conditions. American power uses these children and their families and their countries for its own ends. American power is not likely to make any meaningful changes to solve what is essentially a permanent crisis. Whatever official alleviation there is will be just enough to get those heart-rending images off the front pages, so that the profitable stream of human exploitation can be managed more “effectively.” American power insists that these are “illegal immigrants,” rather than face the reality that they are refugees from the exercise of American power.

So it’s no wonder President Obama doesn’t want to have his picture taken amid the terrible results of American policy to which he has been as much a guilty party as every other president at least since Polk.

By his actions over the years, the president appears committed to the U.S. imperial role in the world, especially in “our backyard.” There is little serious debate among the governing classes, who seem to feel their mandate is expressed by racist rioting against brown children. But there seems to be another, better America as well, perhaps a majority, out of power and out of the media, but stepping up to care for these refugees, humanely, where they are.

On July 7th, more than 100 civil rights and civil liberties, human rights, faith, immigration, labor, criminal justice, legal, and children’s rights organizations signed an open letter to the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, the man President Obama says keeps him intimately informed on the refugee situation. These organizations adamantly object to the inhumanity of administration plans to open new detention centers for families:

Family detention profoundly impacts the emotional and physical well-being of children and breaks down family relationships…. locking babies in prison cells and deporting women and young children to dangerous situations are not the solution.

This open letter has not been widely reported in mainstream media and there has apparently been no response from the administration to date.

Another coalition of civil rights and civil liberties organizations in Seattle filed a class action suit against the U.S. government on July 9th. The coalition argues that “putting children into immigration court without counsel violates both constitutional due-process rights and immigration law.” The coalition represents eight children, age 10 to 17, who face deportation hearing without representation.

The president was in Texas on July 9th, meeting with Texas governor Rick Perry, among other things, and sharing a tarmac handshake photo op. Governor Perry has been asking for help with child refugees for a few years now, although the help he’s been asking for is mostly military and para-military (which may be the way he feels all teenagers should be handled, who knows?). For most of that time, the Obama administration has been relatively unresponsive, but Governor Perry has chosen not to make a big deal of it until now, so there’s little evidence to show that those people in power care much about children until there are enough of them to make embarrassing headlines.

As long as the president was going to Texas anyway, lots of people wondered, why didn’t he visit the border area where thousands of children constituted a growing humanitarian crisis that was getting global attention?

The president’s answer during a press conference in DalFort Fueling in Dallas seemed oddly bloodless, not only uncaring, but evasive of accountability:

This isn’t theatre. This is a problem.
I’m not interested in photo ops.
I’m interested in solving the problem.

Because these were American journalists covering an American president, there were no meaningful follow-up questions. No one asked: How do you define “the problem?” What is your idea of a good solution? Why were you OK with a photo op last night [July 8] shooting pool and drinking beer with the Colorado governor?

On MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” the next day, Mitchell talked about this odd set of presidential priorities with Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, who has warned that the border crisis could become Obama’s “Katrina moment,” a reference to President Bush’s apparent callous indifference to the suffering in New Orleans after the 2005 hurricane. To be fair, Obama has not done a detached flyover, looking down on the Rio Grande Valley, as President Bush did over flooded New Orleans (in a famous White House photo op).

Andrea Mitchell and other reporters have speculated lately about why the White House has, in their view, seemed surprised by long-festering problems like this flow of refugees, or others like the Veterans Administration’s failures and the collapse of Iraq. Congressman Cuellar commented:

If he’s saying he’s too busy to go down to the border but you have time to drink a beer, play pool, the appearance means that he’s not paying attention to this humanitarian crisis.

To be fair, this humanitarian crisis is not new. Nobody has been paying meaningful attention to it for decades. It’s getting attention now only because the flood of refugees has topped the figurative levees and threatens to inundate higher-priced real estate. Almost everyone talking about it is fundamentally cynical, focusing only on symptoms, offering nothing approaching a cure for the underlying pathology.

The most obvious example of a cynical band-aid is the president’s proposal of $3.7 billion in emergency spending, roughly half for caring for and processing refugees, and half for more military and para-military border protection. The inherent logic in the increasing militarization of the border is increased killing of refugees: how far will Americans be willing to go with that?

In any case, more spending of this sort will not solve the problem, though it might relieve the crisis. The chance of the spending bill getting through Congress (it passed the Senate 93-3) is presently near nil. One measure of the president’s cynicism is his unwillingness to photo op the refugee camps, which might actually pressure Congress to act – and that might not be useful to Democrats who need an inactive Congress to run against in the fall.

To be fair (again), the prospect of Republican control of Congress is itself a potential crisis that could emerge from long-festering failures. But that’s another story, even though it wouldn’t likely improve the refugee crisis story.

There is nothing but cynicism on all sides of the refugee story

Another measure of the cynicism of the emergency spending proposal is what it proposes to do to “solve” the problem: make nicer refugee camps and get more officials to speed up deportation of these people back to the hellish places they came from. That’s what the White House has already said is likely to happen. Well, that’s a solution of sorts for the U.S. But it’s not a permanent solution, and hardly one decent people can be proud of. In every meaningful sense of the word, these children (and most of the adults) are real refugees from the ravages of American power.

On June 20, the White House announced what was reported as “a slew of aid programs to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. They include $US9.6 million in aid for the countries to ‘receive and reintegrate’ their citizens who have been denied entry into the U.S., as well as multi-million dollar crime and violence protection programs in each of the three Central American nations.”

Calling $9.6 million “a slew” of aid to three impoverished countries is something of a joke when you compare it to the $3.7 billion spent in the richest country in the world. Who even thinks the aid will reach the neediest people, much less reintegrate them? That comparison shows a roughly 40-to-1 disparity of spending on the rich to spending on the poor. That’s already a structural problem in Central America and it’s a growing one in the United States. No wonder most of the spending in all four countries is for military and para-military means of protecting plutocracy.

Cynicism permeates media explanations of events as well, with mainstream media like the Washington Post and The New York Times blaming the present humanitarian crisis on a 2008 law signed by President Bush. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 was designed to counter global sex trafficking in part by providing legal rights for children picked up by immigration authorities (with the exception of children from Mexico and Canada). As Charles Lane in the Post put it:

This law’s special mistake was to guarantee an immigration hearing to unaccompanied minors arriving in the United States on the theory they might be victims of sex trafficking and to let them live with U.S.-based family, if any, until a judge was available….

[The bill’s authors] failed to anticipate that trafficking mafias in Mexico would market temporary entry pending the delayed hearings as a new form of “permiso” (“permit”) and can charge families $10,000 per child to pursue it.

More refugees a result of crime, poverty, gangs, and following the law

One of the things driving the right crazy about all these underage refugees is that the problem has grown, in part, because the Obama administration has been following the law. And the law protects children, of all things. And it was signed proudly by President Bush, can you believe it?

Governor Perry has recovered from a booing by his own Republican Party in 2011, when he said of those opposed to educating refugee children: “I don’t think you have a heart.” He hasn’t come close to expressing such decency lately, but has managed to encapsulate current American political dysfunction exquisitely on Fox News, by saying:

The federal government is just absolutely failing. We either have an incredibly inept administration, or they're in on this somehow or another. I mean I hate to be conspiratorial, but I mean how do you move that many people from Central America across Mexico and then into the United States without there being a fairly coordinated effort?

Governor Perry is absolutely right about a “fairly coordinated effort,” which overlaps with other coordinated efforts smuggling drugs, guns, and sex slaves. Asked on ABC’s “This Week” about the president’s following the 2008 law against sex trafficking, Perry ducked the question entirely, saying, when pressed:

What has to be addressed is the security of the border. You know that. I know that. The president of the United States knows that. I don't believe he particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is — is secure.

Interviewer Martha Raddatz let this blatant political lie pass unchallenged. She didn’t ask Governor Perry to explain why President Obama is referred to as the deporter-in-chief, since his administration has deported record numbers of people. This administration has also detained record numbers of people crossing the border. And this administration has record numbers of officers patrolling the border, and even shooting people across the border.

Governor Perry says he has requested 1,000 National Guard soldiers for border patrol. He was not asked why he hasn’t used his own authority as governor to call up the National Guard. Perry claimed, somewhat unclearly, that he had been asking the administration for help since 2010, without a response. He said, “I have to believe that when you do not respond in any way, that you are either inept, or you have some ulterior motive of which you are functioning from.” Again he went unchallenged, as the segment ran out of time.

Is the Rio Grande Valley comparable to Katrina as a racial event?

After meeting with Governor Perry in Texas on July 9th, President Obama spoke affably to reporters, saying , “there's nothing the governor indicated he'd like to see that I have a philosophical objection to,” including the 1,000 National Guard troops. But the president’s emphasis was leaning, instead, on the Texas Congressional delegation to support his $3.7 billion emergency appropriation request. In Congress, House Republicans have reportedly hardened in opposition to the $3,7 billion bill, leaving the party in the position of simultaneously demanding that the border be secured and refusing to spend more money on securing the border.

For his part, Governor Perry followed up on the meeting without noting any agreement with the president on anything. He did say that the president’s refusal to visit the Rio Grande Valley was “no different” from President Bush’s response to Katrina. In response to Perry’s jibe, a White House representative offered patent nonsense, but in complete sentences:

I think it doesn’t make sense to compare this to a natural disaster. This is a humanitarian situation that we have been on top of from the very beginning. It involves the entire federal government, it involves our partners in Central America who have acknowledged that we all share a responsibility to make sure we stop this situation before it starts.

If the White House has been on top of the situation from the beginning, why has it gotten so bad (from the beginning)? The beginning of just this phase was more than three years ago, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures. Those figures show that child refugees from Guatemala and El Salvador have both increased more than twelve-fold since 2010. The number of children from each country is now about as many as Mexico's child refugees (whose numbers have been declining for more than a year, but still remain high). The most child refugees now come from Honduras, whose numbers have increased fifteen-fold since 2010. (The number of child refugees continues to climb: between October 2013 and June 2014, some 52,000 child refugees were taken into custody by the U.S., about 75% from the three Central American countries.)

Despite the White House statement, it’s obvious that the humanitarian crisis does not involve “the entire federal government” in any meaningful way. Or if it does, what is the role of the Marines? Or the IRS? Or the ambassador to Iceland?

But the rest of the statement – “it involves our partners in Central America who have acknowledged that we all share a responsibility to make sure we stop this situation before it starts” ­– is perhaps as revealing as it is strange (since it’s already decades past the situation’s start).

What do El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have in common?

Insofar as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are “our partners” rather than free and independent states, they are decidedly junior partners. Each of them shares borders with the other two. More than anything, they share more than a century of exploitation by Americans, both governmental and corporate. Since the 1950s, they have all suffered brutal, anti-democratic coup d’etats orchestrated or approved by the United States. They have all suffered especially brutal dictatorships supported by the United States for the benefit of a tiny elite that controls most of the wealth in each country. The United States has brutalized these countries for decades, has helped make them unlivable, and now pretends to wonder why people don’t want to live there.

El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras account for almost 75% of all the refugee children coming out of Central America.

These three countries also share the honor of having served in recent decades as American proxies in wars against their own people or their neighbors, or both. By way of illustration of what it means to be an American “ally,” the streams of children from these three countries are unmatched by other countries in the region. Almost no children are fleeing Nicaragua, a former American enemy (full of phantom threat and against whom the U.S. committed war crimes). On the contrary, Nicaragua is a host country for asylum seekers, as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) found in a study (“Children on the Run”) released in March 2014:

While the United States is receiving the majority of the new asylum claims, UNHCR has documented a 712% increase in the number of asylum applications from citizens of these three [El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras] countries in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize, combined, from 2008 to 2013.

When the White House says there’s “a responsibility to make sure we stop this situation before it starts,” it’s time to start some White House soul-searching, not just about American military and corporate predation over decades, not just about trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) that have hurt the poorest people in these poor countries, but especially about the Obama administration’s own deeply bloody role in what has happened in Honduras since 2009.

When it came to Honduras, America offered no hope and no change

Five years ago, Honduras had a democratically-elected government that was beginning to make reforms. Five years ago, most of the Honduran population of 8 million were safely staying home.

On June 28, 2009, Honduras suffered a military coup. Almost immediately, the Obama administration blessed the new dictatorship and soon set about lying to the American people in order to avoid enforcing American law that’s supposed to apply to any coup (later the administration did the same dishonest dance around the Egyptian coup).

The United Nations, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the European Union all condemned the Honduran coup. On July 5, 2009, the OAS voted unanimously to suspend Honduras from membership (the suspension was lifted two years later). None of this affected unwavering U.S. support for the coup (which some people even argued was not a coup).

Less than a month later, the U.S. embassy cabled a report to Washington titled, "Open and Shut: The Case of the Honduran Coup," asserting that there was no doubt that the military coup was unconstitutional and the removal of the Honduran president was a “kidnapping” with no legal authority. The cable went to the White House and to the Secretary of State. No one in the Obama administration – not Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, no one – told the truth about Honduras. They kept this cable secret and they lied about it.

The embassy cable remained secret till November 28, 2010, when Wikileaks released it (as part of the release of 251,287 confidential State Department documents). Reported then by Just Foreign Policy, the cable had little impact.

The coup – and the continued degradation of Honduran governance – had the quiet, bi-partisan support of American power. The United States has dirty hands throughout the hemisphere, dirty hands that are equally at home in strangling democratic governments or children’s futures.

The obvious horrors of Honduras, the crime and personal suffering, are well-documented anecdotally in mainstream media, almost always without critical context. The Honduran government commits and allows atrocities, as is well known, but they continue to receive tens of millions of American tax dollars to support their crimes.

Some critical context for Honduras has come from reporter Dawn Marie Paley for years. In February 2014, Toward Freedom ran a trenchant Paley piece, “War on the Poor in Honduras,” in which she vividly describes the fear, violence, danger, and extortion (“war tax”) of daily life for most Hondurans. She observes that:

The biggest shops, US fast food chains and grocery stores, are the only ones who seem to get away without paying the so called “war tax” to gangs.

Critical context also comes from history professor Dana Frank on her Huffington Post blog. She describes some of the deep corruption among Honduran politicians, police, prosecutors, and judges, which even the U.S. State Department. acknowledges:

Among the most serious human rights problems were corruption, intimidation, and institutional weakness of the justice system leading to widespread impunity; unlawful and arbitrary killings by security forces, organized criminal elements, and others; and harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions.

In response to his country’s police corruption, Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández has increased the country’s militarization, as Frank reports:

Not only does the regular military now patrol residential neighborhoods, airports, and prisons, but Hernández's new 5,000-strong military police force is fanning out across the country.

On May 13, the new military police surrounded, tear gassed, brutally beat up, and forcibly ejected from the main hall of congress all 36 congress members of the center-left opposition party LIBRE.

Ultimately the surge of child refugees into other countries has less to do with gangs and extortion, or with rape and murder, or even with poverty and political repression, than it has to do with the American role in the world – the American power that promotes and profits from all these horrors, and expects gratitude in return.

This is what the United States government has become, and it is despicable. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+15 # indian weaver 2014-07-12 15:53
I am ready for civil war or revolutionary war, whatever it takes to dump the war criminals like Obama and dubya committing Crimes Against Humanity, domestically and internationally , and eradicate this hateful plutocracy. This is my country and We the People have no say, no voice, no meaning, and no impact. Obama doesn't care about any of us, nor do Boehner, McConnell, Sanders, Pelosi, Republican rep. from Colorado -Scott Tipton (my cowardly congress non-person), etc. We The People have no value other than targets of Obama's and dubya's, for the NRA to make more money on their weapons of mass destruction and use them against We The People. Targets for assassination and destruction by whatever means - that is what We the People have become if we don't shut up and die on the streets of starvation and homelessness. It's all over but the mass massacres on our horizon, imprisonment and massacres / assassinations of innocent civilians trying to take back our country from lying, cowardly criminals, hosted by Obama and dubya (the list is so long by now of the corporate shills committing Crimes Against Humanity). I'm just a little disappointed myself. Hide for self survival, or fight back for justice with self-sacrifice? ?
+1 # Glen 2014-07-14 05:48
Hide, indian weaver. Some battles are not winnable. A tactic promoted even by age old Japanese tacticians is to keep your head down when the battle rages among fools, preferring survival over death in a war that cannot be won.

Whether or not there is a slow moving takeover of the U.S. or an outright violent revolution, it is no longer worth dying for. There is too much power on the side of the government and related, and they will sit back and watch it happen, and also watch as citizens kill each other.

Find a niche and hunker down.
+30 # Kwelinyingi 2014-07-12 16:37
I find the analogy of the invasion chickens coming home to roost a tempting one. We invade countries, kill their defenseless citizens by the thousands and when unarmed children invade our country peacefully, we are up in arms. Especially when the child invaders are escaping unbearable conditions in their countries that we directly helped create by propping dictatorships, rigged elections and death squads. Let lawlessness and death reign supreme in our country and watch thousands of our citizens fleeing the country in search of safety.
+10 # grandma lynn 2014-07-13 03:29
I think a Walt Disney animated movie could rouse our mass's sympathy, a sort of Bambi movie, where the hunter's shot drops the mother and the querying face of the child pokes forward on the screen, and we feel so appropriately sad for it. We get it, that a child with no protector is a tragedy. We get it that a child is a child, a family broken is a family broken.

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, George Clooney - someone in Hollywood with money, quickly and well make this animated movie?
+7 # wantrealdemocracy 2014-07-13 11:12
"We" did not invade and kill people all over the world and cause families to send their children north. These are actions of the guvmint (illegal and corrupt government) of the United States. Many people of all ages enter our nation in search of a job. This is an activity supported by the guvmint because it drives down wages in our nation---and that is just what the rich bastards want---lower wages and no benefits for all working people in the United States. We need to secure the borders because we can't take care of the people here now. Our tax funds go to the crooks on Wall St adn to the weapon makers who love endless war. This is just another problem that requires that we get out on the streets and change our rotten government that is working 24/7 in an attempt to make the rich richer and screw working people world wide. Stop voting for any D or R. Both the same and neither on your side.
+31 # DaveM 2014-07-12 22:05
Don't the pro-life people claim that "Two million couples are waiting for them to adopt"? Well, here are a bunch of children, some of whom are undoubtedly adoptable, as they have no parents or guardians.

Line forms right this way, ladies and gentlemen....
+29 # LGNTexas 2014-07-12 23:09
I am embarrassed to live in League City, Texas, the first town in the nation to pass a city ordinance that not one child refugee is to be housed in our community... Federal government be damned. Last year the whole city council was taken over by teabaggers so not surprised by their racism. Faced with slates of unknown names, voters seemed to be influenced by the thousands of candidate signs that peppered the town (did Koch money pay for their printing). The far right is taking over America, one town, one school board and finally one state at a time.
-19 # randyjet 2014-07-13 06:28
I live in Porter, TX and if the Feds try and move these crooks in here, I will be protesting. They are criminals who broke the law. Of course, laws mean nothing at all to you. The reason is that we have NO idea of who, what, and where these people are. Since they have no documents, we are supposed to take their WORD? I guess that the next time a cop pulls you over, you can tell him a fake name, and address and he will let you go, right? So if a cop can demand a document to establish who you are and where you live for a simple infraction, why should we not jail those who have committed an actual CRIME?

IT is also a poor argument to use Honduras as the example for El Salvador, and Guatemala. Those countries do NOT have the same situation as Honduras. IN FACT, the FMLN is now the ruling party in El Salvador. So what explains the flood from there? Is THAT also the fault of the US? All of the poverty in the world is NOT only the fault of the US. Also, those folks are NOT poor. Getting thousands of dollars to pay smugglers shows they have a fair amount of income. That also informs rational people that the main reason is that they know they can get a good return on the investment of thousands of dollars if they use a loophole to stay in the US.

The rule should be that a person without a passport, gets no hearing and is deported immediately. It is unfair to the government to have to disprove the case when the illegals have purposely made it impossible to refute anything.
+6 # cwbystache 2014-07-13 06:35
That is what America IS, taking people at their word, amigo.
+9 # bbaldwin2001 2014-07-13 09:19
To randyjet

What did these children do that they became "crooks". I live in Texas as well, and I have lived on the border twenty years ago. Mexico and the Central American countries have been corrupt for years. But, the children are not to blame. We should welcome them and try to connect them with their parents, many of which are here working which is the only thing I think is curious about this entire situation. So randyjet you might think again about what you have placed on this site.
0 # WBoardman 2014-07-13 16:28
randyjet asserts things as facts, without
offering support for his assertions.

To say "they are criminals" is to pre-judge ALL the cases
without considering the evidence (see story) that
many of these children and adults are more properly
considered, under international law, refugees with
valid claims for asylum.

randyjet and Obama are on the same page on that.

"they nave no documents" – source?

randyjet is right about the governing party of El Salvador,
the FMLN, since 2009 – this weak government has
hardly been in office long enough to repair the damage
done by decades of death squads and American

wikipedia:In the past few years, El Salvador has experienced high crime rates, including gang-related crimes and juvenile delinquency.[80 ] Some say that this was a result of the deportation of thousands of Salvadorans from the U.S, the majority of whom were members of MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha, or La Mara), in the mid-1990s. The gangs in which Salvadorans had been involved in the United States began to show up in El Salvador.

randyjet is also right that the US did not cause all
the poverty in the world – not that anyone said it did.

The U.S. had CURED almost none of the world's poverty
and has, where its footprint has been heaviest has
mostly made the local economies worse – except, perhaps,
for drugs, prostitution, and other forms of corruption,
like buying trips to El Norte.
+18 # grandma lynn 2014-07-13 03:31
Also, my state of NH and then also FL, other states, are identified as having too low a birth rate to support moving forward without an unbalanced, aging population. Clearly we need children! These are the world's children or the hemisphere's children, our children. They are part of a needed balance. We poke our heads into the sand, ostrich-style. Unseeing.
+2 # MidwestTom 2014-07-12 22:05
I had the experience of working in Central America for multiple brief periods over a fifteen year span. Among the things that struck me was the fact that the best and brightest of the natives all wanted to come here. As a result the few leaders that stayed became very influential and were local power brokers. Our accepting the best and brightest doomed the the birth cow try to bad government.

I recommend watching this short video on facts about immigration into our country:
+14 # m... 2014-07-12 22:53

I'll bet that the 'Samller-Govern ment-scammed-in to-existence' PRIVATIZED-Corp oratized Immigration Detention Centers are making a bundle off this with so many bed$ filled with so many $maller mouth$ and stomach$ to feed.
I hear numbers crunching.
You gotta wonder if their Lobby plays into all the current, standard 'gridlock' and 'do nothingness' over it all..?
I wonder what the stockholders are thinking…?….
Perhaps its just another American Opportunistic Conundrum.
-20 # randyjet 2014-07-13 06:32
We should put them up in tents and cots on the border. There is no right to A/C, TV, playgrounds, swimming pools, and a well made bed every day. No wonder they come! Using tents would be cheaper, but contractors need to get more Federal money.
+11 # REDPILLED 2014-07-13 08:40
This is how you want to treat children? What if they were your children?
+16 # Activista 2014-07-13 00:39
We are all Note Americano = children
"What do El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have in common?" yes - their societies were destroyed by USA - our greed and exploration. Look at the faces of these children -
US government solution - more guns/military on the border, detention facilities (prisons) for children of Central America - are we becoming Apartheid White State of America as in Apartheid Jewish State of Israel .. is this our future?
+10 # m... 2014-07-13 04:44
For Profit Detention Centers….
+6 # grandma lynn 2014-07-13 03:34
You mean "exploitation."
-16 # 2014-07-13 04:25
While I agree with much in this article, the analysis of the cause in the dramatic uptick of child immigrants during the past two years is misstated and misunderstood.

While central America has long been violent and much of that violence is the direct result of stupid American drug policies, this influx of new immigrants is not caused by the violence since the violence has actually been decreasing in the area. Honduran murder rates remain about the same over the last three years though one NGO has reported a slight decline. Nicaraguan murder rates have been steadily and significantly decreasing over the past three years. Salvadoran murder rates have declined by 40% over the past three years.

Since it is impossible to blame this dramatic influx of immigrants on the decreasing violence, we must look for a more recent cause and not fob it off on our meddling decades ago or on bills promoted and signed by Bush six years ago (which, by the way, did nothing to encourage illegal immigration).

The cause of this influx is surely President Obama's Executive Order of 2012 which delayed deportation of immigrant children for two years. The "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" was duly enacted by Homeland Security and has been widely reported on in the Latin American press.

Continued in next post
-18 # 2014-07-13 04:26
Parents are sending their children here with the accurate knowledge that the kids will be getting fed, educated, medically cared for, etc. for at least two years. Many of the parents hope that the whole family will be able to join these kids due to our current policy to try to keep immigrant families intact. Many of these parents have carefully coached the children on what to say when they get here so as to qualify for DACA status.

Whether this humanitarian crisis was caused by President Obama intentionally or unintentionally is unknowable and irrelevant. The crisis was caused by President Obama and his kingly wielding of Executive Power.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+16 # m... 2014-07-13 04:55
Obama's 'kingly wielding of Executive Power' is a direct result of a Republican Controlled House which refuses to Govern, nor do anything else with their time there other than try to destroy the Obama Presidency in the name of? Oh, that's right, in the name of nothing other than some whacked out corpo-politico ideology and a huge pile of other unfathomable gritty, nasty, self righteous nonsense.
Many Republicans supported DACA, including Romney. There were disagreements over aspects of the Act. Republicans chose to try to kill it because that is what they do best and was their right. Obama decided to govern and sign an Executive Order which was his right.
As far as parents sending their children here based on how your supposition describes the Act influencing the families involved, its obvious that none of them actually read or understand the DACA as it is now as an Executive Order. It also stands to reason that it would make no difference to what is happening now at the border if it did go to a vote in Congress. It would have likely passed into law-- with Republican Support, but with a watered down version of the 'Dream' part of the Act where it would then still be read by families with children.
Of course none of this will matter to Fox, Teaple People, et al as all they need is minimal ifs, innuendo, supposition and a platform from which to rant about the 'threat' Obama is to all that exists in the ranting perceivers perceived order of the universe.
+11 # Glen 2014-07-13 05:25
It wasn't Obama that signed into effect NAFTA, CAFTA, and similar, that left hundreds of people without jobs. The violence in Honduras, for instance, was building long ago. The U.S. could have worked hard to stabilize North America to ensure cooperation and the health of citizens, not to mention the security of the Mexico/U.S. border. Rather, it was preferred to destabilize the Middle East and allow the Americas to do similar, which will possibly forever be a serious threat to the U.S.
+3 # WBoardman 2014-07-13 16:45
Lee Nason is wrong about the executive order of 2012,
which applies only to children who were already in the U.S.

As the NY Times reported it on July 10, 2014:
That order deferred deportation of young illegal residents who were brought to this country as infants or children, many of them in college and the military and known among advocates as Dreamers.

Even if the executive order was relevant,
citing it as THE cause would be simplistic.

Then there's the factual reality that Obama,
for all the executive orders he has issued,
his total remains smaller than most other recent presidents, including Bush II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, Johnson,
Eisenhower, etc; Obama's 1st term total was lower than
Bush I for one term as well as Ford for his less-than-a-ter m.

Coolidge issued more than 1,200.

(I see that m... aptly addressed the problem of those
who use bias blinders to find non-existent "facts")
+11 # cwbystache 2014-07-13 06:36
We're mean, and nearly incapable of learning ANYTHING.
+7 # walthe310 2014-07-13 07:23
Between 50,000 and 80,000 undocumented (illegal) children are expected to cross our southern border during 2014. Their numbers are causing a crisis because they exceed our capacity to properly house and process them in a timely manner. Let us put the problem into perspective. 50,000 to 80,000 represents only 0.3% to 0.5% of the estimated 15,000,000 undocumented already living in the US. That is 1/3 to 1/2 of 1%, a tiny fraction. These children are unwelcome because they are too young to work for the minimum wage or less. They are too young to work as domestics, in fast food restaurants, in the construction industry or as gardeners. They are old enough to work in agriculture, but we already have enough agricultural workers. And of course, they are unwelcome because they probably will grow up to become Democratic voters. The GOP are using their influx as just another way to criticize President Obama.
+11 # geohorse 2014-07-13 07:25
Thank you for highlighting the reality in Honduras where we have in-laws trying to fight the problems. For the past 100+ yrs. corporate colonialism with the help of our military has ruled in this part of the world. They have taken over the lands (for plantations) belonging to the indigenous people depriving the country of a real economy by putting their puppets in power like your reporting on the recent coup states. The last election (which included our in-law working for these indigenous peoples) was "helped" by the CIA patrolling the streets with the help of their "School of Americas" train thugs. Added to this scenario is the "war on drugs" with does nothing but enrich the same military-indust rial-congressio nal complex that runs the US no matter who's president. The spin off mafia(from all govt corruption) shakes down all the local mom and pop businesses making any life impossible here. Add overpopulation (always the result of stressed cultures) to the mix and here we are. Had we supported the native populations everywhere with simple neighborhood health centers and schools, educating women in particular, we could build a decent world but no, all the $$$$ goes to war.
+3 # cwbystache 2014-07-13 09:00
An interesting source I read thirty years ago:

"Conquest of the Tropics: The Story of the Creative Enterprises Conducted by the United Fruit Company" (1914)
+1 # jsluka 2014-07-13 16:39
Another excellent source is "Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America" by Walter LaFeber.
+6 # gd_radical 2014-07-13 09:18
Frankly, people I really don't give a damn anymore whose fault it is or what party is to blame. These are children and as a civilized people we are compelled by moral decency to do the right thing. Put aside the politics people please, and display your humanity. Those of us who do not place our faith on display but try to live our faith through serving others, understand that this was one of God's commandments to his people.
+4 # jsluka 2014-07-13 16:41
I find it encouraging that there are actually some Christians, like you I presume, who want to actually act like Christians - that is, followers of Jesus Christ. With regard to these children, the saying "What would Jesus do?" seems a good one, even for atheists like myself.
+4 # cwbystache 2014-07-13 09:33
well, yes, it is easier to sleep with one's self at night, if one has participated directly in relieving the pain of our fellow human beings, especially children. It's far harder to own the part one has played in causing that pain to begin with. This is going to keep happening, forever, if you don't keep giving a damn about whose fault it is, and don't ask everyone else who considers themselves an innocent to do the same.
-16 # Robt Eagle 2014-07-13 09:36
ALL of Obama's policies are failures. This is just more widely publicized by the left wing media because it involves children. Oh and by the way, some of these children are older teenagers who are members of drug cartels and gangs who now have been reportedly soliciting membership while now in the US. Solution: get rid of Obama's policies by voting for a stronger Republican House of Representatives and outing the demonic Harry Reid from Senate control (the ultimate do nothing Senate leader) with an overwhelming Republican Senate control in November 2014. Enough said.
+2 # Malcolm 2014-07-13 13:36
Definitely "enough said". MORE THAN ENOUGH. Pleas don't write anything else!
-2 # Robt Eagle 2014-07-14 04:57
I guess this site's readers like you do not want any dissenting opinions, hmmmm, sounds like the liberal standard chant. Obama's policies are destroying America. That is fact, not up for debate, but hey, you believe what ever you want, that is what makes America great, or at least it used to until Obama got into the WH.
+2 # WBoardman 2014-07-14 09:55
[quote name="Robt Eagle"]
Obama's policies are destroying America.
That is fact, not up for debate....

Well, it's not clear who put Robt in charge
of deciding what's debatable,
but slamming doors shut doesn't much help.

Asserting, ex cathedra,
that "Obama's policies are destroying America"
is something of a political rorschach blot
that breaks down like this:

"Obama" = hot button
"policies" = undefined (except "Obama's"),
reinforcing hot button
"destroying" = gotta be bad, right, even if undefined
(doesn't mean reducing cohort of uninsured;
OR eliminating chance of single payer)
"America" = whatever
(destroying some parts of America, like predatory
banks too big to fail, might be a net benefit to
+2 # WBoardman 2014-07-14 10:00
most Americans, for one example)

So "Obama's policies are destroying America"
may be evocative depending on your projections,
but it is a statement inherently void of meaning.

For the reduction ad absurdum, Robt suggests
that America was great "until Obama got into the WH" –
OK, that's one point of view.

America was great under George Bush.

+4 # jsluka 2014-07-13 16:46
There is hardly any "left wing" media Robert - certainly none that anything but a small minority are aware of. The vast majority of the news, which most people rely on for their 'understanding' of the world, is from the corporate-owned media, and it certainly ain't "liberal." That's why news sources like RSN are so important, because it is an alternative to corporate news. You really should read Ben Bagdikian's book The Media Monopoly, and also try Noam Chomsky's and Ed Herman's Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. These are powerful antidotes to the propaganda you have bought regarding the so-called "liberal media."
+2 # fredboy 2014-07-13 12:59
What I have learned during the past 22 years is ANYONE can fill the post of president. What a sloppy mess it has been and continues to be.
+8 # elizabethblock 2014-07-13 14:38
Two reasons why children are fleeing here for their lives:
1) The insatiable American appetite for drugs has enriched the drug cartels, made them powerful enough to ignore governments (which are corrupt anyway), and given them carte blanche to kidnap and kill anyone they want, even children. Why? To terrorize the population into obedience.
2) US corporations have flooded these countries with cheap corn, making it impossible for farmers to make a living. They used to be poor. Now they are destitute. I think most Americans, even poor ones, don't know the difference.
And they have patented plants that indigenous people have been growing and eating for centuries. Those patents may be vulnerable in court. But in the meantime, what are people to eat?
+1 # cordleycoit 2014-07-13 20:53
Who benifits from the the selling of lies to children? Republican farmers who get even cheaper labor for having kids to pimp.Democrats for more voter volume. La Raza with more hatred to spew out.So far it looks like a win win for everyone save the children who have very little to sell and this move is about pimping. "Mighty mouths tell mighty lies." Americans do it for money.

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