Jul 21, 2014
President Obama called the influx of immigrant children an “actual humanitarian crisis on the border.”
He’s right. More than 50,000 children are being housed in atrocious conditions, in jam-packed holding cells, without access to sanitary facilities. They are fleeing some of the most violent countries in the world, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. These are countries that have been destroyed by more than a century of U.S. domination, where the population is preyed upon by brutal militaries linked to the U.S. and by drug gangs – which are often linked to the same militaries.
So how does Obama propose to deal with this humanitarian crisis? Does he propose to help these children?
No – just the opposite. Obama’s first reaction was to propose a change to the law that would make it easier to deport these children. Right now, the law says that they must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide them safe housing and legal counsel. But Obama wants to be able to deport them immediately.
Obama asked for 3.7 billion dollars to fund what his officials call an “aggressive” approach to the border crisis.
On July 14, the U.S. deported the first group of Honduran children, between the ages of 18 months and 15 years, along with women who had accompanied some of them. They were sent to San Pedro Sula – the city with the highest murder rate in the world – but many were relieved after their treatment by the U.S. Dalia, one of the mothers, explained that U.S. officials treated them like “animals.”
Obama’s policies encourage the rabid right-wing groups who have marched to oppose housing any of these children in their towns, sometimes with real threats of violence.
In Vassar, Michigan, some of the people who protested a shelter for these children marched with rifles and handguns. In Murrieta, California, protestors blocked buses carrying immigrant children to a shelter. In Westminster, Maryland, someone spray painted anti-immigrant graffiti on a closed Army Reserve base.
In the end, armed thugs blocking immigrants from coming into their towns are no different from Obama using armed Homeland Security agents to arrest, detain, and deport the same children.
Both Republicans and Democrats use the insanity of nationalism to try and convince workers here that somehow these children are a threat to “American” jobs.
But the reality is that these children are victims of the same big businesses who have destroyed the standard of living for workers here, looted the coffers of government at all levels, and created the conditions for more and more crime in this country, as well as in Central America. The only “foreigners” are these bosses. They’re the one who create the poverty and violence that drive immigration.