By Doug Porter
It’s only a matter of time until one of the nattering nativists at Fox News ‘discovers’ the latest wave of refugees from Central America showing up in ever-increasing numbers at our southern border.
The number of unaccompanied children crossing the US-Mexico border over the past two months has more than doubled over the same time period in 2014. Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell has notified congress that the Administration for Children and Families — the HHS agency responsible for caring for the migrant children — could face significant funding problems, even with budget numbers requested by President Barack Obama.
The US Border Patrol has already opened shelters in Texas and California. Figures for October and November indicate that 10,588 unaccompanied children along with 12,505 family members crossing together have been apprehended at the US-Mexico border.
From the Associated Press:
Experts say increasing gang violence in Central America is pushing people to flee. El Salvador has seen its homicide rate skyrocket to levels not seen since the country’s civil war, and violence plagues Honduras and Guatemala. The increase in migration is worrisome, they say, because it comes when the cold usually keeps people away.
Though Mexico has cracked down on migrants within its borders and returned a large number to their home countries, experts say smugglers are finding new ways around checkpoints and have established new networks of bribes that allow them to get migrants to the U.S. border.
The rising numbers are reviving concerns that played out in summer 2014, when a substantial surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America triggered a funding battle in Congress and prompted then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry to deploy National Guard troops to the border.
Obama administration officials recently said they will open new shelters in Texas and California to accommodate the children, whom Burwell emphasized are fleeing their home countries due to several factors including “economic instability, drought, and violence in Central America.”
By law, the unaccompanied migrant children — who mostly hail from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — are taken into custody of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for their care.
The location of one Texas facility is already public knowledge. Right-wingers in the Lone Star State are already fantasizing and mobilizing.
From the New Civil Rights Movement blog:
About 500 undocumented immigrants, ages 12 to 17, will be housed in Ellis County to relieve a recent surge of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, many of whom are fleeing gang violence in places like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, which has been named the murder capital of the world. The children will be housed for 21 days at an Assemblies of God camp through a contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Ellis County Constable Mike Jones, who once referred to Muslims as “rock monkeys” and called for executing the entire family of anyone who kills an American, responded to the plan to house the unaccompanied children on his Facebook page Wednesday.
“Shouldn’t we be moving be moving them closer to the border so we can kick their butts back across the Rio Grande?” Jones wrote. “I am told these illegals are NOT Syrians, but are South Americans. Are you kidding me? Are we supposed to believe anything the Obama administration tells us?”
Breitbart News, a right-wing blog with a pipeline into the US Border Patrol offices in Texas, refers to the Assemblies of God facility as a “resort-like camp.” This is the same outlet that fanned the flames of xenophobia in 2014.
The location of the California facility being used to house these Central Americans, hasn’t been made public. Yet. Heath and Human Services isn’t likely to release any information, but based on the “spontaneous” protests in nearby Murietta last year, it’s likely that “somebody” will.
One San Diego area congressman is already sounding the alarm according to he Washington Times:
“The greatest existential threat to this nation right now is this administration’s open-border policy. This is no longer about immigration, it’s about the president and DHS keeping open the corridors on the southern border that are accessible to anyone in the world,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who has raised concerns over national security risks at the border.
“We can defend our country against another country’s navy, a missile threat and even repel a conventional military invasion. But the president’s policy of allowing anyone into the nation as students or refugees presents a serious threat,” he said.
This resurgence of child migrant arrivals amidst a presidential election season dominated by crazy talk about immigrants, refugees, and Muslims (regardless of their nationality) is just a time bomb ticking, waiting to be exploited by a candidate desperate for attention.
Killing People Might Make Somebody Angry
As I’m writing this, a consortium of local media are hoping a judge will allow release of a private company security video showing the shooting of Fridoon Nehad by a San Diego Police officer back in April.
The local law enforcement establishment is dead set against of the video. Their argument is that this case is all about the sensationalism. And maybe people might get angry by viewing the video, apart from all the supporting evidence the DA used to clear the SDPD of any potential criminal charges.
And that might be the case, especially after we learn about all the “spin” local gendarmes and the allies have put into selling this story as one about a ‘homeless man gone crazy.’
Liam Dillon at Voice of San Diego interviewed Nehad’s family. It’s a truly saddening read. And it made me angry. For starters, Nehad wasn’t quite homeless. The number one adjective used to describe this dead man was a lie.
Then there’s the part where the family learned about the shooting:
She said the family had to beg the police to tell them where Nehad was taken the night of the shooting and that they only learned he was unarmed after police said so in a press release.
The department repeatedly told the family they were not providing them with any information because they wanted to stop any potential public demonstrations over Nehad’s death.
“The one thing that they kept saying all along was, ‘Well, with everything that’s going on around the country we want to avoid a protest, we want to avoid a protest,’” Roshan said.
I’ll jump to a conclusion and say this case is about much more than some digital images.
It’s yet another example of the “blue wall” of silence in action, the collusion of people who are supposed to be public servants keeping their misdeeds out of view and without consequence. It’s the same blue wall that allowed the SDPD to hide repeated incidents over a period of years of sexual assaults by its officers.
This blue wall hides the reality that our tax dollars have paid prosecutors who’ve opted for connivance instead of justice. I have never been convinced about the promises of reform and transparency made by city officials.
The judge hearing the case has promised a written decision by the end of week.
Mein Trumpf – Las Vegas Edition
Ripped from the headlines of a largely fawning press, here’s the latest news about America’s leading purveyor of puerile proclamations…
The Donald’s Monday night rally in Las Vegas was disrupted. A bunch.
When a white activist proclaimed “Black lives matter!” as she was being carted out of the building, a male Trump supporter leaned toward her and snapped, “White lives matter.”
According to NBC News, someone at the Trump rally even yelled a German Nazi-era salute — “Sieg heil!” — while a protester was being removed from the event.
Trump, meanwhile, gleefully narrated the madness from his podium like a tabloid talk show host presiding over an on-camera brawl between guests — egging on the confrontation, whipping the audience into a frenzy, and basking in his fans’ celebratory chants.
“Trump! Trump! Trump! Trump!”
“This is what we should have been doing to the other side for the last seven years!” Trump exclaimed during one of the scuffles with protesters.
UCSD’s Maximilian Cotterill attended the rally, according to a Facebook post:
Left the Donald Trump rally the only way that’s acceptable: being dragged out by his screaming fascist supporters
Kudos to Cotterill, you gotta be brave to do this sort of thing…
I’m old enough to remember (…okay, I was there) a San Diego campaign stop by Alabama Gov. George Wallace at what was then called the Sports Arena.
It was the only campaign speech Wallace never finished. A whole bunch of us got cleaned up and snuck into the rally. Rather than call him names, we cheered for him. And we cheered for him. And we chanted “We Want Wallace,” even as he tried to calm the crowd down so he could start his speech.
Finally, he realized what was going on, seizing the microphone to announce, “There are two four-letter words you hippies don’t know about… SOAP and WORK.” Much to his dismay, we agreed with him, leading his supporters in chanting “Soap and Work.”
I’m not sure how we made it out alive, but we did.
On This Day: 1791 – The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect following ratification by the state of Virginia. 1921 – The Kansas National Guard was called out to subdue thousands of protesting women who were going from mine to mine attacking non-striking miners in the Pittsburg coal fields. The women made headlines across the state and the nation: they were christened the “Amazon Army” by the New York Times. 1939 – “Gone With the Wind,” produced by David O. Selznick based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell, premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta. The movie starred Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.
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