Obama's ANTI-humanitarian response to crisis on the border:

"Send These Kids Home—Fast"

July 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The Obama administration has sent a $3.7 billion dollar appropriations bill to Congress to pay for the “costs” of the crisis at the South Texas border, as tens of thousands of immigrants—a great number of them unaccompanied minors mostly from the countries of Central America—have converged there seeking entry into the U.S. without documents. Parents are sending their children off on such a dangerous journey because life in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador has become so difficult and dangerous as a result of economies in shambles and tremendous street violence, that they believe they have no choice—that it is their children’s only hope.

The basic causes behind current violence these children face are “made in the USA.” The conditions in these Central American countries cannot be separated from the military, political, and economic domination that the U.S. has enforced on them over decades. The resistance to U.S. domination that surged throughout Central America in the 1980s was drowned in rivers of blood, leaving these countries under the thumb of ruthless dictators and death squads, all supported by the U.S. The Central America Free Trade Agreement signed in 2005—CAFTA—created an economic crisis in Central America. Gangs have filled the economic void caused by CAFTA, creating a country with vast areas run by gangs and police under their influence. Honduras, the poorest Central American country, has become the largest hub for shipping cocaine from South America into the U.S. (For more, see “The Children Who Cross the Border... and Crimes of the U.S.” and “Background to a Humanitarian Crisis: U.S. Terror in Central America.”)

This is the reality behind the humanitarian crisis at the border. A “humanitarian crisis” (according to Wikipedia) is “an event or series of events that are threatening in terms of health, safety, or well-being of a community, or large group of people.” Of course it is these immigrants, most of all the unaccompanied children, who are facing the humanitarian crisis. But for the rulers of this country, in the way they are responding, it is this country that is facing a crisis caused by these immigrants. The ugly, reactionary patriots showing up at different detention centers waving American flags and chanting “USA, USA, USA” and “Go Home” have certainly gotten the message. In fact, Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the “Minutemen,” a violent, armed vigilante militia, has called for an anti-immigration mobilization on May 1, 2015, along the U.S./Mexico border calling it “Operation Normandy” (referring to “D-Day,” the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France in 1944, during World War 2).

Once in custody, these children have been and continue to be held in cages, holding cells, and detention centers. And as all of the detention centers on the border have filled to overflowing, the Department of Homeland Security is now sending them to military bases in other parts of the country. After being “processed,” many of these children are sent to temporary shelters or to family members who may be living in other parts of the country—until they can be brought to court and in most cases sent back “home.”

White House Fact Sheet

The sole purpose of the $3.7 billion dollars, spelled out clearly in the fact sheet released by the White House July 8—is to speed up the apparatus designed to send these immigrants back to the hell they fled, to expand the number of holding cells to be sure they can all be safely caged, and to make sure this problem doesn’t arise in the future.

According to the fact sheet, the entire $3.7 billion will focus on: deterrence; enforcement; foreign cooperation; and capacity. $1.1 billion dollars will go to ICE—Immigration and Customs Enforcement—80 percent of that for detention, speedier prosecution, and removal of immigrant parents with children. The rest will go to enforcement efforts. Custom and Border Protection will get another $433 million. The bulk of that will go to the increased costs of dealing with larger numbers of immigrants in custody. But $40 million dollars will be used to expand the use of drone aircraft at the border.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) will get $64 million dollars to be able to rush a larger number of immigrants through federal court so they can be kicked out faster. It calls for more teams of judges; larger courtroom capacity; and even video conferencing. That means even larger groups of those detained can go through their entire federal court case—all together—in a single day, a process called “Operation Streamline.”

Another $300 million dollars will go to the Department of State and other international programs. It will be given to the governments in the region, who will be told how to spend it. Part of it will be used to deal with the impact of dumping large numbers of immigrants back to the countries they fled. Part of the money will go to helping governments “better control their borders”; this in part will be aimed at the international drug trafficking, but it’s bound to also include making it harder for people to get out.

The fact sheet mentions addressing “underlying root causes driving migration,” and even mentions “creating the economic social, governance, and citizen security conditions...” to try to stop the migration. But when Vice President Joe Biden went to Central America recently, the one concrete proposal reported on was expanding prison capacity in those countries in preparation for carrying out a war on gangs in the region. And Obama has just brought the presidents of three of these countries here, supposedly getting assurances they will work together. And $5 million will go to media campaigns in Mexico as well as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to tell people “Don’t Come Here.”

The remaining portion, or $1.8 billion, will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, to deal with the cost of providing temporary shelter capacity for the huge increase of families and unaccompanied children.

Again—what humanitarian crisis; or whose crisis, is all of this spending aimed at? Certainly it’s not for the mothers with children, or the unaccompanied children. This is a call for more Border Patrol agents and more drone aircraft; more judges, with larger, more efficient courtrooms to speed up the process of conviction and deportation back to hell. And working with the Central American governments to do whatever it takes to stop this exodus. The Republicans have expressed opposition to the bill because it is too much money, and, if anything, not draconian enough!!

It is not an accident that the rulers of this country view the humanitarian crisis at the Texas border, just as they see the continuing massacre of men, women, and children in Gaza, with completely different eyes. The interests of humanity mean nothing to them; they see only the interests—or the threat to the interests—of a worldwide system based on domination, exploitation, and oppression.

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