I’d love to rehabilitate the Obama administration’s record on this score, but I can’t. Yes, Obama repeatedly called for comprehensive immigration reform, and yes, a certain group of obstructionist politicians prevented anything meaningful from being done (I wonder who that could have been?), but apart from that mitigating factor, there’s precious little to counterbalance a lot of monstrous, inhumane policy.
Because many of Obama’s initiatives aligned with my beliefs, I didn’t look nearly hard enough at the ones that didn’t. Trump’s endless need for validation is a boon to the left because it renders him incapable of the kind of quiet atrocities the previous administration oversaw.
The Obama administration’s record on immigration is nothing to brag about but “ripping 18-month-old children from their parents and handing them off to a custody system that loses children by the thousands, often funneling them into child trafficking rings” is some next-level monstrous.
This, unfortunately, isn’t a Trump or Obama problem. It’s a cultural problem that encompasses both ICE and the ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement):
When the Evil Keebler Elf announced the new border separation policy, I was of the opinion that with Trump’s deregulation push, treatment of undocumented minors would worsen. We know now that it did:
But that ACLU report on rampant abuse of kids in ICE custody? That took place under Obama’s watch.
Separating minors from their parents is appears to be a ratification of existing rules. The Trump administration has other, worse ideas in the queue, like stripping asylum status from undocumented minors who are released to the custody of close relatives:
Trump is an idiot, but there’s no shortage of people who want to be Goebbels to his Chauncey Gardener. It’s not an accident that those people are in power; abusers seek power because it allows them to abuse with impunity, and some of them have been abusing for longer than any of us would like. ICE, and maybe the ORR, need to be cleansed with fire if this is how they do their jobs.
Things are getting worse, yes.
But they’ve been bad for a long time. The ACLU report (1) relates to the Obama era. And while the HHS story about “1,500 lost kids” is Trump-era, there is no reason to believe that they weren’t also “losing” kids at similar rates during the Obama era (2).
And then we get to things such as “who created the chaos in Central America that drives the refugees here?”, and “how about the kids in Libya/Iraq/Afghanistan/Yemen?”.
This isn’t about Trump or Obama. The problem is the empire.
(1) This one:
(2) For example:
Corporate media letting the mask slip a bit…
Good replies, though.
BTW, there are three main stories in the recent “lost/abused children” scandals.
Children and adults being raped/abused while in detention. This has been going on since at least Obama, is still continuing, and is likely to get worse. This is covered in the ACLU report and VICE article.
Children being separated from their parents at the border: this is a new Trump policy, but is only just starting to take effect. It is also an area where the Obama administration did some comparable things, albeit not as much.
Children that ICE “lost”. This is the story from the HHS report, is the one that got the most attention, and is also probably the least serious of the three. And it’s one that demands a nuanced understanding if the response is not to play into the hands of the fascists.
There’s also a fourth scandal, that gets almost no attention: the Border Patrol routinely murders people.
And now, this:
Forcing America to look at this justifies Merkley turning tragedy into political theater… I guess. Fucking hell, there are just so many links in this thread that I can’t bring myself to click on.
A nice little detail…
Remember how a few years ago the right was screaming about imaginary FEMA camps in converted Walmarts? Jade Helm etc?
Once again, however, a nuanced understanding of the situation is required. See this thread:
My hesitancy to support Merkley was about precisely this. Yes, Americans need to see what our government is doing. No, the children put at risk by Trump’s policies don’t need to be further endangered by being turned into political footballs.
The White House has responded to the Merkley stunt. Rather than say anything substantive, they chose to blame Merkley for the crimes of undocumented immigrants in his district. Sigh
I think I may need to take a break from the BBS for a while.