Protests of Southern Border Migrant Facilities

Eighteen miles away from my home some 200 people hit the streets yesterday, blocking traffic in Buffalo before police arrested 9 of them.

“The stated reason behind the protest was to demand the closure of the migrant detention camps at the southern U.S. border. Members of the Buffalo chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, Justice for Migrant Families WNY, and the New York Immigration Coalition were included in the group of protesters.”

Is this happening in other parts of America? Yes, it happened 10 days ago.

An even larger protest is planned for today in nearby Aurora where there is a detention facility that handles cases from the close Canadian border.

The protests are organized worldwide by Lights for Liberty. Its web page has no compunction in labeling detention facilities concentration camps. Or consider this hyperbole: “The Trump administration’s immigration policies and detention camps meet the United Nations’ definition of genocide and crimes against humanity”.

Where’s the evidence of these charges by those making them? In this day and age of instant recording, audio and visual, where’s the evidence?

The Nazis rounded up people in religious, racial, political and other categories and placed them in concentration camps against their will. The people in migrant detention camps themselves traveled to the border. Detaining them is a consequence of having a border and having to process a flood of people, some seeking asylum, because granting asylum takes a judge and the system is overloaded. The U.S. government didn’t create this peak-people situation. It didn’t engage in any genocide or crime against humanity. It didn’t build camps and then round up inmates from among the American population.

Trump is no more to blame for detention than was Obama when he was president; but government as a whole is responsible for its inept handling of a large influx of people seeking to enter the country. Already in 2015, Congressional Democrats were demanding that Obama find a different way for handling people at the border than detaining them. They strongly criticized detention by the Obama administration.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez makes many strongly critical remarks, but there are other members of Congress who say she’s off base in her exaggerations. Others involved in handling migrants rebut her. See here, here, here, here.

A Jewish delegation visited detention centers in August, 2018. One delegate “…described the shelter as ‘clean and decent’ and the staff as ‘very caring,’ [but] she had concerns about the conditions.”

“‘I asked if they go to school. They have school there, but I don’t know how you have meaningful educational programs for that kind of range of kids,’ she said.”

Concentration camps? Genocide? Crimes against humanity? Not at all.

However, the government, whether led by Obama or Trump, is always inefficient in anything and everything it does. This includes handling a peak-load of people asking for asylum. That’s the basic problem. The executive branch has to contend with a welter of laws and procedures, and it has to have the resources to do so. Trump recognized the problem years ago, but he and the Congress didn’t remedy it. Border facilities and the border itself became political footballs by which Trump could be attacked as a monster by both Democrats and rinos. That’s where the matter still stands.

I hypothesize that many of the same people who are protesting against detention centers also supported attacking Iraq, or at least ignored it, even though the damage done to Iraq’s people and country was vastly greater than the harms and hurts occurring at the southern border. I do not remember people hitting the streets at that time. Being against Iraq and Saddam Hussein was a liberal cause too. Saddam had gassed his own people (Kurds). He had an “arsenal of terror”.


9:38 am on July 12, 2019