The immigration of unaccompanied minors from Central America is now so massive on the southern US border that it is making international news & shaming the Obama regime. The estimates of child immigrants don’t add up: some media report 400 children a day (146,000 a year); others estimate 60,000 to 80,000 a year. Either figure is staggering. Only a few years ago, it was staggering at 10,000 a year.
What’s making news is the squalid conditions traumatized, malnourished, often sick children are placed in by homeland security. Thousands are incarcerated in overcrowded facilities often on abandoned army bases, forced to sleep on the floor with aluminum sheets for blankets. God knows what the hell they’re fed–or how often. Hundreds are being deported back to Central America & dumped.
There is of course no shame among US politicians; the right-wing blames lax immigration enforcement by the Obama gang & claim children are coming because of his promise of amnesty–a promise which has not materialized in the several years of his presidency. The Democrats (let’s not play folly with language by calling them left-wing) are using the squalor to rope in the Latino vote in upcoming elections. One local politician toured facilities & released some of the damning photos showing children & other immigrants being warehoused like animals. This situation has prevailed for a long time but the upcoming elections have poked whatever he has of a conscience into high dudgeon.
The truth of the matter is US capitalism is completely dependent on undocumented immigrants for maximal profits. And not just agribusiness but manufacturing & construction. Biden laid that out quite clearly when he recently blithered (that’s his rhetorical style) to a meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers. US capitalists & politicians have to jockey the unstable ground between the economic imperative for immigrant workers, the political expedience of scapegoating them, & the need to rake in the votes.
What’s that Bible phrase about a “child will lead them”? In this case, children forced into a perilous diaspora from their home countries as a result of neoliberal barbarism are exposing the whole shebang of them for the ruthless monsters they are. When hundreds of thousands of children are not just victims but pawns in this treachery, then it’s high time to take action & demand entry & amnesty to all.
Immigration is a human right. Open up the damn borders! Tear down the wall!
(Photo of undocumented children with border patrol at Laredo, TX from AP)