In response to critics about his refusal to visit the border while in the Lone Star state, President Obama said: “I’m not interested in photo-ops. I’m interested in solving a problem.” Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry cashed in a Glamour Shots gift card.
“Nothing has taken place down there that I’m not intimately aware of. This is not theatre.” President Obama said during the same speech earlier this month. Dressed as a henchman serving a Chuck Norris villain, Gov. Perry began to put on a show!
Calling it “Operation Strong Safety,” Perry quickly cast his play with 1,000 National Guard troops, who would be deployed along the southern border. However, since the troops were sent under orders by a state governor and not the President, they can’t arrest or even detain any illegal immigrants they may come across.
It is worth noting that the majority of the recent influx of immigrants Perry intends to stop with showbiz magic are unaccompanied children from Central America attempting to escape the violence of their home countries.
According to the latest government statistics acquired by the Pew Research Center, there has been a 117% increase in children 12 years and younger detained at the border.
I don’t have children, but I can only imagine how horrific the conditions would have to be to feel the only option I have to insure my child’s safety is to send them alone on a 1,500+ mile trip with only the hope of them getting across a border.
Conservative news source Breitbart.com was quick to attack the reasoning behind the immigration influx (and make a play for the Honduras tourism board) when they ran an article stating a decline in Central America’s murder rate. Although correct, the site omits the crucial information that guarantees you don’t book a room in San Pedro Sula anytime soon.
Breitbart’s source references a 2012 United Nations report. A more recent U.N.-affiliated report acknowledges the murder rate in Honduras has dropped by 6.5% (the Breitbart.com piece never offers a number). Migdonia Ayestas, who worked on the report, explained to Reuters that this simply means homicides fell from 85.5 per 100,000 people to 79. To put that in perspective, the UNODC report had the United States at a rate of 4.7.
“But we saw a noticeable increase in the number of atrocious crimes, including mutilations and decapitations, with bodies thrown into the street, which cause terror in the population,” Ayestas added (another striking omission from the Breitbart coverage).
While Perry and Fox News personality Sean Hannity cruise around in an armed boat like a couple of jerk-off teenagers whose father left the gun cabinet unlocked before going to work, President Obama has been working on solutions.
The President requested $3.7 billion to aid the situation at the border. This would include increased aerial surveillance, hiring more Border Patrol agents and immigration judges (job creation!), and constructing more detention centers. A portion of the funds would go toward caring for the children while in custody. Naturally, Congress was like, “Fuck that noise.”
Not only did House Republicans essentially reject the request, they finally revealed the true source of this issue.
“The President caused this self-inflicted crisis on the border by refusing to enforce the law,” Rep. John Carter of Texas (not Mars) said in a statement. Actually, he has been enforcing the law.
Under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, children from outside of Mexico or Canada who illegally enter the United States are prohibited from being quickly sent back to their home country.
Under the Act, the children become the responsibility of the Department of Health and Human Services. The department can also “appoint independent child advocates” for the children.
You may have noticed the year of the Act. That would mean it was signed into law by this guy:
Recently, the President met with the Central American Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to discuss how to lower the tide of immigrant children.
Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández told The Washington Post after the meeting the United States holds its share of responsibility for the violence in Central America due to the nation’s demand for illegal drugs. Another piece of trivia omitted from Breitbart.com: ¾ of America’s cocaine goes through Honduras.
It is seemingly easy for a faction of politicians to forget that these children were sent to the U.S. as a last resort. As a tax-paying citizen, I will sleep better at night knowing that we are not simply sending them back to an inevitable meat grinder via a quick deportation.