by WorldTribune Staff, July 1, 2019
Pop star Selena Gomez is the latest celebrity one percenter to take aim at the Trump administration over its immigration policy.
The former Disney star took to social media to say: “Kids in cages! Sleeping on concrete floors with aluminum blankets! No access to simple dignities! How is this still happening???”
“It’s absolutely inhumane to treat anyone like this let alone children. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. We need to get this to finally stop!” Gomez continued.
But was it inhumane when President Barack Obama established the so-called “kids in cages” policy?
“Contrary to popular belief, the ‘camps’ and so-called ‘cages’ Gomez refers to were active during the Obama administration. The Trump administration did not set them up,” Hannah Bleau noted in a June 30 report for Breitbart News.
Celebrities, the corporate media and many Democrats continuously claim that migrant children are being held in cages, pointing to photos from a detention facility in McAllen, Texas. The same setup was used in the McAllen detention facility under Obama.
President Donald Trump reiterated that point in April, telling reporters, “Take a look. The press knows it. You know it. We all know it.”
“Those cages that were shown, I think they were very inappropriate, they were built by President Obama’s administration,” Trump said. “Not by Trump. I’m the one that stopped it. President Obama had child separation.”
Gomez’s post came hours after a similar one by comedian and actress Amy Schumer, who encouraged fans to donate to an organization which aims to reunite immigrant families separated at the U.S. border.
Critics say it’s merely politics — or their loathing of a certain commander in chief. If they really cared about immigrant children, wouldn’t Gomez, Schumer, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, Alyssa Milano, Jim Carey and others have spoken up when it was happening on Obama’s watch?
Obama’s own director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan, confirmed that Obama ordered the construction of the facility with the so-called “cages.”
“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” Homan said at a recent Center for Immigration Studies conference.
Homan referenced a Democratic committee chairman who asked a Trump administration official if they were “still keeping kids in cages.”
“I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015,” Homan said.
Columnist Michelle Malkin in a May op-ed lamented “the 24-hour hunger strikes and Instagram-friendly border photo-ops by actresses and supermodels of the anti-Trump resistance who care, care, care so much more than you about the suffering of migrant children.”
Malkin continued: “Here’s my question: Where are all the caring resisters and champions of children now that deplorable human renting/recycling scams involving exploited illegal immigrant kids are coming to full light?”
Federal Judge Andrew Hanen of the Southern District of Texas “blew the lid off the Obama administration’s deplorable role as a child smuggling facilitator in a scathing 2013 ruling on the case of U.S. vs. Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez,” Malkin wrote.
Nava-Martinez, a resident alien, was an admitted human trafficker caught at the border trying to smuggle an El Salvadoran minor into the U.S. using the birth certificate that belonged to one of her daughters. The transaction had been arranged by the minor’s illegal immigrant mother living in Virginia. She paid $6,000 up front on an $8,000 fee.
After Nava-Martinez and the child were caught, the Department of Homeland Security did not arrest the mother. Instead, DHS “delivered the child to her” in Virginia.
Hanen noted that the Nava-Martinez case was the fourth that had come before his court in which illegal immigrant parents had paid smugglers to bring minor children across the border and the U.S. government had abetted the operations.
He called the feds’ actions “dangerous” and “unconscionable” for inducing parents to jeopardize their own children’s safety by turning them over to strangers engaged in criminal activity with drug cartels and risking their lives in the desert. Indeed, Hanen warned that “the government is not only allowing them to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.”
Malkin noted that “Trump’s efforts to close the myriad loopholes that aid and abet this transnational illegal immigrant kiddie smuggling racket have been condemned as heartless. But what’s truly inhumane are the virtue signalers who use and abuse children as pawns in their ruthless, lucrative, sovereignty-sabotaging pursuit of open borders.”
In 2018, several on the Left used photos of children sleeping on the floor of a holding cell to illustrate the Trump administration’s so-called “kids in cages” policy.
“This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible,” Jon Favreau, who was a speechwriter for Obama, said while referring to the photos.
But the photos being used to demonize the Trump administration were taken in 2014.
The Associated Press then did a fact check, saying: “The photos, taken by The Associated Press, were from 2014, during the Obama administration, but were presented by liberal activists as if they showed the effects of Trump’s immigration policy now. Favreau and some others deleted their tweets when the mistake was pointed out.”
Many had linked to a June 2014 online story by The Arizona Republic titled “First peek: Immigrant children flood detention center.” The story featured photos taken by AP’s Ross D. Franklin at a center run by the Customs and Border Protection Agency in Nogales, Arizona. One photo shows two unidentified female detainees sleeping in a holding cell. The caption refers to U.S. efforts to process 47,000 unaccompanied children at the Nogales center and another one in Brownsville, Texas.
During the last year of the Obama administration, HHS was able to locate 85 percent of the separated minors or their sponsors, according to an inspector general’s report. The Trump administration slightly exceeded that success rate in the last three months of 2017, even as it was accused of losing children.