Think of the (Border) Children!

gop statue of liberty deering
(John Deering via GoComics.com)

There’s no humanitarian crisis can’t be made a little uglier, with the right stressors. The NYTimes, “Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors“:

… Overwhelmed by an influx of unaccompanied minors who are fleeing violence in their home countries in Central America, federal officials are searching the country for places to house them and have been forced to scrap some proposed shelter sites in California, Connecticut, Iowa, New York and other states because of widespread opposition from residents and local officials…

Some of the opposition has also bordered on the extreme. A few of the protesters who marched against a proposed shelter in Vassar, MI, on Monday were armed with semiautomatic rifles & handguns. In Virginia, an effort to house the children at the shuttered campus of Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville caused such an uproar that federal officials pulled out, even though a five-month lease had been signed. Someone spray-painted anti-immigrant graffiti on a brick wall at a former Army Reserve facility in Westminster, Md., that was being considered as a shelter site.

Some cities have raised health and security concerns. Northeast of Oyster Creek, League City passed a resolution opposing any shelters from opening even though the federal government had no plans to do so. The resolution claimed that “illegal aliens suffering from diseases endemic in their countries of origin are being released into our communities.”…

Aaaand (via Mr. Pierce) up jumps Doctor & Representative Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta GA, airing his fears of the Diseased Foreigner:

As a physician for over 30 years, I am well aware of the dangers infectious diseases pose. In fact, infection diseases remain in the top 10 causes of death in the United States. However, the United States has been successful in mitigating or eradicating many diseases, and others are not indigenous to this country.

As such, reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning. Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles…

Scabies, swine flu, Ebola — not that Dr. Gingrey wants to fear-monger, mind you. Jim Newell at Salon tells of some people who totally do:

A Baptist charity last week submitted a bid to purchase Weslaco, Texas’s Palm Aire Hotel & Suites for approximately $3.8 million in nongovernmental funds. The group, Baptist Family & Child Services, intended to convert the 600-bed facility into a dormitory for child migrants detained at the border, where it would house them for 15-day periods, “providing medical and mental health care, on-site educational programs, recreational programs and case management.” As of earlier this week, the group was preparing for a hearing before the city of Weslaco’s zoning board in order to secure a conditional permit. BCFS already runs a facility in Harlingen, Texas, but wanted to relocate.

Yesterday, however, BCFS abruptly pulled its proposal, citing “negative backlash caused by information misreported to the public.” What misreported information could they be referring to? Maybe stories like these: “FEDS TO OPEN $50 MILLION RESORT FOR ILLEGAL CHILDREN.”

The hotel is described elsewhere in conservative media as a “$50 Million Illegal Alien Resort Spa,” “multimillion-dollar hotel complex,” “luxury lodging” and a “fancy hotel.” (Those last two, oddly enough, are from the same story that also describes the Palm Aire as “not exactly Club Med.”)…

Lest I be accused of Northeastern urban-enclave parochialism, I went looking for the local Boston-area news clip where Governor Patrick called the child refugee situation a “humanitarian crisis” and explicitly compared it to a boatload of Jewish children during the Nazi era being turned away from American shores. He’s downgraded his assessment a little since yesterday:

No final decision had been made on whether Massachusetts will shelter some of the unaccompanied children crossing the nation’s southern border illegally, Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday.

Patrick did confirm that Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod was among the possible sites being considered as a secure detention facility for the young Central Americans. The base was also used to temporarily house 235 evacuees of Hurricane Katrina in 2005…

Other possible sites were under consideration, Patrick said, though he would not reveal them. He said he did not expect the state to house more than a few hundred of the migrants. More than 57,000 young people have arrived in the U.S. since the fall…

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69 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    The right-wing mantra is now: Abortion bad, children worse.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Now that Mitt Romney is no longer running for office for pete’s sake, maybe he could take in a few kids to work on his estates.

  3. 3
    jayjaybear says:

    I hate these people. I literally hate them. They’re basically destroying anything that makes humans human with this constant outrage and fear over lies and damn lies. I am honestly about thisfar from considering most of the far right as less than human.

    I think I hate them most for making me into the kind of person who thinks like that.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Baud: Binders full of them.

  5. 5
    muddy says:

    Ebola is in Africa, not Central America as far as I am aware. WTF. At least maybe this will spur idiots to get vaccinated. I have an appt coming up and I’m going to ask for a measles shot. Too old to have gotten it as a kid. But so many assholes don’t vaccinate I think I had better.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    BTW, I was able to actually catch some stories here and there about people on the good side of the great human divide actually trying to help these kids.

    Or we can continue to wallow in the sewer with conservatives. Whatever floats your boat.

  7. 7
    dubo says:

    And it’s nooooooot a race thing. Why, it would be incivil to even THINK of suggesting that.

  8. 8
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @jayjaybear: archaeologist here… actually and perhaps unfortunately, compassion and openness for people unlike ourselves is not necessarily an old human trait. We’re a pretty fucking violent species (like our cousins the chimps) and at no time in the past, mythical, historical, prehistoric or otherwise, did a human society exist which was open and compassionate to outsiders. I think it’s laudable that we become more compassionate, that we develop moral codes to embed compassion and openness, empathy and caring, in our interactions with others, but it’s sadly not what makes us human.

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    The new Colossus indeed. Sorry, Emma.

  10. 10
    muddy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): The head of the rec department in the town had a big binder at Meeting recently. People were asking numbers, and he kept saying, “I have it here in this big binder!” Not sure if he knew why so many chuckled, it wasn’t really at him.

  11. 11
    beltane says:

    @muddy: Africa, Central America, it’s all the same to them. These are profoundly ignorant people. If you asked them to point to Central America on a map they’d probably point to Nebraska.

  12. 12
    Belafon says:

    @Baud: Any stats on the number of places that have actually taken in kids?

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    I bet some of the children also have scurvy.

  14. 14
    Helen says:

    Funny thing about this. When I posted on facebook the comment I posted here:

    “This entire situation is just breaking my heart. Why can’t we think big anymore? Why is everything always a freaking fight? These are children. Imagine being those parents and being so afraid for your child’s safety that you put them on a bus alone, not knowing what may happen. And imagine being those children. How frightened they must be without their mom.

    During World War 2 the Europeans all got together and moved hundreds of thousands of children out of harms way – into the English countryside, into Canada – really anywhere where those babies would be safe. And the English opened up their homes and hearts and fostered those children until the end of the war.

    How dare the “exceptional” United States of America not do the same thing now.

    I hate us. I really do.”

    or a link to this Wonkette post http://wonkette.com/554456/hou.....-baby-jail

    All those fucking wingnuts STFU. Haven’t heard a thing. From all those christianists.

  15. 15
    KS in MA says:

    Good for Deval Patrick!

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:

    @dubo:

    And it’s nooooooot a race thing.

    It’s likely only a race thing to the extent this particular Latino demographic is trending heavily Democratic (see comments about “turning Texas blue”)…

    …as compared to, say, the “dry feet” Cubans that tend to vote Republican. They get to stay.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Belafon:

    No, I’ve only caught bits and pieces of information.

    ETA: I can appreciate that there are legitimate logistical issues that need to be worked out, even with states that have governments that want to help.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    BTW, I initially thought the stop sign in the cartoon said “Alito.”

    Which also works in its own way.

  19. 19
    jayjaybear says:

    @The Dangerman: Yes, and the teabaggers have absolutely no idea WHY these Hispanic people would ever be turning Democratic! Why, don’t they have the self-respect to stay off the plantation?!

    I may be bitter.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    ZOMG, these children, they’re full of brown!

    Meanwhile, it’s looking more and more like Uncle Vlad has a serious PR problem on his hands. Just how, exactly, did a medium to high altitude SAM system fall into the hands of the “separatists” who apparently, in a fit of trigger happy euphoria, shot down a Malaysian airliner today? This sounds like a monumental fuckup on the part of some seriously out of control “anti-fascist” fighters, striking (they thought) a blow against the Nazi Ukrainians who are oppressing the tradtionally oppressed ethnic Russian people who have never, ever engaged in imperialistic actions of any kind historically.

    Also, too, it’s clearly a CIA plot to make Uncle Vlad “Fuzzy and Cuddly Bear” Putin look bad.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Helen says:

    @jayjaybear: Um wow. My mother got cancer when I was 6. And she died when I was 12. I remember very little about her. One of the things I remember is that she would not let us use the word “hate.” We could convey the feeling by saying “I dislike” but we could not say “hate.” And we especially could not use it when speaking about a person.

    But I hate Cheney and Bush and Rummy. I HATE THOSE FUCKERS.

    One more thing I remember about Mommy. She would not let us chew gum. Cuz you look like a cow. Yeah – she was from Ireland. Where there were actual cows. She was way cool and made me what I am. And to this day I do not chew gum.

  23. 23
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @jayjaybear:

    I think I hate them most for making me into the kind of person who thinks like that.

    This. I really hate who I am, who I become, whenever I give in to their arguments and rhetoric. In fact, that may be one of the main reasons I come here so often — no matter how cranky we get, sooner or later there will be a few powerful voices of reason and common sense, and I can revert to my normal curmudgeonly-but-harmless self.

  24. 24
    beltane says:

    @⚽️ Martin: Oh God, why didn’t you warn us. I was hoping for some badly needed uplifting news and you link to that.

    Just to get you back, I’ll mention that Congress did one of its unanimous consent approvals of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. No dissent on this issue is allowed. Freedom!

  25. 25
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @⚽️ Martin: Why do my thoughts automatically go to that Polish kid screaming “Goodbye Jews!” in Schindler’s List?

    Damn, that is fucked up.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Evil, just evil.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jayjaybear: What kills me is that people who are of an ethnic heritage that was barely, barely, a step above “ni*CLANG*” some 70 years ago are enthusiastically part of the hate chorus that is wailing about these “illegals”.

    All these people who have last names that end with vowels seem to be mighty forgetful of the shoes that they once were in.

  28. 28
    Kropadope says:

    So, according to the CDC, 92.5% of children in Texas are vaccinated. According to the World Health Organization, 99+% of children in Nicaragua and 94% in Panama are vaccinated. Mexico is at 91%. Guatemala and Honduras are in the high 80s, only Costa Rica, among Central American countries, has a significantly worse rate of vaccination than Texas.

  29. 29
    beltane says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You know why they’re like that? Because the whole point of being allowed on the “white bus” is that you get to keep the next in line from boarding. America is a sick country in that way.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kropadope: Facts. They are annoying things, aren’t they?

    Of course WHO is part of a commie plot, which is what the UN is, don’tcha know?

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @⚽️ Martin: FWIW those don’t look like missiles. They look like 155mm artillery shells with pd fuzes. Why the fuck they are sitting around fuzed is beyond me.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    A question for all of your religious friends: “What if God sent these children to test your Christianity?”

  33. 33
    Hal says:

    As a physician for over 30 years…

    Yes, and Bill Frist could tell Terri Schiavo was not really in a persistent vegetative state simply by watching video of her.

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Well, if anything goes wrong they would blame it on Hamas anyway. And the State Department would go along with the whole thing.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): And Omnes here is precisely the sort of person for whom observation of shells sitting around fuzed would be beyond him, because, well, he used to supervise people whose job it was to send 155mm artillery rounds downrange, and you DO NOT just attach fuzes to rounds to sit around, the fuzes are attached just prior to sending them downrange as a, um, safety precaution.

  36. 36
    Anne Laurie says:

    @beltane:

    Africa, Central America, it’s all the same to them. These are profoundly ignorant people.

    Dr. Rep. Gingrey isn’t that ignorant. But even the dumbest Fox News watcher knows Ebola comes from Africa, and I assume he’s deliberately associating the Central American refugees with an African epidemic because his voters hate African-Americans even more than they hate Hispanics. Or maybe he just figures the low-info voters can’t be sufficiently alarmed by the sort of low-level parasite their own kid might’ve brought home from summer camp that one time…

  37. 37
    Citizen_X says:

    These xenophobic idiots are the worst people in America outside of a prison (or Wall Street, which is full of people who belong in prison). Seriously, can we trade those kids for them?

    And a luxury “resort spa” in fucking Weslaco? It’s reminder #2,057: these people have absolutely no clue what the border is actually like.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Please do not ask questions like this that will discomfit people of faith.

    Thank you, and send all love gifts directly to VDE Enterprises and Ministries.

  39. 39
    beltane says:

    @Anne Laurie: You’d be surprised at how dumb the Fox watchers are. Some of my husband’s co-workers are convinced that there is a global epidemic of Ebola among brown and black people. Ebola has become shorthand for “scary dark people disease”.

    I’ve reached the point where I’m amazed these morons manage to turn on the TV to watch Fox News in the first place. It must be very taxing on their intellectual capabilities.

  40. 40
    Helen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Once again. Mom. Born in Belfast Northern Ireland. Catholic. She came here.

    Irish Catholics do not know the history of the Irish here. Cuz we’re stupid. Again.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: The wonders of the modern TV set, which is designed to be easy to use by the mentally challenged.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @beltane:

    Well, it does sound eerily like Ebonics. /wingnut

  43. 43
    J R in WV says:

    How despicable is it to want children to suffer, rather than to allow others to help them in your town?

    These kids are fleeing narco-terrorists who control the neighborhoods of everyone who isn’t extremely wealthy in all those “banana republics”. The only security is what you buy with the hiring of tough guys with automatic weapons to escort your car, watch your gate.

    Can’t afford a wall and gate around your house? Fuck you, your kids are going to kidnapped and put to work either as enforcers with guns or as prostitutes.

    That’s what these kids are fleeing, what their parents have put them on a bus to Brownsville to avoid.

    No parent would put their kids on this road without a dammed good reason, and no one here in middle America can even imagine anything other than what Faux and the shitbag Republicans are feeding them: Obama’s conspiracy to flood the country with communist children who will grow up to vote against the American Political Party – Republicans.

    Arrrgggghhh! I hate the people who propagate such terrible lies! Who can even make up such stuff? Sick sick people, that’s who. Republican sick bastards!

  44. 44
    Kropadope says:

    @beltane:

    I’ve reached the point where I’m amazed these morons manage to turn on the TV to watch Fox News in the first place. It must be very taxing on their intellectual capabilities.

    It’s pretty much all they know. Their ability to repeat the talking points can be chalked up to instinct, kinda like a parrot.

    If they could actually comprehend what they were hearing, they might realize that despite this influx of children, illegal crossings are down and deportation is up.

  45. 45
    kc says:

    @beltane:

    Stealing that.

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @beltane: Seeing a pallet of fuzed shells just makes me very nervous. Utterly unsafe – and then letting kids fuck around with them, Jeebus. Normally, you have one of these in place until the round is ready to be rammed.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I literally (I mean literally) shuddered when I saw that.

  47. 47
    Kropadope says:

    @J R in WV:

    How despicable is it to want children to suffer, rather than to allow others to help them in your town?

    These kids are fleeing narco-terrorists who control the neighborhoods of everyone who isn’t extremely wealthy in all those “banana republics”. The only security is what you buy with the hiring of tough guys with automatic weapons to escort your car, watch your gate.

    Well can you blame them? If Republicans were to assess this situation honestly instead of using it as a hammer against Obama, they would have to own up to the failures of their War on Drug(user)s and their enforcement-first immigration policies.

  48. 48
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Citizen_X:

    And a luxury “resort spa” in fucking Weslaco? It’s reminder #2,057: these people have absolutely no clue what the border luxury is actually like.

    Fixed that.

    SteveM had a post about the Palm Aire motel/resort. It’s been down on its heels for quite some time. It’s probably been up for sale for a few years. It’s owners/managers haven’t paid attention to it for a while. In its prime, just after construction and opening, it was probably luxury for the local working class and middle class people. But in no way was it truly luxurious. A corporate executive and his wife from say some East coast company would never have gone there for vacation or a winter getaway.

  49. 49
    Suzanne says:

    “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:33

    I don’t even go to church anymore, and yet I know this. Thanks, Christians! Obviously doing a bang-up job loving your neighbors as yourselves. Being patient and kind, holding no record of wrongs.

    How can anyone turn these kids away?! I just do not fathom it.

    Is there a good way to help these kids out? I am always wary of international adoption and the potential for exploitation, but is there a different good course of action?

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Suzanne:

    Is there a good way to help these kids out? I am always wary of international adoption and the potential for exploitation, but is there a different good course of action?

    Workhouses?

  51. 51
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Sigh. Once again, the problem is a compassion deficit, and there’s no good way to fix that.

  52. 52
    Suffern ACE says:

    And if they were sick, what do you do about it? There seems to be a lot of wishing on the protesters part. The kids exist whether you want them to go away or not. They need to go somewhere while they wait. But I guess we are in for a summer of massive resistance to helping children. Wherever they go, they are going to be met with protesters shouting about the injustice of having to deal with children.

    Because its and election year and if the election is about these children, liberals lose. So they will be protested and moved around until we end up like Australia, stashing them in some other country until we can figure out where they go.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Because its and election year and if the election is about these children, liberals lose.

    Is that really the case? They are child refugees – a compelling case can and should be made that one doesn’t just turn one’s back on children.

  54. 54
    Kropadope says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Is that really the case? They are child refugees – a compelling case can and should be made that one doesn’t just turn one’s back on children.

    A compelling case can be made to not turn our backs on these children, true (I don’t find the other case very compelling at all). Good luck getting it a fair hearing in our sociopathic mainstream media, though.

  55. 55
    Helen says:

    @Kropadope: @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): And we who can fund this contribute where?

  56. 56
    Kropadope says:

    @Helen: This is a sort of a collective action type situation. This is definitely a much better cause than some other uses of the US Treasury. If we can settle these children, integrate them, educate them, and keep them healthy they’ll most likely pay it back in time.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Helen: Try Refugees.org.

  58. 58
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    It’s a photo op. If you look at the picture closely, you can see that the guy in the background is also photographing the kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were dummy training rounds or something similar.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Roger Moore: They look pretty live. The shell might be dummies – I can’t tell from the photo whether there is any HE in the shells. OTOH, those fuzes look like no dummy fuze I have ever seen.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):
    I will defer to your actual expertise over my pretend kind. This sounds almost as crazy as the jihadis who get together for a group hug before one of them goes out to carry out a suicide bombing.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: I thought the same thing initially. It took me a minute to figure out what it really was. Thank god for all those years of playing Caliente Canasta, or I wouldn’t have known what the sign meant.

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @⚽️ Martin: That just about made me sick. Hateful and evil. Just wrong.

    (Not wrong of you to post it.)

  64. 64
    sm*t cl*de says:

    The “Central-American refugees are spreading Ebola!!” lie seems to have started with Dr Jane Orient, head of the AAPS. That’s the Randroid band of liars, loons and libertarians (BIRM) who set up their own medical association because the AMA were too soft on socialised medicine. A collective case study in Crank Magnetism at work (climate change is a fraud, abortion causes breast cancer, fluoridation, etc.).

    So they are opposed to vaccines… and they are also opposed to scary foreign refugees for allegedly carrying vaccine-preventable diseases like swine flu and TB.

  65. 65
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Roger Moore:

    FEMA camps?

    I used to laugh at the idea of FEMA camps. Now I wish they were a real thing. I’d spend five hours a day working out to get in shape and another five hours at the shooting range if I thought I could get a job as a guard at a FEMA camp protecting American from these America-hating Teabagger freaks that the Dictator Obama would be interning there for the good of the human race.

  66. 66
    Keith P says:

    So, in other words “Here’s a bunch of shit to piss you off this morning. Happy Friday!”

  67. 67
  68. 68
    LAC says:

    @Suzanne:

    “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:33

    I don’t even go to church anymore, and yet I know this. Thanks, Christians! Obviously doing a bang-up job loving your neighbors as yourselves. Being patient and kind, holding no record of wrongs.”

    It is amazing what some so called Christians will focus on in the bible. Usually it involves teh gays and women knowing their place.

  69. 69
    basement cat says:

    I know the news stories about people acting like assholes outnumber anything else, but there are some news stories about nice folks like these people in McAllen, Texas. I am sure there are others, it’s just that the haters are shouty and louder and are open carrying.

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