Who’s Really Responsible for the Toddler Invasion

Two articles to read together today — one is from the New York Times editorial board

The revised legislation sought to appease the hard-liners, who were insisting on swiftly expelling migrant children but also intent on killing the Obama administration’s program to halt the deportations of young immigrants known as Dreamers. Tea Party members believe, delusionally, that the program, called DACA, has some connection to the recent surge of child migrants, who would never qualify for it. On Friday night, the House passed a bill that dragged immigration reform so far to the right that it would never become law. …

…The Senate’s attempt to address the border crisis, meanwhile, is also dead — filibustered by Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who engineered the House revolt, was exultant. Nothing will happen there until September, if then.

Meanwhile, the border crisis is still a crisis and people are suffering. The Border Patrol and refugee programs will run short of money for aiding and processing traumatized children. Immigration courts will still be overloaded, due process will continue to be shortchanged or denied. Because House Republicans killed a comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate more than a year ago, the larger immigration system, choked by obsolete laws, backlogs and bureaucratic breakdowns, still awaits repairs.

Again, it’s important to understand that the Right’s carping about “Dreamers” is a red herring straw man on steroids. The law they claim is responsible for the border crisis does not apply to people crossing the border after June 2012.  Meanwhile, the Right refuses to address the law that does apply, signed by President G.W. Bush, that says these children cannot be deported without a hearing. But Republicans in Congress refuse to provide money to help speed up the hearings; they want to ignore the law and just deport the children. And then they call President Obama a lawless tyrant.

The NY Times editorial is as good a capsule version of where we are with immigration as I’ve found.  Meanwhile, A.W. Gaffney explains who really is responsible for the instability in Central America that is driving so many to take refuge here.

But why is the region so underdeveloped, why is poverty so entrenched, and why has the colonial legacy of inequality proven so resistant to social and political change? Though the situation is admittedly complex, the dismal state of affairs in Central America is in no small part the result of the failure of social democratic and left-of-center governments to maintain power and enact socioeconomic change; this failure, in turn, is sadly (in part) the consequence of the ironic “success” of U.S. foreign policy.

A pattern of U.S. interference with the democratic processes in these Central American countries goes back at least to the 1930s and has continued nearly to the present day. In other words, the U.S. persistently has seen to it that popularly and democratically elected left-leaning leaders were replaced — violently, if necessary –by right-wing despots. And this has a whole lot to do with why these countries are dysfunctional now.

Looking at Congress today, one might argue the U.S. finally is doing to itself what it did to Guatemala — make it an ungovernable mess.  We don’t learn.

5 thoughts on “Who’s Really Responsible for the Toddler Invasion

  1. “Looking at Congress today, one might argue the U.S. finally is doing to itself what it did to Guatemala — make it an ungovernable mess. We don’t learn.”

    Ah, but SOME people DID learn!

    It looks like our 3rd World Banana Republic creating and supporting conservatives learned to love the idea of them so much, that they’re trying to make American into a 3rd World Banana Republic – and if they succeed, it’ll be thanks to banana’s Republicans!

    When, oh when, will our MSM start regularly pointing out how nucking-futs the Republican Party is nowadays?

    Oh, right!
    The corporations which own 90% of our MSM, like 3rd World working conditions for people. Even if it’s in this country.
    And so they pay their MSM stars and pundits big bucks to turn their backs, while also screaming “Both side do it! – and, “He said/She said.”
    And so, the stars and pundits keep silent on the batshit insanity of the Republican Party, and the death of the middle class and America.

    And can you blame them?
    Who wants to look for a job in this country today?
    You’re lucky if you find one.
    And it’s practically a miracle if it pays a living wage.

  2. “When you own a big chunk of the bloody third world, the babies just come with the scenery.”

  3. Maybe its me, but I kind of think it wouldn’t be exactly the best of praises to have a praise like this lavished upon me. But then again…I’m not a Repug.

    When the conservatives sat down to hash out differences with GOP leadership Thursday night in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, “it went as smooth as silk,” Bachmann said. “Steve laid it out, and in less than two hours, we worked it out. It was really a painless process. But it was the first time that I’ve seen leadership recognize, with respect and admiration, the work that Steve King did. Steve helped to completely gut this bill.”

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