immigration

Why Aren’t Journalists Allowed Into U.S.-Mexico Border Camps?

immigrant children
REUTERS/Mike Blake

Journalists have been denied access to America’s concentration camps that are found along the U.S.-Mexico border.  On the rare occasion when they have been allowed in, journalists aren’t allowed to take any photos or record video.  The reason for this is pretty obvious.  From what we have seen, the conditions are deplorable, and therefore people are outraged.  Rightfully so.  That said, some journalists are taking a new approach to how to get around this particular issue – they’re using drones to record the video footage and to take photos.  Doesn’t the footage remind you of the Cuban Missile Crisis?  While I wasn’t around during that time, just the fact that the U.S took to the skies to figure out what was happening, appears to be similar.

Trump’s zero-tolerance policy means that even children, who came across the border with their parents, are classified as “unaccompanied minors” once they’ve been separated from their parents.  Trump did sign an executive order this week, but as we all know, it’s reversing his own policy.  That said, the U.S. Justice Department filed a motion yesterday that will likely mean families are still going to be imprisoned because of the sole fact that they crossed the border without authorization.

We should keep in mind that there are two physical borders in the United States. My question is – does the government treat people coming in from Canada the same way?  Maybe there aren’t as many people crossing the border, but there’s got to be people crossing illegally.  There is a large part of central Canada that is basically a wheat field.  What’s stopping people from crossing there?  And if they do, will they be detained in the same way that these Mexicans are?  My guess is no.  They’ll get caught, and then charged with something.  But they’ll be forced to return to Canada and likely unable to return to the United States.  They are detained for days on end.  Kids aren’t separated from their parents etc.  Which is evidence that this policy is based on race, not immigration.

u.s. immigration

Getting back to the concentration camps though.  Journalists have been given access, but it’s extremely limited.  There are over 100 detention facilities being operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  This is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.  Even elected officials have been denied access.  But I’m pretty sure that Melania Trump was allowed to go.  Does that make sense?  In fact, Members of Congress are being told that they have to give two weeks’ notice if they want to see inside one of these camps.  Two weeks’ notice?  Why?  So they can spruce the place up?

I think it’s safe to say that we all know what’s happening in these camps, but the fact that this is the stance taken by the government indicates that something else is going on inside.  We know, for instance, that many of these for-profit facilities force adults to perform labor for slave wages and have done so for years. But without an unrestricted look at the children’s facilities, we really have no idea what’s going on. All we have are second-hand reports of abuse, neglect, and despair. And if children aren’t being abused, then let people in to verify that with their own eyes?

immigration

Trump knows the impact that these images are going to have on public opinion.  And he’s right.  But he can’t keep these things from the world, let alone the American people.  Journalists will continue to find ways around these procedures, but the bottom line is that we still don’t really know what’s going on and it’s only a matter of time before everything is brought to light.

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