Detention Camps the Answer for Border Crisis?

children-borderBy Carl Takei
ACLU National Prison Project

Seventy-two years ago, U.S. military officials labeled Japanese-Americans “an enemy race.” Because they were Japanese-Americans, the government locked members of my family—along with many other men, women, and children—in prison camps behind barbed wire.

That family history makes it especially painful for me to watch our country marching refuge-seeking Central American children and families down a similarly shameful path. Too often, the United States violates its principles in response to the vocal racism and xenophobia of some and the silence of too many who watch it happen.

The federal government’s World War II decision to incarcerate Japanese-American families was fueled by decades of racist agitation against Japanese immigration. When the war came, some white Americans saw it as a chance to take back a country they felt was being overrun by an alien race. As farmer Austin Anson told The Saturday Evening Post in 1942, “We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons…. We do. It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown men. They came into this valley to work and they stayed to take over.”

Others were quite clear about what they wanted to happen to these “Japs” once arrested. In early 1942, Nevada Gov. Edward Carville wrote to military authorities that while he was willing to accept construction of a Japanese-American concentration camp in his state, “I do not desire that Nevada be made a dumping ground for enemy aliens to be going anywhere they might see fit to travel.”

Today, a similar xenophobic drumbeat is sounding against the Central American families and children seeking refuge in the United States. Rush Limbaugh recently called the children “illegal alien invasion forces.” Ann Coulter accused immigration-reform advocates of “working feverishly to turn the country into Mexico.” Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., a physician, asserted that the families and children fleeing violence south of the U.S. border pose “grave public health threats” to Americans. And during the now-infamous bus-blocking protest in Murrieta, Calif., one man waved a sign reading: “Murrieta is not a dumping ground for the federal government.”

Of course, history never repeats itself in exactly the same way. The Japanese-Americans incarcerated during World War II were generally long-term residents and U.S. citizens. In contrast, the latest targets of this country’s special blend of racism and xenophobia are new arrivals—particularly women and girls—fleeing horrific violence in Central America. According to the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, violent deaths of women in Honduras increased 263.4 percent between 2005 and 2013. And asylum requests from Honduran, El Salvadoran, and Guatemalan nationals have increased 712 percent in Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Belize since 2008, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency.

In Central America, gangs act with impunity. To take just one example: Ms. L, a preteen, was dragged from her home and raped by more than a dozen gang members, according to the Jesuit ministries in Honduras who work in partnership with groups assisting girls victimized by violence. After reporting the gang rape to the police, her family began to receive death threats. When a shelter declined to take Ms. L in because it could not protect her or any of the other shelter residents from gang violence, she fled the country.

Central American families need to have their claims for asylum or other legal immigrant statuses carefully evaluated in fair hearings, with counsel, before immigration judges. Indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union recently filed a lawsuit arguing that every child should receive legal representation in these hearings. Instead, growing numbers of women and children—many of whom have fled real threats of violence, sexual assault, or even death—are being locked in remote detention facilities, far from immigration attorneys, and rushed through the process. This often happens without these women and children ever receiving a chance to tell their stories to an asylum officer or a judge.

Their detention is unnecessary. People across the political spectrum have begun to express the view that alternatives to detention are more humane and effective, and far less costly.

Yet, just as the Roosevelt administration used the language of “military necessity” to accommodate the demands of anti-Japanese racists on the West Coast, Obama administration officials have requested funding for a massive increase in “family detention” of Central American parents and children. The Obama administration did so not because these young women and children pose a risk to public safety, or because such mass detention is necessary to ensure particular individuals show up for their immigration court hearings. Instead, the current administration did this to “send a message” to other Central Americans. As Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson put it during a recent detention-facility tour, the existence of detention centers reserved for families with children “represents proof that indeed we will send people back” to the countries they are trying to escape.

That is a shameful message indeed—and one that future generations will rightly condemn. To stay on the right side of history, the Obama administration must halt its expansion of family detention.

This piece was originally published by The National Journal magazine online at The Next America’s Perspectives page. The Next America project explores the political, social and cultural implications of the nation’s ongoing and massive demographic shifts.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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80 Comments

  1. Davis Progressive

    can you imagine the political specter of the republican-bill from the house where they would have rounded up little kids, confined them in detention centers and then deported them?

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Can you imagine an African American Attorney General not supporting and enforcing civil rights laws? Oh right, Eric Holder didn’t.

      I can also imagine a President feting African warlords and homophobes at the White House because he shares lineage with him. He stated as such this week in the White House, which most of the press ignored.

  2. Frankly

    Can you imaging the political specter of the Democrats in control of Washington telegraphing incentives for these people to make the dangerous trip to the US so that the Republicans will be faced with the specter of responsibility for protecting our fiscal house and our national sovereignty?

    It simply reminds me of adults and children. The children being the people on the left of politics and their media pals throwing tantrums over the adults demanding responsible behavior. We all know what is rationally correct, but some of us value politics over what is rationally correct.

    1. Tia Will

      “We all know what is rationally correct, but some of us value politics over what is rationally correct.”

      No, Frankly. We do not all know the same about what is “rationally correct”. To me “rationally correct” is also what is morally correct. We have an obligation to assess the claims of those who seek asylum. To do so within our legal system means that those who cannot provide counsel for themselves be provided with counsel. To me, it is rational and moral to follow our own laws or change them. As it sits now, we have an obligation to honor our promise to asylum seekers.

      1. Frankly

        Morality is simply the difference between right and wrong. There is nothing at all right about a President and his political party sending clear messages to encourage these people to come here illegally. The circumstances of central America has not drastically changed recently to justify this flood of illegal immigrants. It is just more of the same crap from the party that can’t stop finding new ways to spend other people’s money to satiate their victim-saver syndrome while also feeding their long-range supply of reliable Democrat voters.

        Oh yeah… and to provide plenty of work for those lawyers that tend to pad the pockets of Democrat politicians.

        Here is what we need. It is simple. For every additional non-Constitutionally-supported expense that the left demands we add to our spending, cut something else to pay for it.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            A defense budget they’ve already taken three or four chunks from while government spending goes through the roof to the tune of $7.5 Trillion in new debt.

            At least Gore and Clinton made a symbolic attempt to cut 100,000 gov’t jobs.

          2. Don Shor

            I’m just saying that any attempt to link specific legislation to deficit or budget reduction will almost certainly derail that legislation.

          3. Don Shor

            But you can’t possibly believe that every single penny of our defense budget is necessary. You can’t possibly believe there is no waste or unnecessary expense in our defense budget.

          4. Frankly

            When you look at defense spending as a percentage of our GDP and as a percentage of our total budget, it has significantly declined while non-defense spending has exploded.

            Is there waste? Absolutely. Can we afford to cut? Absolutely not unless we are willing to risk the deaths of more soldiers as we have to fight to protect ourselves while being less capable and less prepared.

            The average dove liberal and left-to-moderate libertarian wants the US to stay out of global conflict. The thinking is that the US is carrying too much of the global burden for policing, and then rest of the industrialized world needs to step up.

            And then Russia invades for more territory in eastern Europe.

            And China is pushing for more territory in Asia.

            And the members of the EU are so far into socialism debt, they have no way to step in.

            So who is going to be the next superpower to step in?

            We can see it now… we are it. Our national treasure and our sons and daughters have to sacrificed for the sake of the free world.

            If you don’t see that, then Nevil Chamberlain will be happy to set a place for you at his table in heaven or hell.

          5. Don Shor

            It should significantly decline when we are not at war. Our military power is greater than that of all the next ‘powers’ by a significant factor. It isn’t a matter of ‘staying out’ of global conflict. There are times for prudent military action in concert with others in a region, or with our allies. We should be the power of last resort. We absolutely should “lead from behind” whenever possible. Sending in our troops should be the last consideration. We need to stop trying to control the globe as though it is a chess game, and instead use our military wisely and in as limited a manner as possible. Retaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been stupid, pointless, wasteful, and likely would have killed or maimed more Americans unnecessarily.
            We can cut our defense budget somewhat. To state that any budget increase has to be balanced, but never with cuts to defense, is just ideological dogma. We are cutting defense successfully via sequestration. We are no less safe because of it.

          6. Don Shor

            left-to-moderate libertarian

            I am unfamiliar with this species. Can you name a national political figure who meets this description?

          7. TrueBlueDevil

            Don Shor wrote: ” Retaining troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been stupid, pointless”

            You mean because we won the war, its OK to lose the peace?

            Maybe Obama wouldn’t have called ISIS “the jayvee team” two months ago if we had more intell on the ground.

            I’m sure the beheaded children and raped women would not call a standing force “pointless”.

            Your logic isn’t.

          8. Don Shor

            We didn’t win either war. They were never-ending conflicts with no clear goals or positive outcomes. Retain troops, take them out, put them back in — none of it would have made any difference. We’re doing now what we need to do now. Hopefully the president will keep to limited actions in support of those who should be fighting their own war.
            Nice rhetorical flourish at the end there. People are being beheaded and raped in Central America by gangs, too. Hence the children at the border.

          9. TrueBlueDevil

            International leaders know Obama is weak and over his head, they can smell it, hence Putin’s actions in Crimea and the Ukraine, China making noise, and Central American presidents signing a pact to allow the transport of their citizens through Mexico to America, un-accosted.

            Obama can’t even get out Marine out of jail in Mexico, a move that one take one phone call.

            Reagan – “Peace through strength”

            Obama – “Don’t do stupid s__t”

          10. Frankly

            It should significantly decline when we are not at war.

            Sure, but that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about decline of the general defense budget, not the war budget.

            And to cut the regular defense budget given the state of global stability is… well stupid, reckless, risky, ignorant, dangerous, and dumb.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Its also rational to:

        – Call in the National Guard
        – Get serious with the presidents of Mexico, El Salvador and others
        – Cut off aid until they do get serious
        – Triple or quadruple the numbers of immigration judges
        – Don’t take in to our country those who don’t meet the legal requirements; put them back on a bus or plane into Central Mexico
        – Deliver harsh sentences to coyotes; and publicise it!
        – Enforce that a second crossing into the US is no longer an “infraction”, it is a Felony. This is existing law.

        1. Don Shor

          – Call in the National Guard
-

          Sure, but I think this is overrated. They aren’t trained to do what we need, and can’t arrest people. Just increase the Border Patrol if you want more agents on the ground.

          Get serious with the presidents of Mexico, El Salvador and others
-

          Um, huh?

          Cut off aid until they do get serious
-

          What good would that do?

          Triple or quadruple the numbers of immigration judges
-

          Excellent plan. Now all you need to do is get Congress to pass a bill funding that. Oh, wait. They went home.

          Don’t take in to our country those who don’t meet the legal requirements; put them back on a bus or plane into Central Mexico
-

          Sure. I think most people agree with that. Just need to hold a hearing first. See “triple or quadruple the numbers of immigration judges” above.

          Deliver harsh sentences to coyotes; and publicise it!
-

          Sure. But I don’t think most of them are coming into the country and getting caught.

          Enforce that a second crossing into the US is no longer an “infraction”, it is a Felony. This is existing law.

          And then?

        2. Frankly

          Put the army on the border and tell Mexico that all expenses from illegal human and drug traffic into our country will be billed to them, and they can do the same to us for any of the same coming from the US to Mexico.

          1. Don Shor

            What is with all this bellicose stuff? Why do you and other conservatives seem to always look for a military solution for problems? What makes you think Mexico would be capable of implementing a border strategy any more effectively than we have? Why do you not seek collaborative solutions?
            The military is not the right agency to enforce the border. If you want more people on the border, add more border patrol agents. We generally don’t deploy the United States military in our states.
            This is a regional problem that requires cooperation between our government and those of Mexico and, primarily, the rather weak governments of El Salvador and Honduras and Guatemala. There are humans involved who are fleeing desperate circumstances. I am baffled by what you even think this approach would work. Mexico is fighting an all-out war against drug cartels. They have fewer resources than we do, and they kind of have their hands full.
            You are being simplistic, to put it mildly.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            I wouldn’t call it bellicose, I’d call it frustration at 4 decades of huge failure. But I’m pretty sure Obama is an Open Borders guy, given how he stopped the construction of the 700-mile border fence.

            We don’t “always look for a military solution for problems” – after 4 decades of failure, we’re offering proposals that work in other countries around the world.

            “What makes you think Mexico would be capable of implementing a border strategy any more effectively than we have?” Because they protect their southern border quite well, an irony seemingly lost on you.

            “Why do you not seek collaborative solutions?” Probably because, as we just saw, 4 central american countries signed a treaty to speed the transmission of illegal immigrants to America, and because Mexico’s second largest revenue source is money transfers from it’s citizens in the United States.

            I know, progressives love taxes: why don’t we tax those international transfers to mexico at 15%, and use the monies to help fund the border patrols?

            I wouldn’t take one or two changes, I’d do about a dozen things to change the border situation.

          3. Don Shor

            The administration has been negotiating for an immigration bill. It isn’t “open borders.”
            Why would you use the US military — Army, Navy, Marines — to do the job of the Border Patrol? If you want more personnel there, hire more border patrol agents. My recollection is that the Senate bill (Gang of 8 compromise version) contained funding for 20,000 for border patrol agents.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Don, you answer is a half truth. Obama’s immigration bill will include “comprehensive” reform, including Amnesty for millions, potentially tens of millions.

            Obama is even planning to take executive action to grant amnesty to upwards of 5 million this fall in political game to paint the GOP into a corner.

            The Preisdent;’s plan rewards law breakers, putting them ahead of people from Africa, Germany, or Albania.

            The President is currently allowing M13 gang members into the country.

          5. Don Shor

            Any comprehensive immigration bill will provide a path to citizenship (what you call amnesty) for some of those who are here. There is bipartisan support for that. There is public support for that. There is business and labor support for that. The opposition is coming from House Republicans, who appear to be willing to prevent any immigration reform if it includes that.
            Nobody is intentionally “allowing M13 gang members into the country” but clearly we need to process the people at the border more effectively and more carefully. So pass a clean funding bill and get that done. But Sen. Cruz and his cohorts won’t allow the passage of a clean bill; they want to tie it to other things that they know will not pass the Senate. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but at the moment the obstacle is the conservative membership of the House.
            The House leadership basically told the President to take executive action.

          6. TrueBlueDevil

            The House passed two simple, limited bills before they left the capitol. The Senate refused to vote on them, even though they consider the border a “humanitarian crisis”… but not enough of a crisis to postpone their vacation.

          7. Don Shor

            Another way of describing what happened: after a very acrimonious debate, the House failed to vote on bills supported by the House leadership, due to objections from conservatives. The leadership caved to the conservatives and pulled the bills. Then, after a meeting between House conservatives and Senator Ted Cruz, the House passed bills that contained provisions such as curtailing DACA that they knew would be unacceptable to the Senate and the White House. Then they went home.
            The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill in 2013. It has never been allowed to come to a vote in the House.

          8. TrueBlueDevil

            Don, have you read the recent polls?

            KINGSTON, New Hampshire, Aug 7 (Reuters) – “As President Barack Obama considers sidestepping Congress to loosen U.S. immigration policy, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Americans are deeply worried that illegal immigration is threatening the nation’s culture and economy.

            “Seventy percent of Americans – including 86 percent of Republicans – believe undocumented immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs, according to the poll….”

            “Opposition to illegal immigration is higher in New England than in much of the rest of the country, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll of mid-July. Seventy-six percent of people in the region said undocumented immigrants threaten American beliefs and customs, compared to 70 percent nationally.”

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/07/undocumented-immigration_n_5657565.html

          9. Don Shor

            I have previously shown you survey data as to what the public supports regarding immigration. Apparently you choose to ignore it. Most people support either a path to citizenship, or a legal residency without citizenship. That has majority support among Democrats, Independents, and even barely among Republicans. The only group that opposes those options is Americans who identify with the Tea Party.
            It is clear what a bipartisan immigration bill will look like. It will include a path to citizenship. It has already passed the Senate with a good number of Republican votes. The only thing holding it up is the conservative Tea Party wing of the GOP.

          10. TrueBlueDevil

            I think with the recent bum rush to the border, serious questions, health / inoculation concerns, those polls might have changed.

            And what would an honest pool look like instead of trotting out the clearly false number of 12 million illegal immigrants, we gave a realistic number?

            I also believe that most Americans have also stated that they want the border sealed FIRST, to prevent this on-going lack of security and control.

            Ironically, I saw today that a conservative provocateur walked across the border from Mexico to America, dressed as Osama bin Laden, unscathed and undeterred.

          11. Don Shor

            I think with the recent bum rush to the border, serious questions, health / inoculation concerns, those polls might have changed.

            Translation: you have no evidence, you just have a hunch that people who didn’t agree with you before now agree with you.
            The majority, as you correctly note, also want the border more secure. That would be part of any bipartisan immigration bill. Which will also include a path to citizenship.

          12. TrueBlueDevil

            Obama cancelled the construction on the 700-mile fence. Democrats clearly don’t want it. In 1976, they promised to close the border, and never did.

            Many conclude the Democrats want the votes and dependents, and big business wants the cheap labor. Meanwhile, the middle class gets sold down the river.

            This is why common-sense reform would say build the fence first (and other security measures), then move on to other reforms. The Democrats aren’t honest on this, and most Americans now don’t trust the President on almost all issues.

          13. TrueBlueDevil

            Obama is an Open Borders guy, pro Amnesty, doesn’t care much for the rule of law, and I’m sure his thoughts on race are also part of the equation.

            “The virtual fence was never meant to be a fence – it was rhetoric to enable officials in the Bush and Obama administrations to claim stepped-up enforcement to persuade Congress to act on amnesty for illegal immigrants,” said James Carafano, a retired Army officer serving as a security analyst with the Heritage Foundation.”

          14. David Greenwald

            I really do wish people would stop with the Open Borders stuff. There are very few people in this country in favor of truly open borders. There may be that want more open. But when Janet Napolitano was hired as UC’s president, the chief complaint about her from the activist left is she was in charge of deportations of immigrants.

      3. tribeUSA

        Tia: re: “To me, it is rational and moral to follow our own laws or change them.”

        What about enforcement of US immigration laws? How do you decide which laws should be enforced and which neglected?

  3. Offering Balance

    I don’t agree with the president on many things but he is correct here. Confusing the detention of Japanese American citizens with the detention of unknown individuals, with unknown health problems, with unknown criminal backgrounds, from a number of near lawless countries is nonsensical. The two are completely different. The rounding up of Americans was a very dark moment in our history. At the time it must have made sense but I still don’t see how.

    The individuals that are illegally entering the US have documented cases of untreated communicable illnesses. Many adults are also being detained that have criminal backgrounds as well MS13 members. It would be better to send gang members back to their own countries to be killed than allow them to victimize US citizens.

    The individuals should remain detained until it is determined if they are staying or going back to their home countries. These individuals do pose a public health threat. Not only because some are bringing illness with them but also the additional strain they will place on the health system.

    The ACLU is seeking an open border policy. That would endanger the safety of US citizens, healthcare, social services, and the education system.

      1. South of Davis

        Offering Balance wrote:

        > Well if the ACLU doesn’t want them detained then they illegally
        > enter the country what would you call it?

        It is nice to have some more “balance” in Davis. I just got back from a bar-b-q where just about everyone (but me) went to Cal, Stanford, Harvard or Yale. Compared to the current US Supreme Court (that all went to Harvard or Yale) and the last four US Presidents (that went to Harvard or Yale) there was at least a little “diversity”.

        If we let another 10 million illegal aliens in to the US about the only impact to me and my (well educated and well compensated) Davis friends is that we will probably pay a little more in taxes, but probably save even more since restaurants, organic farms, gardeners and cleaning firms will be able to charge less (due to even more people that will work long hours at low pay).

        Since most people in Davis don’t talk to (or know) as many poor working class people in California as I do they have no idea that things are really tough out there. Higher taxes and more people that are willing to work longer hours for less money really hurts most people in CA (that don’t have a Law degree from Harvard, or a Medical degree from Cal).

        I’m pretty sure that none of the people coming across the border will take a job from a Harvard educated Tax Attorneys or Lobbyist in Sacramento or will take a job from a UC educated Optometrist or Gynecologist in Davis. It sure would be “nice” to help more people but we can’t forget that “helping” even more illegals is “hurting” a lot of US born Americans…

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          I was at a taqueria last month in a barrio, the only gringo in sight, and was chatting with a man I knew from the past.

          He had just moved back from SoCal. Even he, likely an illegal immigrant, said this: “Too many Mexicans in L.A. ” I asked him what the problem was. He replied: “I make good money here to tile a room. $1,000, $1200, good money. In LA, the MEX-icans like tile, but only pay $350 a room. Not too much money.”

          I thought to myself: he has just described the problem with a massive labor pool; wages plummet. I asked him about the “MEX-icans”: “Do you mean Mexican-Americans, patrons?” [The boss, the customer.] ‘Yes.’

          BTW, I’ve yet to meet a person with a medical degree from Kal, but I guess I might some day.

  4. Tia Will

    Offering Balance

    “the detention of unknown individuals, with unknown health problems, with unknown criminal backgrounds, from a number of near lawless countries is nonsensical”

    You are correct that there are many unknowns. This is the point. These individuals seeing asylum should be assessed on a case by case basis. Those with medical problems should be treated. Those who are criminals should be repatriated. And those who are truly innocents whose lives are at risk should be granted asylum. This is according to our own laws. Should we not honor our own laws even if it is expensive and inconvenient to do so.
    Or is it our position that it is better to send back innocents to be killed than it is to treat those with communicable diseases or risk that we may miss a violent individual. We have rational and moral obligation to care for those who seek genuine asylum

    I will paraphrase Edward R. Murrow “We cannot promote morality abroad by abandoning it at home.
    ( His word, of course, was “liberty” not “morality”).

    1. Offering Balance

      I have no issue with addressing individual cases and offering due process. I also think it is appropriate to keep people who enter the country illegally detained as long as necessary to properly safeguard American citizens and ensure asylum is truly needed. If they are truly seeking asylum they will not complain about being detained since the conditions of their detainment are better than where they were. People with medical needs should and will be treated, nobody is denying them treatment.

      And changing the words of a quote to fit an ideology isn’t paraphrasing, it is changing the quote.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    Surely, we need to consider the plight of true refugees and those who are truly in danger of being harmed by death squads, and show compassion where appropriate.

    But we don’t need to swallow the propaganda of the left as part of a problem which has festered for four decades. The US-Mexico border is the longest unprotected border between a first-world and third-world countries on planet Earth. Mexico isn’t Congo or other economic disasters. If we were to follow the logic of the left, we should import the whole Congo nation, and then move on to the next country.

    Over eighty percent of the illegal immigrants coming across the border are not children. Some are M13 gang members; some are being recruited by M13. Some are just seeking to live in a rich country with generous social welfare benefits.

    While many come to feed their children, and others seek the American dream, not all are pure as the driven snow. Governor Rick Perry from Texas recently said illegal immigrants comprised 30 percent of his prison population, and were responsible for 3,000 murders and 8,000 sex crimes in the state of Texas. The media doesn’t report these facts.

    I don’t think it is a coincidence that while we have allowed 30-40 million illegal immigrants to move into the United States, we have seen the middle class, schools, health care and environment suffer. (The government severely underestimates the number of illegal entrants, as evidenced by their error rate with the 1986 Amnesty program.)

    Bear Stearns: The Underground Labor Force Is Rising To The Surface

    http://www.steinreport.com/BearStearnsStudy.pdf

    If someone seriously wants to address refugees, look to the ethnic minority groups now being slaughtered in Iraq while our President vacations in Martha’s Vineyard. I watched a video last night on a Catholic website that turned my stomach. I won’t type the unthinkable acts that have been committed against children!! Two hundred women have been taken as slaves by ISIS. One bright light is the Kurds have saved 11,000 innocent human beings, and they are begging for ammunition’s so they can save more.

    1. Don Shor

      If someone seriously wants to address refugees, look to the ethnic minority groups now being slaughtered in Iraq while our President vacations in Martha’s Vineyard.

      Evidently you’ve missed the news that the president made public statements and took military action. But keeping this on topic: you want us to take in refugees from the conflict in Iraq?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          A need for compassion, help, assistance, military help, and yes, at the end of the day failing other moves, asylum.

          From my perspective, our President is 2 months late to the party, and innocent people are being slaughtered, children beheaded, and women raped and taken into slavery due to his professorial, feckless attitude.

          Professional commentators say that this bloodbath group, ISIS (now ISIL?), has been on our radar for 18 months.

          1. Don Shor

            A need for compassion, help, assistance, military help, and yes, at the end of the day failing other moves, asylum.

            Yes, and as I read the harrowing descriptions of what the young people, especially the young women and girls, are facing at home in El Salvador and Honduras, I think they merit similar consideration.
            The war in Iraq that Bush took us into made a serious mess of things and is the basic cause of all of this. It was the worst American foreign policy blunder in decades. Presidents for another generation will be cleaning up his mess. To the extent we can let others in the region do the work, so much the better for everyone. It’s always bad when we invade and occupy another country. So I assume it was hoped that the Kurds and the Iraqi government could handle this on their own. Evidently they can’t. But I’ll support a cautious president over a reckless one any day.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            What?

            The first basic cause of this is one cohort within the religion on Islam that are extremists, and want to wage “Jihad” and use terrorism one tool.

            Four Presidents have taken military action in the middle east, so clearly this is not a “Bush thing”.

            The second basic cause of the recent problems is that President Barack Obama chose not to leave a standing force in place, like we have elsewhere. Indeed, his foreign policy credo, as relayed by Hillary Clinton, is “Don’t do stupid s__t.” Talk about juvenile.

            This is the same arrogant president who called ISIS (ISIL) the “jayvee team”, and made a basketball analogy. His re-introduction of the military to stop their massacre and increasing power shows that he contradicts himself.

            He is in so far over his head. And while the world boils, he plays golf.

          3. Don Shor

            The decision to topple the government of Iraq was George W. Bush.
            We did not have approval from the government of Iraq to “leave a standing force in place.”
            It’s clear you wouldn’t support any statement or action of this president, regardless, so not much point in continuing this part of the discussion.
            You support asylum for the refugees from the war Bush started. But you don’t support asylum for those fleeing chaos and violence in Central America.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            “We did not have approval from the government of Iraq to “leave a standing force in place.” ”

            Obama didn’t want one, and didn’t try very hard. Once he announces that we’re out of there (with date) – which was also his campaign pledge – it was a fate accompli.

            “It’s clear you wouldn’t support any statement or action of this president”

            Thank you for your attempt at diversion. I support the President providing support to the Kurds; to the ethnic minorities; moving out Maliki; and providing air support.

            “But you don’t support asylum for those fleeing chaos and violence in Central America.”

            Not everyone rushing our border is fleeing violence. Central America has had problems for decades. Obama sent a message for young people south of our border to come here with his policies, whether he planned it, or whether it was the law of unintended consequences.

  6. tribeUSA

    The article by Mr. Takei is a prime example of an intellectually bankrupt [ranting piece of writing] that attempts to conflate disagreement with a social policy with racism. There are many, many reasons to oppose the continuing flood of immigrants over the southern border that have nothing to do with racism (some noted in others comments); except perhaps in the minds of those whom I term racialists; who attempt to paint social policies they don’t agree with as predominantly racist-based, when the evidence does not support racism as more than a minor factor or even when it is missing altogether.

    I think most of the readers of the Vanguard have enough intelligence and balance to reject Mr. Takei’s shameful attempt to paint those in support of strong border enforcement and support of the US Constitution with a racist brush; and to attempt to inject guilt and fear of social opprobrium in those who dare to have nonliberal views on policies for dealing with the most recent wave of illegal immigrants; seems to me people are wising up to these rhetorical tactics.

  7. Tia Will

    Certainly let’s shame Mr. Takei for stating his mind. After all a few reader’s might be offended or feel that he is calling them names specifically. Now let’s weigh the harm of that against the harm of sending innocents back to life threatening circumstances. Considering the magnitude of harm being done, Mr. Takei’s musings don’t look so bad after all whether one agrees with them or not.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I didn’t see Mr. Takei refer to the stark statistics cited by Governor Perry: that 30 percent of prisoners in his state are illegal immigrants.

      On top of this, his assertion is that 3,000 murders and 8,000 sexual crimes have been committed by these same individuals.

      So Mr. Takei ignores these facts while he plays the race card.

  8. Offering Balance

    Takei should be shamed. An educated ACLU attorney should recognize that he is conflating two incidents that do not compare to call his opposition racists. Takei is labeling many of those opposed to his stance a xenophobes. I would thing Takei would be against labeling large groups of people.

    Takei also fails to offer a solution to our current detention system. That leads me to believe he would like them to roam freely about the country. Since it is already documented that a larger percentage of those in this country illegally fail to make court dates I feel that would be illogical.

    I am trying to consider the harm being done but don’t see any. What harm is being done?

  9. Tia Will

    Offering Balance

    ” But since we know that’s not practical a balance has to be achieved.”

    Without having visited one of these “detention centers”, I sincerely doubt that either of us could say whether or not there is harm being done.

    Having visited Honduras three years ago being housed on a heavily guarded compound and going to outreach clinics under military escort, I can say from direct experience that there is definite harm being done to the population in that area. From what I have heard, conditions have gotten worse since I was there.

    I do not pretend to know the conditions at the detention centers. They may be clean, well organized, with adequate shelter, food, medical care…etc. Or not. I simply do not know and doubt that we are being provided with accurate information given the recent tempest in a teapot about housing immigrant children in a “luxury hotel”.

    Without accurate information regarding the conditions at the detention centers, I do not believe that it is possible to pass judgement on the claims made by Mr. Takei. But, even if his claim is as wildly off the mark as you seem to believe, please show me the harm in his comments as compared to the harm of the rapes, human trafficking and other forms of brutality that we know for a fact are occurring.

    1. Offering Balance

      Takei’s opinion doesn’t harm me, it harms the ability to have a logical debate about the issue. Your responses are a perfect example. Instead of coming up with a solution to the problem you want to discuss the harm in Takei sharing his opinion. Takei is an attorney that is respect but those on the left. Those who don’t look at his opinion piece logically will nott see that the two examples do not compare. Liberals will use his opinion and illogical comparison to push the racism angle. I said earlier in the thread that these two incidents are not comparable and nobody has disputed that fact.

      I am confident that the people being detained are safer, receiving better medical care, and eating better than before. Your own experience in Honduras should logically lead you to KNOW they are better off in detention centers than in their own countries. That doesn’t sound harmed to me. Until these people are properly vetted they should remain where they are.

  10. perrymason

    Both the Bush and Obama administrations have refused to allow the sale of arms to the Kurds, instead limiting sales to the national goverment of Iraq controlled by Al Maliki(spl?). Now they are fighting an ISIS armed with those very weapons which they obtained from the Iraqui military. You can blame Bush for this all you want but it was the Obama administration that pulled out and did not maintain preasure on Al Maliki to include the Sunni and Kurds in the political power sharing. He tried to consolidate power for the Shites at the expense of these other groups. The Kurds were the ones that worked best with us, developed a stable economy and the most peaceful region in Iraq. The administration should now sell arms directly to the Kurds so they can defend themselves against ISIS. The Kurds are also obsorbing most of the Christian refugees.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I agree one hundred percent. They have been loyal friends, but I believe we already turned our backs on them once before.

      I’d have these objectives:

      1) Protect the Kurds and allow them to continue to thrive
      2) Prevent genocide
      3) Slow down ISIS

      Please, take a quick look at this website which is positive!

      http://theotheriraq.com/

      1. Don Shor

        I would say that for diplomatic and strategic reasons, we have to maintain the fiction of a unified Iraq, even as it is clearly partitioning. I think we are probably already arming the Kurds (“The CIA declined to comment on whether it was sending arms”). The fact that we are doing bombing runs on their behalf speaks to our commitment to keep the Kurds safe.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          A recent report 4 hours ago says that the Kurds have seized back two towns, so that is great news.

          France and England are also stepping up with humanitarian aid, so some good news.

          1. perrymason

            Those towns were not in the Kurdish side of the green line. They are towns where Iraqi Christians lived and the Kurds moved their forces forward to protect them and then pulled back. ISIS is effectively destroying the Christian community in that part of Iraq.
            To effectively coordinate air strikes we need forward deployed SOF units to direct the air strikes to maximize the destruction of ISIS forces and to limit civilian collateral damage.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Obama seems to have no stomach for this. Maybe he sees no difference between Islam and Christianity.

    2. Frankly

      The reason that the US has not given arms to the Kurds is because of Turkey. And Turkey has actually been acting like a good friend of the West as of late.

      However, it just goes to show the complexity of this region and collective stupidity of the people in this region. Turkey is afraid of a Kurdish uprising, and so they don’t support the US arming the Kurds. Now Turkey is faced with ISIS taking over and then instead of Kurds, they will have radical, fanatic, murderous, terrorist, Islamic extremists for neighbors. Guess what… now arming the Kurds does not sound so bad.

      I have often thought that some alien war ships from planet Zork would do what so many wars and failed John Kerry – led mediations have failed to do… bring the people of this planet together in cooperation.

      That is one possible upside to this ISIS occupation… the fools in Iraq that are so consumed with sectarian anger and resentment get to experience a bigger threat and problem and maybe learn to cooperate to prevent the next attack.

      But probably not because they are all idiots.

      1. perrymason

        Turkey and the Kurdish regional goverment have been working together on a number of ventures. One of which is a pipeline from the Kurdish region into Turkey. Turkey gets oil and the Kurds can sell the oil in their region without going through Bahgdad. There are other ventures between Turkey and the Kurds where both benefit such as the sale of electrical power from Turkey to the Kurds. The bottom line is that relations between the Kurds and Turkey were improving prior to the ISIS invasion.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Good news!

          If ISIS fears they are losing too much, they could try to blow up the dam and kill hundreds of thousands of people. This dam is unstable on its own, needing constant grouting due to shifting sands / unstable earth below it.

  11. perrymason

    How many of you people are aware that the law that gives unaccompanied minors from central america special status requiring a hearing was passed by a voice vote in both houses and signed into law by Bush because it was specifically designed to protect victims of sex trafficing? Expanding it beyond the scope it was designed for abuses this law and it should be amended to reflect the original intent behind that legislation. Also both houses have passed bills that include an increase in the number of immigration judges. If both parties agree that we need more immigration judges why not move this part forward and then continue to negotiate on the parts where there is no agreement.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I did know know it was just a voice vote, is this common?

      I think the media has been negligent in letting us know how this law came to be, maybe it doesn’t suit their goals (open borders).

      Obama doesn’t want to move forward small pieces as he wants “comprehensive reform” and Amnesty for millions of future Democrat voters.

  12. Tia Will

    perrymason

    I do not agree that this should be limited to only those at risk of sex trafficking. Should a young girl not be protectd if the threat is of gang rape if her brother does not serve as a recruit ? Should we essentially condone the beating and potential killing of a younger brother if the older brother does not acquiesce ? Regardless of the initial intent, the need would appear to have outstripped it. The rest of your statement I agree with.

  13. Frankly

    Opposition to amnesty and for allowing these illegal trespassers to stay is not a racial thing. And anyone that says it should be shouted down as either an idiot or a tool for the left political propaganda strategy to divide, divide, divide and loot, loot, loot.

    Place an eastern European county in place of Mexico with the same percentage of white poor and uneducated people attempting to steal into the country illegally, and the arguments from those of us demanding a protected border and a sovereign country would be EXACTLY THE SAME.

    Make this racial and you completely lose credibility.

  14. Frankly

    History of defense and non-defense spending as a percent of GDP

    http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/defense-entitlement-spending-6001.jpg

    Since the end of WWII, there is less interstate conflict, but much more intrastate conflict. Before 9-11 the US was happy protecting US interest with money, covert operations and foreign policy. But then we were attacked. And it was made clear that the US is in a precarious position with our openness and freedoms. And so we became less open and less free… but not enough to reduce the risk of another terrorist attack.

    And so we have no choice but to play a part in these Arab, Persian and Muslim civil war conflicts because the perpetrators are not just interested in the territory they fight in. They want the resources of those countries so they can wage Jihad on the West. Just like the Palestinians use the resources they have and are provided to wage ware on Israel.

    But our Nevil Chamberlain, or extremist Islam sympathizer, President and his cohorts are gutting the military at a wrong time in our history.

    I say everyone needs to go on public record of being for or against cutting the defense budget. And those for should be made to be the first to have their sons and daughters have to fight to protect the country when needed. Some will be fine with that. But many would change their vote to “against” having this demand made of them… and that tells us something about them.

    1. Don Shor

      But our Nevil Chamberlain, or extremist Islam sympathizer, President and his cohorts are gutting the military at a wrong time in our history.

      The sequester was a bipartisan decision.

      I say everyone needs to go on public record of being for or against cutting the defense budget. And those for should be made to be the first to have their sons and daughters have to fight to protect the country when needed.

      I did. She did three tours of duty in Iraq. How about you?
      Maybe you should choose your rhetoric more carefully next time.

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