“Even if the immigration law is executed with perfection, there will be parents separated from their children.”
Could that be Steven Wagner, Acting Assistant Secretary Administration for Children and Families with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? Or maybe it was hard-line ICE boss Thomas Homan? Or perhaps President of the United States Donald Trump at his Nashville rally?
Actually, the speaker was Cecilia Muñoz, formerly of the National Council of La Raza and President Obama’s pick for White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Muñoz was interviewed in 2011 for the PBS “Frontline” film Lost in Detention, which contends that “more than one million immigrants have been deported since President Obama took office. Under his administration, deportations and detentions have reached record levels. The get-tough policy has brought complaints of abuse and harsh treatment, including charges that families have been unfairly separated after being caught in the nationwide dragnet.”
Gretchen Gavett of PBS recalled the Muñoz statement on November 3, 2011, citing a report from the Applied Research Center, which found that, as of 2011, at least 5011 children were living in foster care and prevented from uniting with detained or deported parents. One in four deportees, the November, 2011 study found, have U.S.-born kids and face total loss of parental rights.
The study told some parents’ stories, in great detail, but that prompted no outcry against the President of the United States Barack Obama for the deportations. Neither did activists target First Lady Michelle Obama for attention to daughters Malia and Sasha. Contrast that gentle, hands-off policy with the response to Ivanka Trump’s May 27 #SundayMorning photo with her two-year-old son, Theodore James Kushner.
As Tyler O’Neil noted on PJ Media, CNN “boosted a manufactured controversy” over the photo. “It’s a photo of her embracing her two-year-old son,” said CNN anchor Brianna Keilar, “and critics are saying that the post is really tone-deaf amid the reports of families being separated at the Mexican border.” An eruption followed, in the best Pavolvian style.
“I wonder what #SundayMorning is like for the parents of 1500 lost children your father is responsible for. F—k your #SundayMorning,” tweeted Halsey, known for her song “Bad at Love.” Cinema clown Jim Carrey tweeted “1500 innocent children ripped from their mothers’ arms at our border. Lost in Trump’s ‘system’. Give us your tired, your poor, your huddle masses yearning to breathe free — and we will torture them for wanting a better life. From Shining City to Evil Empire in under 500 days.”
Comedian Chelsea Handler wondered “What in the world is wrong with this family? Is this picture supposed to remind Mexican asylum seekers what they’ve lost?” And someone called B-magic tweeted, “Are you kidding me? Your cognitive dissonance is a slap on the face of everyone in this country. How dare you post this picture when kids are being forced away from their parents with your father’s approval? You are an awful, awful person.”
And so on, as another tweeted: “You’d almost never know her father’s administration, to which she is an adviser, was brutally separating migrant children from their asylum-seeking parents and lost track of 1,500 of them.”
In recent testimony, Steven Wagner of HHS noted that from October to December of 2017, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, attempted to reach 7,635 UAC and their sponsors. Of this number, “ORR reached and received agreement to participate in the safety and well-being call from approximately 86 percent of sponsors.”
From these calls, ORR learned that 6,075 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) remained with their sponsors, 28, had run away, five had been removed from the United States, and 52 had relocated to live with a non-sponsor. ORR was “unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475,” but there was more to the story.
On Monday, a day after the anti-Trump eruption, HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan told reporters the notion that ORR “lost” 1500 immigrant children was “completely false.”
The sponsors, “simply did not respond or could not be reached when the call was made.”
The core of the issue, Hargan explained was that “HHS has been put in the position of placing illegal aliens with the individuals who helped arrange for them to enter the country illegally. This makes the immediate crisis worse and creates a perverse incentive for further violation of federal immigration law.”
Hargan blamed “dangerous loopholes” in the U.S. immigration system and “until these laws are fixed, the American taxpayer is paying the bill for costly programs that aggravate the problem and put children in dangerous situations.”
The anti-Trump tweeters also cited an ACLU report on the mistreat treatment of migrant children by U.S. customs and border protection. Like the photos of the children in cages, that report dates from 2014, during the administration of POTUS 44. That is hardly the only reality now being overlooked.
Human trafficking is a crime and the celebrity-media-leftist outrage would be better directed at the Central American parents who put their own children in the hands of criminal smugglers. It was the previous administration, and leftist groups like Pueblo Sin Fronteras, that encouraged parents to partner with criminals. And Mexico’s PRI regime enabled the whole enterprise.
The celebrity-media-left axis ignores these realities and targets Ivanka Trump for posting a photo of two-year-old Theodore James Kushner. Everything has limits, except anti-Trump hatred and hysteria.