By Breitbart News
The Department of Health and Human Services hosted Breitbart News and other media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California, on Friday where migrant children are being sheltered after being separated from their parents.
The children are separated from their parents — or, to be precise, from the adults accompanying them, who may or may not be their parents — when their parents cross the southern U.S. border illegally and are caught and detained.
Previously, under the “catch-and-release” policy, the adults would be released. Under the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration, the adults are being detained and prosecuted. Children cannot be incarcerated with them.
However, families that arrive together at legal ports of entry and apply for asylum status are generally not split up and are permitted to stay in the U.S. pending the adjudication of their applications (which can take several years).
Democrats and the mainstream media have accused the administration of separating the children of “immigrants” from their parents and imprisoning them in “cages.” On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter Brian Karem shouted at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages.” None of the reporters in the briefing room corrected him.
The facility at El Cajon, however, is not a “cage.” It is a comfortable facility providing lodging, meals, clothing, medical care, education, recreation, counseling, and other services.
It is run by a nonprofit organization called Southwest Key as part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program, run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Administration for Children and Familes (ACF).
The facility is located on a main street in a quiet, suburban neighborhood. It has 65 beds, occupied by boys ages 6 to 17. The rooms are spare, with three to four beds in each; the boys are responsible for cleaning the rooms and making their own beds. There is an outdoor recreation area with picnic tables and a small soccer pitch.
There is a classroom area, and English lessons. The goal is “reunification”: letting each child depart with a legal guardian.
Some 90% of the children at the shelter arrived at the border without adults; the other 10% were separated from the adults accompanying them. Once the children arrive — usually brought by U.S. Border Patrol agents — they are greeted in the “intake” office, where they receive any urgent medical care, are assigned a case worker, and are given food, a shower, and new clothing. They are also given toiletries and lessons in hygiene — literally how to flush a toilet, brush their teeth, and operate the shower, which some of the children may have never seen in their lives.
The children receive six hours of education daily, which include lessons in English and physical education. The boys interact with girls who are housed offsite and brought to the shelter during the day to access its services.
They have limited access to telephones to call relatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. They receive therapy, both as individuals and in group sessions. They enjoy field trips to local museums, parks, and the zoo, where they can explore the city beyond the shelter. And they also have social activities, including a recent “prom” for which they dressed up.
“Cages,” these are not. What is immediately striking about the facility is the enthusiasm and care of the staff who work there. One administrator greeted the journalists on the tour: “Welcome to our home.” The children at the facility seemed genuinely happy, despite their unfortunate circumstances and the trauma of their long journey.
The real scandal is how the media have portrayed the shelters. When MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff toured a similar facility this week in Brownsville, Texas, for example, he referred to the children there as being “incarcerated,” which is only true in the same sense that hospital patients, too, are not permitted to leave, for their safety. (One official who had seen Soboroff’s televised report accused him of “flat-out lying” about the facility — such as, for example, reporting on a mural of Donald Trump without noting 19 other presidents were similarly depicted.)
Southwest Key has operated its facilities — 27 in total, across California, Arizona, and Texas — since 1997, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Flores v. Reno that unaccompanied illegal alien minors could not be held in detention facilities. This is not a new problem, even though it took Trump to make the media realize it existed.
Update: HSS provided a video of the visit:
By Joel B. Pollak
Beltway pundits who dislike President Donald Trump seem to agree that the Holocaust is now fair game when it comes to attacking the administration’s immigration policies.
On Friday, left-wing hosts on MSNBC, such as Joe Scarborough, compared U.S. Border Patrol agents to “Nazis.” The White House objected, but others continued.
Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele referred to the facilities used to detain and shelter illegal alien children as “concentration camps for kids” and warned that the Trump administration could target the children of U.S. citizens as well.
It was not the first time Steele has abused the Holocaust: in 2006, as lieutenant governor of Maryland, he had to apologize for comparing stem cell research to Nazi experiments on humans.
Over the weekend, retired General Michael Hayden, who served as Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief in the Bush administration, and as National Security Agency (NSA) chief in both the Clinton and Bush administrations, tweeted an image of the death camp of Birkenau as a comment on Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy toward illegal immigration, which often results in the children of arrested migrants being held separately and sent to shelters.
Hayden was hailed by Trump’s critics — but criticized by other observers, such as Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, who called his tweet “a form of Holocaust denial.”
Hayden tried to defend his use of the image on CNN on Monday morning, saying he wanted to “grab people’s attention.” He apologized, somewhat: “If I overachieved [sic] by comparing it to Birkenau, I apologize to anyone who may have felt offended,” he told CNN.
The Holocaust analogy is deeply offensive to Jews, six million of whom were murdered by the Nazis merely for being Jews. They had not crossed an international border illegally; in many cases they were patriotic citizens of Germany and other nations that collaborated in their murder.
When the U.S. Border Patrol separates children from parents who are arrested, it is to protect the children, and help them, with the intention of reuniting them with their families. When the guards at death camps like Birkenau separated children, it was to lead them to the gas chambers.
Citing atrocity, falsely, not only makes civil debate impossible, but insults Jews and others who have been the real victims of historic injustice.
Far-left taking fake news to another level
JUNE 16, 2018
As we told you earlier, Joe Scarborough doubled down on comparing the Trump administration’s border policies to the Nazis, but Scarborough’s not the only person on MSNBC making that similar allegation:
The two people accusing the Trump administration of running concentration camps for kids at the border were former Obama 2012 campaign staffer Stephanie Cutter and ex-RNC chairman Michael Steele.
And Trump’s first term isn’t even half over. Just imagine where the rhetoric might be headed.
A distressing image of a crying toddler locked in a barred cage after purportedly being detained by US immigration officials has gone viral – but despite online claims, it does not actually depict what has been alleged.
The image, which shows a little boy crying in a cage as he looks out between its bars, was shared by activist journalist and undocumented migrant Jose Antonio Vargas as a comment on the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown on families.
This is what happens when a government believes people are “illegal.”
In the same thread, Vargas admitted that he came across the photo on a friend’s timeline and was still looking for the original source. Nevertheless, the snap quickly went viral with Vargas’ post garnering more than 23,000 retweets and many others sharing the image across their own social media accounts.
Vargas explained that he shared the photo because when was he detained by ICE in McAllen, Texas in 2014, he encountered children who were locked up there. “It wasn’t okay then; it’s not okay now,” he wrote, adding that he’s been outraged about the incident for years.
It has since emerged that the picture was in fact not from a detention facility at all, and instead was taken at a protest against Trump’s immigration policies held on June 10 outside Dallas City Hall. The demonstration organized by Brown Berets de Cemanahuac was held to call out the policy of family separation and confining undocumented children.
The photo of the child in the cage was taken by Leroy Peña and posted, but apparently since deleted from his Facebook page. Peña confirmed to PolitiFact that he took the original photo, explaining that the boy had followed his brother into the enclosure and then got upset when he saw his mother outside. “He was only in there 30 seconds,” Peña said.
Other photos from the protest show the boy walking around.
Some activists, however, appear to believe that the origin of the photo is irrelevant, arguing that it documents a real issue even if this particular image is not as it first seems.
Arizona lawmaker Catherine Miranda was among those to defend the staged photo, reported Phoenix New Times. The Democrat senator who is running for US Congress shared the photo alongside the comment, “How does taking a 4-year-old from their parents and jailing them make us safer? The cruelty of Trump’s policies of today are real. Families belong together not torn apart and most definitely should not be caged like an animal.”
Despite several users bringing it to her attention that the circumstances of the photo were not what they were purported to be, she did not remove the post and criticised users for presenting her with the facts.
“You’re part of the problem of division. If I’m letting people know an example of a picture that Trump supports… jump on board with fighting against it. Stop being part of dividing our Latino community,” she responded.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy that pledged to separate immigrants illegally crossing the border from their children in April. This was put into action by Homeland Security in May as they began referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution.
Almost 2,000 children have been separated from their parents in a six-week period, according to Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by AP.
Some 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31, according to the figures. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations, or possible criminal conduct by the adult.
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By Matthew Boyle
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise opposes House Speaker Paul Ryan’s amnesty plan, his office confirmed to Breitbart News on Friday. Scalise joins President Donald Trump in opposing the Ryan amnesty plan, which is scheduled at this time for a vote next Thursday in the House.
“Scalise did not, in fact, whip the compromise legislation today, and he does not intend to whip any immigration bill unless it has the support of President Trump,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine told Breitbart News. “He will not support immigration legislation that the president opposes.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office continues to decline to answer whether he will stand with President Trump or with lame duck Paul Ryan’s amnesty plan. But now, it is clear the House GOP leadership team is divided, as Ryan is the only member of the leadership team on record in favor of this amnesty plan the speaker put forward, all as President Trump came out in strong opposition to it on Friday morning.
Trump, on Fox and Friends, said that he “certainly wouldn’t sign” the lame duck Ryan’s amnesty bill if it ever made it to his desk.
Scalise’s opposition to the Ryan bill, his office confirmed, is predicated on the fact that President Trump opposes it. If that somehow changes, Scalise’s position could change. But, Scalise himself told Breitbart News he stands with the president.
“As we draft legislation to fix our broken immigration system, I’m working with President Trump on a bill that secures the border, fully funds the wall, closes loopholes on enforcement, and solves the DACA problem in a way that restores the rule of law,” Scalise told Breitbart News.
In other words, the Ryan bill does not do those things, President Trump opposes it, and Scalise stands with Trump against Ryan and the speaker’s amnesty plan.
Desperate administration officials who were involved with Ryan in crafting the amnesty plan have since claimed–anonymously–to The Hill newspaper that the president misspoke, but several White House officials in contact with the president on this matter have told Breitbart News that The Hill‘s report using anonymous sources is simply incorrect.
While those anonymous quotes in The Hill newspaper appear to suggest otherwise, at least two senior White House officials have told Breitbart News that whoever leaked that inaccurate information was simply mistaken.
“President Trump does not appreciate leakers, especially ones who push inaccurate information,” one White House official said. “He appreciates people who suggest inaccurately he ‘misspoke’ about or ‘misunderstood’ something even less. Swift justice should be coming their way soon.”
“President Trump made his views on the Ryan amnesty bill very clear today,” another White House official said. “Unless he says something different publicly, it should be presumed that he knows exactly what he was talking about and what he was saying and why.”
Now that Scalise has joined President Trump in opposition to the Ryan amnesty plan, Ryan’s position as speaker is on even shakier ground. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), in an interview on Breitbart News Tonight on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel this week, has said that Republicans are discussing now forcibly removing Ryan from the Speakership so as the party can move past his failures onto completing the president’s agenda.
By John Binder
President Trump’s administration is considering building tent cities to house and detain unaccompanied minor children after they’ve crossed the United States-Mexico border.
According to Health and Human Services (HHS) officials who spoke to McClatchy DC, HHS is reviewing a plan to expand detention space by building temporary tent cities to shelter unaccompanied minors. The federal department is expected to visit the Fort Bliss army base close to El Paso, Texas as an option for where the tent city could be constructed, the report states.
Other regions where the tent city for border crossers could be constructed include Dyess Air Force Base and Goodfellow Airforce Base, HHS officials told McClatchy DC.
For months, Breitbart News and immigration experts have noted that Trump’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could deal with the ongoing illegal immigration surge at the border by having deployed troops build tent cities on the border.
The Trump administration’s policy is to prosecute all border crossers, including illegal alien parents who cross the border with their children or children they are posing as the parents of. This policy results in border-crossing parents having their children taken into federal custody.
As Breitbart News has reported, unaccompanied minors cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion last year and less than four percent have been deported from the U.S. In Fiscal Year 2018, more than 13,000 unaccompanied minors have been resettled across the country, Breitbart News noted.