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.
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By Jerome Hudson
Actor Samuel L. Jackson took to Twitter on Friday and posted a tweet dedicated to President Donald Trump’s birthday, but several social media users accused the Avengers star of sending an anti-gay slur.
“Must have been a party at The White House, Mitch, Paul, Rudy & others were spotted wearing knee pads & carrying these lined up outside. Happy Birthday,” Jackson captioned his tweet, which included an image of “After Dick Mints” with the tagline “going down?”
The mints and the mention of knee pads left many to assume Jackson was suggesting that President Trump was receiving birthday oral sex from the aforementioned Republican lawmakers.
“Did you and Joy Reid get hacked by the same person?” one Twitter user asked Jackson, a reference to embattle MSNBC host Joy Reid whose come under heavy fire for having several homophobic posts published on her blog and later claimed that her site was hacked.
“Gay shaming?” actor Adam Baldwin asked Jackson.
“Homophobic as fuck [sic] Sam,” another user said.
One Twitter user tweeted at Capital One, asking if the major credit card company endorses this language from one of its national spokesmen.
The backlash was intense and was punctuated by one user saying, “Homophobic Comments like this are causing shrinkage of the Democrat Party base.”
Nearly two years after telling late-night host Jimmy Kimmel he’d move to South Africa if Trump won the election, Samuel L. Jackson is still living in the U.S. bashing the president.
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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