Immigrant Children Abuse—the Latest U.S. Border ‘Crisis’

Jack Rasmus welcomes long time immigrant justice journalists, David Bacon and Alexandra Early, to discuss the latest issue in immigrant rights: the surge of 50,000 plus children across the US southern border. Having deported 2 million immigrants already in the past five years, the Obama administration is now requesting another $2 billion for more deportations, as an initial response to the ‘children immigration’ issue. What will happen to tens of thousands of children immigrants now—more detention camps in the US; more dumping of kids back across the US-Mexican border to fend for themselves? In the first half hour of the show Alexandra Early, who has lived in central America for years and has been active politically both in the US and central America, discusses the real conditions behind the exodus of children to the US, desperate to leave poverty, crime and political oppression, as a follow up to her widely read recent article on the topic. Alexandra explains how US economic and political policies are much of the root cause of rising children immigration to the US.  David Bacon, in the show’s second half hour, then provides his excellent political analysis of what’s behind the latest politicization of the ‘children immigration’ issue US. Bacon explains the origins of the children immigration issue that has recently gained attention in the US press, in recent right wing and US Teaparty political maneuvers in the last few weeks, designed to scuttle even the weak immigration reforms that have been proposed by the Obama administration.  David and Jack then discuss the likely further response of Obama to the renewed right wing pressure and maneuvering on immigration—i.e. a more intense deportations and incarceration of children in the short run in coming weeks, followed by promises of ‘more humane’ immigration policy changes ‘later’—post November midterm elections.

Guest Alexandra Early worked for four years in El Salvador as Co-coordinator for the solidarity organization U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities (elsalvadorsolidarity.org). Prior to that, Ms. Early represented nursing home workers in the Bay Area with the National Union of Healthcare Workers. A Latin American Studies graduate from Wesleyan University, Ms. Early has written extensively on U.S. foreign policy in Central America and is a volunteer campaign coordinator for the Richmond Progressive Alliance. David Bacon is a long time immigrants rights activist in the US and Central America, a well known journalist on immigrant and labor rights since the 1970s, an author, and an award winning photo-journalist whose work on immigrants rights and Hispanic workers in the US and Latin America has been recognized  internationally.  (Visit the blogs, Znet and Counterpunch, for Alexandra’s and David’s most recent reporting on the children border issue).


  1. Casey July 7, 2014 10:46 pm 

    Our Deacon on Sunday mentioned these kids’ plight and reminded us of the plaque at the base of the statue of liberty:

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    I hope that they can be adopted out to good homes through our foster care programs.

    • avatar
      Sanda Aronson July 9, 2014 8:36 pm 

      I think you mean “fostered”, yes? not adopted. Some of the children have families here who they were on their way to join.

      • Casey July 15, 2014 5:45 pm 

        Well both actually. Hopefully through the foster care system they would be eventually adopted out. It’s possible if we can change legislation and allow the children to stay.

        • Casey July 15, 2014 5:46 pm 

          …for children who do not have families in the US already.

  2. avatar
    Michael Ri July 7, 2014 2:18 pm 

    Basically, from the northern point of view (U.S., Canada, Western Europe, etc.), these smaller countries like those in Central America exist for one reason alone, exploitation. There is a long history of this that needs to be understood and it is a situation of the “law of the jungle,” the powerful have all the rights and the power to enforce it. As smaller countries’ economies remain devastated and in service to the larger, the result is a push (or pull) for immigration northward. As the Ms. Early says, folks seek to survive, as they do in the U.S., too, with immigration from the north of the U.S., for example, to the south, or elsewhere.
    I, too, lived in Latin America, including Nicaragua, and watched what Jack and Alexandra are talking about. The role of the U.S. in this area has been overwhelmingly destructive for more than a century. We in countries like the U.S. certainly have a moral obligation for northward immigration and our government’s response is horrible and only going to make the situation worse. Pure self-interest behooves us, the relatively privileged, to act in just ways, although this totally runs counter to history.

    And, yes, from my observation, people wish to live where they were born, it only makes sense. Heading north to the U.S. where people from the south are met with hostility, labor exploitation, legal morass, and danger in transit, along with a current government whose main policy is deportation and greater militarization of its southern border, shows the desperation of people to progress.

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