Claims of Concentration Camps for Illegal Aliens Are Debunked

More Fake News

Yet again, the left is using deception to “prove a point.”

By Mark Anderson

Wild, widespread claims that federal facilities for detaining illegal immigrants are literal “concentration camps” for “torturing kids” are actually based on online photos taken when Barack Obama was in his second term as president.

American actress Nancy Lee Grahn noted on Twitter that the “Trump administration is forcing children [to] sleep on [a] cement floor with an aluminum blanket and lights on all night”—a comment accompanied by a tightly cropped photo of this alleged scenario. But, it turns out, the un-cropped original online photo was date-stamped Aug. 9, 2015. Ms. Grahn spuriously added that unnamed “companies” are “making 750 [dollars] a kid to torture them.” The caption under the original photo reads:

“Images taken from U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance video show men wrapped in Mylar thermal blankets in a cell at a Border Patrol holding facility in Tucson, Ariz. in August 2015,” meaning the people in the photo were not children and the blankets were not made of “aluminum.”

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A note for Ms. Grahn and any others of her ilk: Human traffickers are making up to $20,000 a person—men, women, and children—considerably more than they make trafficking drugs, as 30-year Border Patrol veteran Hector Escamilla confirmed in a speech covered by this AFP writer in April in McAllen, Texas. And the porous U.S. border incentivizes that profiteering, as CBS reporter Sheryl Attkisson acknowledged in a refreshingly candid mainstream report this spring on her Sunday show “Full Measure,” although outlets like American Free Press have been saying such things for decades.

This writer, having spent about 12 years reporting near the Texas southern border, can attest to the daunting task faced by the Border Patrol in dealing with often massive onslaughts of people from Central America and about 50 other nations illegally entering the U.S. The border authorities go to great pains to deal with the situation ethically and systematically.

In the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas alone, thousands of newly apprehended people per day are taken to Catholic respite centers for immediate aid. Then they’re housed and fed in “tent cities” in Donna, Texas and at several other newly installed “cities.” A Central American asylum- seeker near the McAllen respite center claimed to AFP recently that his government encourages people to head to the U.S.

To be sure, individual U.S. border agents at times subject some illegal aliens in their custody to strict treatment, but the record number of people crossing the border—combined with the MS-13 gang members and other dangerous elements that mix in with the caravans—breeds an unpredictable situation that’s bordering on total chaos, even while the Border Patrol waits for more money, manpower, and equipment to properly do its important job. And that job should include empowering border agents to help process asylum claims, as Escamilla suggested. That efficiency measure, combined with assigning more immigration judges to the border, would ease the huge detainment “bottleneck,” increase deportations and reduce the incentive to bus detainees to distant locales in hopes of them returning for their asylum hearings.

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President Donald Trump’s threat to place tariffs on imports from Mexico evidently had the desired effect of prodding Mexico to better secure its own southern border to help stem the exodus from Central America, although time will soon testify as to Mexico’s sincerity and whether the Trump administration’s overtures to Central American officials to assist in improving the lives of their own citizens will bear fruit.

Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence noted on CBS’s “Face the Nation” June 23 that, besides the fact that the border crisis could be alleviated relatively quickly if congressional Democrats would take constructive action, Trump has “set into motion an internal enforcement effort” to deport those who “have been given due process of law” but are evading authorities. The Chicago Tribune, however, reported on this enforcement effort with the apparent intent of warning immigrants that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids are imminent in 10 cities, including Chicago. Alderman Carlos Ramirez- Rosa and other immigration advocates met with newly elected Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on June 21 to concoct a scheme to “ask the Chicago Police Department to refuse to work with ICE” and even to “contact local community groups and aldermen if they were notified of any impending enforcement from ICE,” the Tribune noted.

But amid the “concentration camp” distraction and the naïve assumption that all asylum-seekers have clean backgrounds and innocent intentions, the big picture emerges. Chicago Mayor Lightfoot, like Rahm Emmanuel before her, just attended the 2019 Forum on Global Cities sponsored by the subversive Chicago Council on Global Affairs—a clear indication that our major cities are part of an ongoing globalist movement that seeks to openly disobey the border laws of the nations they inhabit, en route to a world state where borders are mere relics.

Mark Anderson is AFP’s roving editor. He invites your thoughtful comments and story ideas at [email protected].