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So Much for the 'Immigrant Children Crisis,' a Bill Nelson Issue that Isn't

June 25, 2018 - 8:30am
The media circus in Homestead
The media circus in Homestead

The immigration issue has reached an acetylene-level of hot-takes the past couple of weeks (especially heating up after the FBI IG report exposing administrative misbehavior). 

The media’s concerted effort to politicize the Department Of Justice's new enforcement policy of existing law at the border has crescendoed to a hysteria pitch. Florida politicians haven't hesitated to maximize their political gains.

Due to the focus on the entire media complex on this image of immigrant children being wrested away from their parents at the border, Democrats in Florida leapt at the chance to create a media event. 

On Tuesday an immigrant holding facility in Homestead became the target for politicians to descend upon. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, embattled U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and  state Rep. Kionne McGhee strode onto the property, demanding they be let in to inspect the conditions.

The trio found themselves rebuffed by the administration, told they would need to have scheduled a visit of that proportion. In case one might question the motive of this visit, note that those arriving at the front door were all Democratic politicians (additionally, Homestead is well south of Wasserman Schultz’s district in Broward County), and somehow a large crowd of electronic media arrived with them on their “surprise” visit. 

There is little mystery why security and the directors of the facility would be averse to a stampede of this size through the property.

When denied, Nelson tried to pull rank, declaring he sits on the Armed Services Committee. Wasserman Schultz also trotted out her bona fides, stating she has classified clearance, and both politicians declared this was all part of a wider conspiracy. 

“What they are doing is a cover-up for the president,” Nelson said. The supposition here, we presume, is that President Trump was monitoring all of these children's facilities in real time and sent word out to Deep South Florida to bar access. 

Nelson is in need of regaining his footing among Hispanic voters, an area in which he has lagged behind his Republican challenger Gov. Rick Scott in the polls. For the senator to claim deep concern for the children is rather hollow, given Nelson himself said he only just learned of the Homestead facility this week from Schultz. This particular facility was opened in 2016 to house underage children who crossed the border.  And more than five months ago, the Governor's Office notified all congressional offices -- Nelson's included -- that the facility had reopened.

More important, Nelson himself voted for the legislation that authorized the federal government to shelter unaccompanied immigrant children in federal facilities across the country, including the one in Homestead.

It needs to be noted, that date predates the arrival of the current occupant of the White House. The facility reopened this past March. Nelson was only able to speculate how many occupants were, in fact, separated from families, pegging that figure at “as many as 1,000 kids.”

The primary reason for the reopening is the current surge of migrants coming across the border. The DOJ has measured a growing influx of 200 percent from March 2017 to March of this year. This is due in part to the state of California declaring itself a sanctuary state during that time span, along with a growing list of cities declaring they will not follow ICE protocols regarding illegal immigrants. 

What also needs to be noted is the media have launched an orchestrated effort to declare the various actions by the Trump administration "unprecedented" regarding the treatment of families crossing the border. 

There has been a growing list of media reports attempting to smear the president as culpable of heinous actions regarding these children, only to then have it revealed the evidence presented predates his administration. Further, the concern for the plight of these children has to be regarded as cynical, given the media silence during the Obama years of migrant issues. The ACLU has compiled a trove of 30,000 documents detailing widespread abuse and neglect in numerous facilities holding immigrant minors, during the years 2009 through 2014.

To repeat: The abuse occurred during the years 2009 through 2014. Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016.

Following the initial rebuke of the politician horde, the facility opened itself up to the press and politicians on Friday -- and the result was revealing. After weeks of accusatory reports of horrific conditions, including children in cages, and buildings bursting with children forcibly extracted from their mothers’ arms, what we got was far less dramatic.

Patricia Mazzei from the New York Times was one of those permitted to tour the Homestead location. She detailed the campus-like facility, with beds and sheets for the resident kids. “Reporters were not shown anything that resembled cages or kennels for children. ‘We just don't operate that way,’ the director said. This is a former Department of Labor Job Corps site. It has fully equipped dorm buildings.” 

Mazzei further explained how the arrivals receive five days' worth of clothing, with an average stay of 25 days before being placed with families. They are granted time for reading, and are provided schooling. As well as meals, the children are granted time for outdoor sports, art projects and counseling. If they have contact information, they are permitted to call relatives. About the worst detail of the conditions she reported: Many of the kids wore sweaters, because they were not used to internal air conditioning. 

The Miami Herald was also on site and provided some sobering information regarding the numbers. The Homestead location is the second largest of these kinds of facilities in the nation. It currently is home to 1,175 minors (with a capacity of 1,350). Of those currently staying in Homestead, the number of those actually separated from parents upon arriving to this county totals ... 70. 

This means nearly 95 percent of these children arrived in the country as unescorted minors.

Consider now these verified details, and weigh them against the hyperventilating-style reports we have been served of a monstrous president forcibly extricating kids from their families to jam them into cages and serve them gruel. Instead. we have a government program established to house and comfort an overwhelming majority of kids who arrive here without parental supervision. 

This is actually the way a benevolent and compassionate country operates. It also defies the description we are being fed of immoral acts of an uncaring leadership. Expect this story to begin losing its grip on the headlines, and Nelson to lurch toward another issue he can politicize.

Brad Slager is a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer who wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist. 


So tired of the Nelson and Schultz pandering. It is a distraction and nothing else...sigh.

Anybody see any solutions written above? It’s doubtful any will be offered either as everyone is focused on name calling, distrust, and an absolute unwillingness to give the other side any standing in the conversation. This makes school yard bullying look like child’s play. First step in reaching a solution is a “shut off the mike” cooling off period. Beyond that, I have no suggestions because everything I can think of requires people (especially our representatives) to have a civilized, respectful debate. Can anyone control themselves anymore?!

for you who blindly follow the Liar in Chief, here's the dictionary definition of fascism and we are heading fast towards it with this administration: Definition of fascism often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Whoops! Pam, You are one administration too late. Your definition fits the Obama administration perfectly. Best you go back and reread your dictionary.

Stick to the entertainment industry, Slager. You're w-a-y too much of a rightwingnut to offer any rational and reasonable commentary on politics. If you main political talent is preaching to the choir ... confine your propaganda to 'Red State' and 'The Federalist'.

Time for you leftist servants of Satin and George Soros to move on to another fake issue to bunch your panties up your butts with. You all sure need those fake issues. Why is that? Oh because that is all you leftist have. Get a grip on life and get behind "your President" Donald Trump!!!

This is all you got, IKEA? As desperate to keep this going as you apparently are, you will have to do better than that. Slager is one of the few in this Left Wing Media state who puts facts on the line to try to stop the spin. This commentary is outstanding, thank you.

A bit of fact twisting, Mr. Brad. First, though the law may date to 2009, and UNACCOMPANIED minors have been held, the separation of children from families is the brain child of Trump aide Stephen Miller. Second, although DWS looks and sounds like a screeching wet poodle, she is hardly "embattled" easily getting reelected many times in her district. Third, the ancient Bill Nelson who was around when Jesus walked the earth, knows Jesus would not approve of the antics which have backfired bigtime on the Donald. Even Slick Rick has announced he does not approve of separating children, as it might separate him from voters. Donald cant help lying about everything, had to back down for the first time and is lying about that now.

Drowning Joe, I suppose you are just willing to forget the 2015 9th Circuit ruling that articulated that the detention of children in centers failing to meet minimum legal requirements of the 1997 FLORES settlement for facilities housing children was illegal? From the NY Times (the liberal's 'paper of record"): "In a decision late Friday roundly rejecting the administration’s arguments for holding the families, Judge Dolly M. Gee of Federal District Court for the Central District of California found that two detention centers in Texas that the administration opened last summer fail to meet minimum legal requirements of the 1997 settlement for facilities housing children. Judge Gee also found that migrant children had been held in “widespread deplorable conditions” in Border Patrol stations after they were first caught, and she said the authorities had “wholly failed” to provide the “safe and sanitary” conditions required for children even in temporary cells. The opinion was a significant legal blow to detention policies ordered by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in response to an influx of children and parents, mostly from Central America, across the border in South Texas last summer. In her 25-page ruling, Judge Gee gave a withering critique of the administration’s positions, declaring them “unpersuasive” and “dubious” and saying officials had ignored “unambiguous” terms of the settlement. The administration has struggled with a series of setbacks in the federal courts for its immigration policies, including decisions that halted President Obama’s programs to give protection from deportation and work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants. “We are disappointed with the court’s decision and are reviewing it in consultation with the Department of Justice,” said Marsha Catron, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. She said officials would respond to an order by the judge to present a plan by Aug. 3 for carrying out the ruling. Judge Gee’s decision was based on the 18-year-old settlement in a hard-fought class action lawsuit, known as Flores, that has governed the treatment of minors apprehended at the border who are unaccompanied — not with a parent. Judge Gee found that the Flores settlement, which has been carried out with little dispute from the federal authorities, also applies to children caught with their parents. The judge also found that the family detention centers in Texas were a “material breach” of provisions requiring that minors be placed in facilities that are not secured like prisons and are licensed to take care of children." So, if your parents violate the law, and the courts require the minor children to " placed in facilities that are not secured like prisons and are licensed to take care of children," the priority would seem to be to ensure the children are held in appropriate facilities...guess your solution is to let the parent and child go (catch and release)?

The milquetoast Major Nelson and his jaw flapping genie, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, have been making tag team immigration rounds down here in South Florida because (1) the non-achieving, former space traveler is upside down in the polls with Scott and (2) DWS is desperate to put Awan IT scandal behind her. Once the latest liberal blowup fades from view, The Left will cook up another crisis that will stick a fork in their candidates come Election Day.

I am so disappointed in you and your blind defense of this travesty This is a moral crisis and the soul of America is at stake. Please set aside partisanship and place our country's founding principles (and human decency) ahead of this. We all want border security but we also want to be decent Americans. Our current border actions are simply not acceptable. It not only raises questions of morality but is being so terribly mishandled that it has become a demonstration of incompetence. Didn't anyone think any of this through. Even a low-level bureaucrat would have handled the separation of children from parents with more forethought. Sounds like, even if the US wants to send everyone home, it doesn't appear the administration even knows who and where everyone is. Beyond un-American, it's incompetent.

Didn't you take the time to read the article???? This started with your "Beloved" Obama, and you all stood SILENT. Now you want to act like you care. Hypocrites ALL.

Speaking of Obama....

If you took the time to read the FBI report, you'd know it basically absolves all of any wrong doing, nor bias. It does indicate procedures were not followed consistently, which is a problem, for sure, but hardly some smoking gun the twitter twit makes it out to be. I think the pope said it best in regards to illegal immigration. . I'm for legal immigration as well. Just keep them together and transport them back to the other side of the border as a unit, daily if necessary... But to separate and house people, especially children, in criminal fashion seeking asylum, is itself, "criminal". That is not the United States of America...

Slager - Twist and turn Trump's fascist approach to our immigration problem anyway you want - it's still fascist. Trump's present attacks on our country's basic belief in "due process" in the immigration context (and in many other areas now) smacks of 1930's Germany.

The Fascists in our midst...

As we all can see.......Another Loyal and Blind follower of Obama / Clinton. Learn what a Fascist is before you start vomiting your Ignorance. One of the instruments of a Fascist is to use regulatory agencies to pursue their own personal goals, and avoid Legislative avenues. Obama has done that in numerous agencies and created "Regulations" within these agencies, so as to avoid asking Congress to make duly obligated Law. Examples are the BLM, and the attack on the Bundy's. IRS and the attack on Conservatives, EPA, and the attack on Industry's, under the guise of caring about the Environment. Wake-up!!

At least my "vomited ignorance" is credible, and I have a human name.

not sure what definition of facism your talking about... but hey, in typical Trump the Chump fashion, if the truth won't work, juts make it up and blame others for your mistakes. Those are some of the key tenets of facism...

Truth? You've been lied to so long by the Democrats, you wouldn't know truth if it hit you in the face! Let's look at the definition: "rigid, one-party dictatorship:" really? asking the Congress (both parties as none have a super majority) to pass legislation rather than govern by Executive Order (oh wait, EOs are the realm of dictators who can't get things through the Congress. "forcible suppression of opposition:" I'm sorry, sounds like those harassing the sitting government have the monopoly on that. Ask Mad Ma about suppression of opposition. "Private economic enterprise under centralized government control:" remember, the economy didn't take off until the regulations/controls were lifted - actually giving people real jobs! Democrats = centralized government. "Belligerent nationalism, racism and militarism:" Black/Latino employment up, averting a nuclear fight with NorKo, defeat of ISIS - nope, not 'belligerent' just re-instilling pride in what truly makes our nation great. Not diversity - but LIBERTY!

Sure, "gunfighter", or whatever stage name you are now using...

Reread your post. Forget the above. My bad.

Splendid report!

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