Mr. Obama's border follies

  • 28 November 2018
  • NormanL

The moral outrage we noted earlier about Border Patrol efforts to end and ultimately disperse the migrant caravan's asault on the border was entirely predictable. But something else was, too: the re-discovery that during the Obama years, there were similar incidents at the border (including the separation of migrants and their children). As David French writes, today's outrage mobs were mighty quiet back then:

As the Washington Times reports, “the same tear-gas agent that the Trump administration is taking heat for deploying against a border mob this weekend is actually used fairly frequently — including more than once a month during the later years of President Barack Obama’s administration.”

But that was then. Sensible people understood that you can’t just let a mob rush the border, and Border Patrol agents can and should use non-lethal means to protect themselves from rocks and bottles. And the pictures of kids in cages in the Obama era?

Well, there was an “enormous spike” in kids crossing the border, and we “didn’t have enough shelter facilities.” So kids had to be put in Border Patrol lock-ups. But that was temporary. The Obama administration took good care of kids after they left the lock-up, right? Well, not exactly. Some children faced a terrible nightmare. Here’s a paragraph from a 2016 Senate report:

Over a period of four months in 2014, however, HHS allegedly placed a number of UACs [Unaccompanied Alien Children] in the hands of a ring of human traffickers who forced them to work on egg farms in and around Marion, Ohio, leading to a federal criminal indictment. According to the indictment, the minor victims were forced to work six or seven days a week, twelve hours per day. The traffickers repeatedly threatened the victims and their families with physical harm, and even death, if they did not work or surrender their entire paychecks. The indictment alleges that the defendants “used a combination of threats, humiliation, deprivation, financial coercion, debt manipulation, and monitoring to create a climate of fear and helplessness that would compel [the victims’] compliance.” 

Horrifying. But as French notes, that was then, under the benign and noble leadership of a Democratic president, and this is now, where Mr. Trump runs the joint. We could put it all down to Trump Derangement Syndrome, and that would be entirely fair. But it doesn't excuse the deliberate overlooking of what previous administrations have done in similar circumstances (and that goes for conservative media looking at liberal presidents, too).

The press continues to pretend the gross excesses of the Obama years never happened or if they did, were brief, or errors made in the pursuit of justice. The evidence of its own reporting shows otherwise. Just don't look for any admissions of excess or error any time soon.