MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, June 18th 2019 - 16:54 UTC



Pence visits Brazil: children separated from parents and Venezuela refugees in the agenda

Tuesday, June 26th 2018 - 08:46 UTC
Full article 10 comments

President Michel Temer will press U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his two-day visit to Brazil on cases of Brazilian children separated from their parents upon trying to enter the United States, a Brazilian diplomat said on Monday. Read full article


Disclaimer & comment rules
  • DemonTree

    I heard a conspiracy theory about this; that evangelicals in the US government had arranged for the children to be taken from their parents so they could be adopted by Christian families in America and 'saved'.

    In any case, the fact the US authorities have apparently not made any records to allow reuniting them is even more appalling then splitting up families in the first place.

    Jun 26th, 2018 - 01:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))


    REF: “I heard a conspiracy theory about this”:

    It's NOT just a “theory”!

    The Religious Politically Connected Men [of God] have a nice scheme going, for providing cheap “illegal” labor + votes [to the corrupt US-Politicians]; against the lucrative favors exchanged. Any disillusioned illegal returning migrant will confess about this [& the following].

    Jun 27th, 2018 - 12:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Conspiracy theories aside, while I do not agree with the separation of families of immigrants, regardless of the fact that they may be illegal, it does no harm to take a look at the origin of the mass emigration of Central American refugees to the US.

    The following is an excerpt from an article I read :
    “This crisis developed during President Barack Obama’s administration and continues under Trump. The two administrations have taken different approaches. Obama prioritized the deportation of dangerous people. Once he took office, Trump issued an executive order rolling back much of the Obama-era framework.
    Obama's guidelines prioritized the deportation of gang members, those who posed a national security risk and those who had committed felonies. Trump’s January 2017 executive order does not include a priority list for deportations and refers only to “criminal offenses,” which is broad enough to encompass serious felonies as well as misdemeanors.
    Then, in April 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled out the zero-tolerance policy.
    When families or individuals are apprehended by the Border Patrol, they’re taken into DHS custody. Under the zero-tolerance policy, DHS officials refer any adult “believed to have committed any crime, including illegal entry,” to the Justice Department for prosecution. If they’re convicted, they’re usually sentenced to time served. The next step would be deportation proceedings”

    So it looks like Obama set the 'rules' that permitted the problems that are happening now
    - by being lax at enforcing immigration laws at the Mexican border, which encouraged the emigrants - under Trump's 'zero-tolerance' instead of pointing their fingers at each other, why dont both Democrats and Republicans - who are to blame - work “together” to find a solution, that attends both the aspirations of those who are legitimately seeking refuge, and the interests of the US.

    Jul 03rd, 2018 - 07:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That's not true. In 2014 there was a big increase in families crossing the border, and Obama put them in immigration detention together for months. It was the federal courts who said it was not acceptable to keep children in jail for so long, so they started releasing families while they were waiting for their cases to be heard (and sometimes the families never came back). There are various laws affecting immigration which were passed by previous governments, but it's that court decision that prevents Trump imprisoning parents and children together, not something Obama did.

    You have to remember that the three countries most of the families are coming from; Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, are very similar to Venezuela in the level of violence, poverty, and failed government, and people are fleeing them for the same reasons as the refugees now coming to Brazil. It was the increase in violence in those central American countries that caused the influx to America, not Obama's policies, same as your refugees are due to events in Venezuela, not anything Brazil is doing. I suppose if Temer started throwing the parents in jail and taking their children away then the Venezuelans would try and go elsewhere, if they had anywhere else to go.

    From what I have heard the Republicans and Democrats are trying to work together to improve the immigration laws, but it's a difficult problem and takes time to get any agreement. However, the family separations are Trump's actions and not theirs; he decided to enforce this 'zero-tolerance' policy, and then he decided to stop enforcing it after all the bad publicity. Congress was not responsible for either decision, and quite possibly it was an attempt on Trump's part to blackmail them into giving funding for his wall by threatening to keep harming more children until they agreed.

    Jul 04th, 2018 - 09:58 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • :o))


    REF: “Obama prioritized the deportation of dangerous people”:

    Trump is right! Who'll retail the tonnes of “imported” drugs if the US gets rid of the gangs of criminals?

    Jul 04th, 2018 - 10:30 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    What 'exactly' is not true ? I was not focusing on, nor justifying the fact that children were/are being separated from their families (which I have said I don't agree with), before or after Trump....what I am saying is that the “uncontrolled” entry of illegals started in Obama's administration, when immigration laws were not enforced properly, the result of CBP officers being instructed (unofficially) to turn a blind eye to the illegals crawling over the Mexico/US border. Sure the origin of the problem was the situation in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but the “facilitation” of entry to the US, is on Obama. It was his policy that caused the problem “in” the US. When word got out, this encouraged even more illegals to attempt to cross over...why do you think that the flow of illegals increased drastically near the end of the BO administration, after Trump won ?
    Quite some time before the election, I saw reports and videos of CBP officers venting their frustration at being forced to ignore their, AFAIC, the roots of the current problem go back to the BO administration. But the problem exists and needs
    I am perfectly aware of the conditions in the countries where the emigrants are coming from, but that does not give them the right to try to get into the US illegally. Or don't you believe a country should have the right to determine who can enter ?

    Regarding the Venezuelans entering Brazil's northern border, their relatively uncontrolled entry has caused several problems in the border town of Pacaraima...measles (now spread to Manaus), the overcrowding of schools, overloading the public health system, shortage of food, increase in theft, prostitution...the number of venezuelans crossing the border has increased 70 times in the last two years, resulting in more than doubling the local population.
    While I understand that most refugees don't have much choice but to get out of VZ, Brazil has the right to control its borders.

    Jul 04th, 2018 - 04:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    It's not true that Obama set the rules that permitted the current problems. As I said, his policies were only one degree less harsh than Trump's (and I don't agree with them), since he tried to imprison whole families while awaiting their asylum cases, which can take months or years, or else 'fast-track' them, which in practice meant not giving them a proper hearing. It was the courts who interpreted a much older agreement on immigration rules to mean the children must be released after (AFAIR) 20 days, and it is this court ruling which prevented Trump simply imprisoning the children with their parents.

    The 'uncontrolled' entry of illegals has been going on since long before Obama was born, let alone became president. And Obama was one of the harshest on immigration, too. Take a look at the first graph in this article:

    Far from rising drastically under Obama, the number of undocumented immigrants fell from its peak in 2007 and gradually declined. It's true the number increased at the end of his term and dropped when Trump took over, probably because they were afraid of what the latter might do so advanced their journeys. When they saw his border policies were no different to Obama's, the number went back up to normal, so Trump has tried something drastic to discourage them.

    “Or don't you believe a country should have the right to determine who can enter ?”

    Countries are supposed to allow those in danger to claim asylum even if they don't want them to enter. Of course this gives those who merely want work and a better life a way to abuse the system, but there are better ways of dealing with it than making everyone suffer, including the genuine claimants. This article has good suggestions, some of which were shown to work in a previous crisis:

    Jul 04th, 2018 - 06:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Didn’t say he passed ‘laws’, but he did establish the ‘mood’ which led to his “record of dismantling immigration enforcement” (including unofficial instructions to CBP and other agencies to ‘ease up’ on blocking entry of illegals).
    Below, excerpts from a report by FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform): “Obama, in 2009 pledged he would enact amnesty legislation for illegal aliens living in the U.S. That, of course, did not happen - not because of any lack of ideological commitment on his part, but because of pragmatic considerations. Understanding that Congress ultimately would not ignore the unequivocal objections of their constituents to amnesty, Obama adopted a strategy of dismantling immigration enforcement in order to achieve the same ends, hoping that while the people were focused on the 2008 crisis and countless other issues, they wouldn’t notice what was actually taking place. The administration systematically gutted effective immigration enforcement policies, moved aggressively against State ‘n local govts that attempt to enforce immigration laws, ‘n stretched the concept of “prosecutorial discretion” to a point where it’s rendered many immigration laws meaningless. Remarkably, he succeeded in doing all this w/o much protest from Congress”.

    I have friends in Port Authorities in southern US, who are in contact with the CBP, 'n they confirmed this.
    While focus is on the plight of these families ''after” they enter the US - seeking asylum legally, or trying to sneak in unnoticed - no one mentions the parents’ responsibility, who seem to be willing to submit their children to the hardships if caught. Am not defending Trump’s policy, but parents too, are to blame.
    “It's true the number increased at the end of his term and dropped when Trump took over…”. Thanks.
    Re “vox” link, constructive, but saying “..yes, we need to call attention to the “cruelty” of the Trump’s policies” sounds like a pathetic attempt to compare him to Hiltler (Jews).

    Jul 05th, 2018 - 05:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I don't trust what this anti-immigration pressure group says without independent confirmation, but it doesn't sound like they are talking abour border enforcement anyway, rather deporting the 11 m illegal immigrants already in America. And that makes some sense because “Obama's guidelines prioritized the deportation of gang members, those who posed a national security risk and those who had committed felonies.” Mostly leaving law-abiding long term residents alone. By “moved aggressively against State ‘n local govts that attempt to enforce immigration laws”, I'm guessing they mean those laws passed in Arizona that were found unconstitutional?

    But really, it's the ”he succeeded in doing all this w/o much protest from Congress” that makes me disbelieve them. If the same unreservedly hostile congress that shut down the country for over 2 weeks over Obamacare, and claimed constantly (and inaccurately) that he was going to 'take their guns', didn't make a peep about immigration, you can be sure there was nothing to complain of.

    I didn't see anything about Hitler in the Vox article, I don't know where you are getting that from at all. It is cruel to separate children from their parents unless abolutely necessary, especially with NO provision made to ever reunite them. I don't even have kids and I can't imagine how awful it would be to have them taken away, not knowing if they were okay, not knowing if I'd ever see them again. That's the kind of thing that really fucks kids up.

    “no one mentions the parents’ responsibility, who seem to be willing to submit their children to the hardships if caught”

    I don't think the parents knew their children would be taken away, possibly permanently. But they must have endured hardships just to get to the border, and most parents want to do the best for their children. I guess they think their kids will still be better off than staying at home with all the violence and poverty.

    Now I've run out of space to talk about Brazil again...

    Jul 05th, 2018 - 08:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    What I gathered from conversations with my a/m friends, BO's attempt to dismantle immigration enforcement was indeed applied at the land borders. And I believe them.

    By “moved aggressively against State ‘n local govts that attempt to enforce immigration laws..”, I see it very simply as BO's determination to try to force those States and local governments to adopt his policies, regardless of laws enacted by the States (yes, like Arizona).

    “he succeeded in doing all this w/o much protest from Congress” ...I may be wrong, but by what I remember, until the end of 2012, the Republicans had the majority in the House and the Democrats in the Senate, but I don't see how two totally different issues - illegal immigration, and Obamacare - had to necessarily align the parties in the same way when it came to the vote....besides - IMO - the leftist MSM is biased...I don't believe all their groaning.

    I know the Vox article didn't mention Hitler, but when I read “we need to call attention to the “cruelty” of the Trump’s policies”, it reminded me of Hiltler and the Holocaust...nothing else.

    As to the ”cruelty“ to the children - again, don't agree with the separation from their parents - I'm not so sure that it's not, in good part, an attempt by the leftist press to denigrate Trump's image even more....and, I've read several reports, besides Trump's tweets, that many photos of children in 'steel cages' are from the Obama era...and the notion that they will ”never be reunited” with their parents, that yes, sounds like bs. These possibly exaggerated claims by the press make me wonder if they're not fake.

    Again, how can you be so sure that the potential illegals haven't the slightest idea what awaits them ? don't they get any feedback at all from those who tried, failed 'n were deported ? anyone who embarks on such a risky venture, usually looks for relevant information. But if they believe the kids will be better off regardless, and want to risk it...

    Jul 05th, 2018 - 10:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!