The Conversation


Coyote thanks Obama for big profits from illegal alien smuggling operation

Aug 21, 2014 12:55 PM PT

At long last, after six years of dismal failure, there is clear evidence that Barack Obama's policies finally managed to stimulate an industry.  The Washington Examiner tells us that "coyote" smugglers are doing great business across the porous southern border of the United States, expanding rapidly into a corporate empire that includes a professional "sales force," competitive pricing, first-class hotels, and even VIP bus service for those who can afford a platinum-level illegal immigration experience:

Coyotes credit President Obama for giving them a new “business model” that allows them to transport unaccompanied minors to the U.S. border with Mexico, then safely turn around and pocket big profits.

Those are the surprising assertions of “Juan,” a coyote chieftain who consented to an interview with the Washington Examiner earlier this month in the rough-and-tumble western Guatemalan district of Huehuetenango.

In the shadowy world of human smuggling, verifying such claims is extremely difficult. His credentials were validated for the Examiner by a Guatemalan Ministry of Justice employee and a former Guatemalan judicial official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

Based on a two-and-a-half-hour interview with Juan, dozens of present and former government officials and parents who have used coyotes, it is clear that the human smuggling business resembles, in some respects, legal enterprises like McDonald’s and Mazda.

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Vulnerable Democrats Turn on Obama over Immigration

Aug 17, 2014 11:09 AM PT

Vulnerable Democrats who have to face the American people, as well as Republicans in this Fall's elections, are warning Obama to go slow when it comes to taking executive action on illegal immigration.

"This is an issue that I believe should be addressed legislatively and not through executive order," said Sen. Kay Hagan. The North Carolina Democrat is just one of an increasing number of Democrats worried about defending their party and president's views on immigration in November. She's also seen as key in the GOP's efforts to take control of the Senate.

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Immigration Now Driving Michigan Senate Race

Aug 14, 2014 7:32 AM PT

In state after state, the immigration issue is emerging as the defining issue in the 2014 mid-terms. Now, Michigan is no exception thanks to a video of Democrat Gary Peters that surfaced two weeks ago.

Contrasted with other video, Peters is clearly caught talking out of both side sof his mouth on the contentious issue and Terry Land's campaign is making the most of it.

With national focus on the recent surge of illegal immigrants across the border, Michigan’s Senate race has pivoted to immigration in the past week. Two weeks ago, a video surfaced of Democratic nominee, Gary Peters, speaking to a group in Mexicantown in Detroit. In the clip, Peters tells the audience, “Immigration reform is not about enforcement.” 

Last Wednesday, Terri Land’s campaign remained on the offensive by releasing a TV ad titled “Playing Both Sides”. The ad shows back-to-back clips of Peters appearing to flip-flop on his immigration position. In the first, he says, “Certainly enforcement is very important.” The second clip is taken from the video released last week.

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The importance of border security is not universally recognized

Aug 12, 2014 12:38 PM PT

Jim Geraghty of National Review sticks up for Project Veritas filmmaker James O'Keefe against criticism of his border-security stunt, in which he sashayed from Mexico into America while dressed as Osama bin Laden:

Maybe O’Keefe’s video is your cup of tea, maybe it isn’t. It probably does tap into that “get a load of this!” share-able element necessary to take an idea viral, but on the other hand, the obstacle is not really getting Americans to believe the border is not secure. The obstacle isn’t really getting Americans to believe the border ought to be secure, either. The obstacle is getting incumbent politicians, and this administration in particular, to believe that securing the border ought to be a priority – and that any “path to citizenship” scheme can’t be seriously considered until the border and its steady supply of new illegal immigrants is shut off.

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Immigration Now Driving Mid-Term Elections Across the Country

Aug 11, 2014 11:10 AM PT

Republican Scott Brown has launched a new ad targeting U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for being soft on immigration. From Alaska, to Arkansas, in Maine, New Hampshire and elsewhere, clearly the border crisis has emerged as the key driver of Election 2014.

Scott Brown’s campaign will begin airing its second immigration ad this week, once again linking the problems at the border directly to U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

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GOP on Attack Over "Amnesty" in Key Mid-Term Races

Aug 11, 2014 5:13 AM PT

From the Arkansas to New Hampshire Senate races, to the Maine governor's race, Republicans are attacking Democrats on "amnesty," while suggesting it's the root cause of the current border crisis.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "Republicans cite the arrival of tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children in recent months to argue that Democrats are supporting bad immigration policy. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found 64% disapprove of the U.S. response to the border crossings."

Until recently, immigration had surfaced as an issue only in Republican primaries, and mostly in border states, said Elizabeth Wilner of Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, which provides research on political ads.

Two weeks ago, New Hampshire Senate candidate Scott Brown became the first GOP candidate to raise the issue in general-election ads, Ms. Wilner said.

Another GOP Senate candidate, Terri Lynn Land of Michigan, joined in last week, airing grainy images of border crossings and accusing her Democratic rival of "playing Washington politics." And Arkansas Senate candidate Tom Cotton started running a TV spot attacking Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor over immigration. "Chaos and crime. Washington made the mess," declares the ad from Mr. Cotton.

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More Evidence the Obama Administration Sees a Connection Between Border Crisis and DACA

Aug 8, 2014 2:24 PM PT

Contrary to denials by many in the media, the Obama administration had repeatedly connected the current crisis of unaccompanied children on the border to the President's executive actions on immigration, in particular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Two weeks ago, I noted that Vice President Joe Biden, Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the National Security Council Ricardo Zuñiga, and U.S. Customs and Border Protections Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske had all stated that the government's response to the crisis would be focused on convincing people in Central America that DACA would not grant them amnesty.

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Immigration Issue Driving Arkansas Senate Race and Fight for Senate Majority

Aug 7, 2014 5:45 PM PT

If there remained any doubt about the importance of the immigration issue when it comes to November's mid-term elections, a new report out of Arkansas should take care of that.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor and Republican challenger Tom Cotton targeted each other's records on border security Thursday in competing television ads, signaling the importance of the immigration issue in a race that could help determine which party controls the chamber.

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Obama Has Failed on Immigration

Aug 7, 2014 8:53 AM PT

In response to Obama Failing on Immigration, Other Fronts:

The irony here is that the immigration issue usually works in favor of the gift-caring Democrats, but this year could be different, as the the media is forced to broadcast what is happening along the U.S. southern border, not to mention that Americans are more knowledgable and engaged on the issue, and what it  really means to them.

Blame for the problem needs to be evenly distributed among both Democrats and Republicans, with the added emphasis that the issue has gotten alot worse under a Democrat administration.

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Read A Border Agent's Email Rant About Lack Of Border Enforcement

Aug 7, 2014 7:50 AM PT

Immigrations Customs Enforcement agents are circulating an email tirade from an unknown agent in response to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson's announcement that a border patrol agent was killed while “off duty.”

The email, obtained with its author's name redacted by Breitbart News, complains that while the agent may have technically been off duty, he was allegedly killed by two illegal immigrants who had been previously deported, making the incident close to home for the tight-knit community of officials who work to secure the border.

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Pro-Amnesty Attack on Scott Brown Doesn't Hold Up to Scrutiny

Aug 6, 2014 2:00 PM PT

Democrats, with help from liberal media are attempting to use a solitary procedural vote by New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown to suggest he's attacking Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for something he supported. However, the Democrat's charge does not hold up to scrutiny.

New Hampshire GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown has been making immigration into a key campaign issue, attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) on border security in an ad and criticizing President Barack Obama for falling down on the job in an op-ed. But he has found himself in a bit of a bind, since one of the reforms he's campaigning against is something that he once voted for.

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Rep. Gutierrez: Obama Administration Failed on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Aug 6, 2014 11:27 AM PT

During a townhall event held in 2011, Rep. Luis said the failure of comprehensive immigration reform was the fault of the Democratic Party and the Obama administration.

"We failed, the Democratic Party failed, the administration failed, we failed as a party to get it done," Gutiérrez told a crowd of immigration activists. The focus of the event, which took place at a church on Staten Island on October 1, 2011, was to discuss the Obama administration's first executive action on immigration. Known as "prosecutorial discretion" it de-prioritized the deportation of certain groups of immigrants, i.e. those who arrived as children or had a long history in the country and no criminal record.

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Timeline: Border Surge Began a Few Months After Obama's First Executive Action on Immigration

Aug 5, 2014 3:50 PM PT

President Obama's executive actions on immigration did not begin with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in mid-2012. It began in 2011 with his announcement of "prosecutorial discretion" on deportations. A few months later the border patrol noted the first uptick in unaccompanied children at the border.

There has been an ongoing argument in the public sphere over whether or not President Obama's executive action known as DACA is responsible for the current surge of unaccompanied children at the border. GOP members have claimed it is a contributing factor and some note that the June 15, 2012 announcement seems to coincide with the sharpest uptick in children arriving from Central America.

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Immigration Politics Now Driving 2014 Mid-Terms

Aug 5, 2014 3:17 PM PT

From Michigan, to Arkansas, where even Left-leaning PPP polling has the Democrat Pryor under 40%, immigration politics and something of an anti-amnesty fever appears to be sweeping the country courtesy of the current border crisis.

PPP’s newest Arkansas Senate poll continues to find the race within the margin of error, as all of our polls this entire cycle have found. Tom Cotton is at 41% to 39% for Mark Pryor ....

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Rep. McKeon Criticizes Obama's Response to the Border Crisis

Aug 4, 2014 5:31 PM PT

In an interview with Voice of America, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon criticized the President's plan to handle the border crisis. Rep. McKeon said the President's plan, while expensive, would not begin to solve the problem.

For weeks the White House has been stressing Central American violence as an explanation for the current crisis. McKeon, who was briefed by the General who has operational command over Central America, confirms that violence stirred up by drug cartels in Central America has created a terrible situation driving many to flee. He says law and order has effectively broken down to the point where even murder has no consequences.

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Texas Rancher Highlights Collateral Damage of Current Border Crisis

Aug 2, 2014 7:15 AM PT

Dr. Michael Vickers is a veterinarian and rancher who lives about 70 miles from the southern border in Falfurrias, Texas. Vickers is also the co-founder of Texas Border Volunteers, a group which monitors private land for illegal immigrants and notifies the border patrol when they encounter them. Unfortunately, not everyone Vickers and his group locates is still alive.

This week Vickers shared images of some of the many dead bodies his group has come across on private land. The photos of immigrants who apparently got lost without enough water are very graphic, so much so that the Daily Mail chose to blur them out. Vickers says his group had located 259 bodies in Brooks County since 2012.

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An Illegal Immigration Question for Every Politician

Aug 2, 2014 5:04 AM PT

Our exalted (by some not all) elected officials are home for 5 weeks looking, cajoling and some lying for your vote. Ask them this. If America was not a nation of laws supporting freedom why would people risk all to come here illegally from their lawless nations with little freedom and opportunity. When we become a lawless nation with less freedom and opportunity, then what? End illegal immigration.

Harry, Come Back: Bachmann Calls Out Reid Over Immigration Fix

Aug 2, 2014 12:05 AM PT

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann released the following statement tonight calling for Harry Reid to get the Senate back to work on what she now believes is a viable immigration fix passed by the House.

"The meltdown of the phones this week got the attention of Congress. The border bill today is completely different than the bill yesterday. Now we have a real border security bill that addresses the current crisis and the root cause of the surge of illegal immigration due to people believing President Obama would provide them amnesty.

"Today, by freezing DACA, the House voted to prevent the Obama administration’s actions to circumvent the law. The House also voted to provide support to law enforcement officials tasked with responding to the border crisis, including combating  transnational gangs and cartels who are engaging in human and drug trafficking and profiting from our open border policies.

 "When President Obama issued a dare to Congress that he could once again bypass the legislative process and unilaterally issue deferred action and work permits to 5 million illegal foreign nationals, the House had no option but to act.

"The House answered the President and said ‘no you won’t,’ by standing up for the rule of law and prohibiting him from issuing millions of work permits and deferred action to those who entered our country illegally. This is the best action we could take to restrain a lawless President.

"I urge Harry Reid and the Senate to return to Washington, D.C. and finish the work the House started to solve the border crisis."

Cruz Hits Shaheen On Amnesty

Aug 1, 2014 9:21 AM PT

In a move that could be construed as wading further into the pond of 2016 presidential politics, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joined other prominent Republicans in attacking New Hampshire's Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen for supporting what he called Obama's "amnesty" immigration policies.

Cruz says Shaheen, quote, "has voted lock-step with President Obama to prevent any efforts to finally secure our border."

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Every state is a border state now: Cape Cod says no to a shipment of illegal aliens

Jul 27, 2014 9:10 AM PT

As the shock waves from Barack Obama's manufactured border crisis ripple across the country, turning every state into a border state, backlash is emanating from people who didn't have much of a problem with open-borders ideology, back when they thought all the illegal aliens would be staying in the South.  One such vignette comes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as reported at the Daily Signal:

Last week, the Democratic governor announced his offer to house up to 1,000 children at Camp Edwards military base on Cape Cod. Concerned for the children’s wellbeing, Patrick declared, “I think we are the kind of country and the kind of Commonwealth who can step up.”

The town of Bourne disagrees.

A wealthy and historic community at the mouth of Cape Cod, Bourne traditionally attracts vacationers and tourists, not refugees. Residents fear the influx of migrant children could change this forever.

On Tuesday, the town’s Board of Selectman voted unanimously to oppose the governor’s plan and draft an open letter of protest. Chairman Peter J. Meier summarized the sentiment of the board saying, “We are here to provide services, and we need to take care of our own first.”

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Obama May Bypass Congress to Grant Refugee Status for Hondurans

Jul 24, 2014 6:29 PM PT
The Obama administration is considering a move that, according to Mark Krikorian, the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, "would increase, not stem, the flood of migrants from Central America trying to get into the United States".

“It’s clearly a bad idea,” Mr. Krikorian said. “Orders of magnitude more people will apply for refugee status if they can just do it from their home countries.” He added that the proposal would allow people to claim to be refugees from their countries with “nothing more than a bus ride to the consulate. We’re talking about, down the road, an enormous additional flow of people from those countries.”

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Half of California's School Children Now of Latin descent

Jul 23, 2014 8:01 PM PT

California Gov Jerry Brown sees the current border crisis more as a "humanitarian" crisis, than a political one and he also pointed out that currently "half of California's school-age children are of Latin descent." 

His remarks came during a meeting with Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Antonio Meade Kuribrena just before Brown's four-day trade mission to Mexico next week. Reportedly, Mexico has more trade with Californiathan it does with China.

Both say they look forward to extending California's ties to Mexico by increasing trade, university exchanges and fighting climate change. 

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Evangelicals, Catholics Seek to Aid Children at the Border

Jul 22, 2014 5:26 PM PT

Faith leaders of various denominations are interceding on behalf of Central American children now arriving at the U.S. border. This week both evangelicals and Catholics put out calls to help in various ways.

A group of evangelical organizations will send a letter to Congress today asking lawmakers not to change a 2008 law which makes it more difficult to deport minors arriving from Central America. Politico reports the letter was put together by a coalition called the Evangelical Immigration Table which is composed of "the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, Bread for the World, Christian Community Development Association, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, World Vision U.S. and Sojourners."

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Rep. Issa's Observations on the Border Crisis Following His Trip to Central America

Jul 22, 2014 4:38 PM PT

Rep. Issa just returned from a fact-finding trip to Central America. His goal was to assess the causes and possible solutions for the current crisis at the southern border. Today Issa published a series of "observations" about his trip on the Oversight and Government Reform website.

Issa believes the motivation for the current migration is not so much the high rate of violence in Central America as the lack of jobs and opportunity. He also pointed to something called "chain migration" in which children attempt to follow their parents to the U.S.

Why are children flooding the U.S. border from their home countries in Central America?
Economics and chain migration. In each country, government officials, religious leaders, and nongovernmental organizations reported that a severe lack of economic opportunity is the primary motivational factor for migration to the U.S. These leaders described a common story that parents, having left their home country to find work in the U.S., often illegally, are sending for their children to join them. In a gang prevention program (similar to the D.A.R.E program in the U.S.) in El Salvador, about half of a classroom of about 40 ten-year-old kids raised their hands when we asked if they had parents and relatives in the U.S., and all of those children raised their hands when asked if they wanted to go to the U.S. someday. In El Salvador, mayors reported that, while gang violence is a problem, there had not been any particular uptick of violent gang crime coinciding or causing the current surge. Guatemalan government officials and community outreach workers told us that gang violence wasn’t driving their children north.

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Illegal Immigrants Qualify for Bankruptcy Protection

Jul 20, 2014 1:21 PM PT

Estela Martinez, 54, of Dallas has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison "for making false statements during her multiple bankruptcy filings," according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Martinez is one of several people to be charged recently  in Texas. The story makes no mention of their immigration status.

Four of the defendants have entered guilty pleas, two of whom have been sentenced. Another defendant is scheduled for trial, and two others remain fugitives, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

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Texas Town Swamped with Dead Bodies, 911 Calls 70 Miles From the Border

Jul 20, 2014 12:40 PM PT

Brooks County is too far from the border to receive federal funds for illegal immigrants, but from the discovery of mass graves, illegals, including children, who roam aimlessly sometimes until dead from the heat and exhaustion, the current immigration crisis is far from confined to the border.

Zamarripa, 27, is one of 15 reserve deputies brought in to assist the Brooks County Sheriff's Office, whose four deputies have lately found themselves overwhelmed by 911 calls from migrants stranded on the vast ranches that stretch from here to the horizon in all directions. 

Then there are the bodies of migrants who didn't make it to retrieve and identify: 42 so far this year.

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White House Repeatedly Warned About Border Crisis but Put Politics First

Jul 20, 2014 10:40 AM PT

The White House was warned repeatedly that there was a growing crisis of unaccompanied minors on the border but chose not to address the issue for fear it would ruin the President's push for comprehensive immigration reform.

A story in the Washington Post highlights a number of times the Obama administration was warned of the growing crisis on the border. For instance, a 2012 report by the Women's Refugee Commission spelled out the growing number of unaccompanied minors at the border which started in the fall of 2011. The group's director tells the Post, "I don’t think they ignored this on purpose, but they didn’t know what to do."

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Ted Cruz helps out with border relief effort

Jul 19, 2014 12:59 PM PT

Glenn Beck says the media is refusing to cover Senator Ted Cruz's participation in his Mercury One border relief effort because they're already trying to influence the 2016 presidential race, and don't want to give Cruz any positive coverage as a humanitarian:

“Why is nobody covering this?” Beck asked on his radio program Friday. “This came out yesterday. This is a big deal. Why is no one covering that Ted Cruz is going down to the border for a relief program?”

Beck said Cruz’s involvement is scarcely being mentioned because the left has to paint the senator as a “hater,” and some on the right don’t want to help a conservative that is not part of the Republican “establishment.”

“They cannot cover Ted Cruz going down to the border,” Beck said. “This gives Ted Cruz the ammo to be tough on immigration, to be tough on justice. Once you have mercy established, you have credibility to talk about justice.”

“If [former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush] were going down, I guarantee you Fox News would be covering it,” Beck added. “NBC would have cameras there.”

“It’s amazing,” Beck said. “And the lack of coverage should tell you everything you need to know: We are already playing presidential games. We’re already playing presidential games. Can’t we not play games?”

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The True Size of the Adult Immigration Wave, Revealed

Jul 19, 2014 6:13 AM PT

One of the reasons people have grown so angry over Obama's manufactured border crisis is that everything we are told is a lie.  That's consistent with the core Amnesty Caucus belief that the benighted knuckle-dragging xenophobic citizens of the United States have nothing to say about immigration policy - it's a decision that will be made by the Ruling Class, in accordance with their political and economic interests.  You taxpaying chumps will be told whatever the Ruling Class thinks you need to hear, whenever they think you need to hear it, with the truth either suppressed or kept on ice until it doesn't matter any more.

Remember this whole story began with leaked photos of the overcrowded Unaccompanied Alien Child detention centers, which we weren't supposed to know about until the invasion was much further along.  We were fed a pack of lies about how it was foolish for those people to send their children here, because they had somehow misunderstood Obama's amnesty executive orders, when in reality the belief that they would be allowed to stay was absolutely correct.  The illegal aliens were distributed across the United States with taxpayer-funded transportation by dark of night, exposed only when people began protesting the buses and planes bringing their new neighbors into their communities.  

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Politico Ignores Democrat Opposition to White House Placing Immigrant Children In States

Jul 18, 2014 6:55 PM PT

Reading this Politico item on Obama's botched handling of immigration policy, one would think Democrats are all for embracing scores of illegal immigrant children now in the U.S. for an indeterminate period of time. 

Obama's foes on border crisis: Democrats

“They sure didn’t check with me,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I don’t know who they checked with, but I just think it was kind of a quick reaction without really thinking about the humanitarian aspects of this.”

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Huffington Post Blames Border Crisis on Eisenhower, Reagan but Not Current Policy

Jul 18, 2014 4:29 PM PT

According to the Huffington Post there are 8 "simple" reasons the U.S. is responsible for the current border crisis. Those reasons begin with a U.S. backed coup 1954 and end with a coup the U.S. had nothing to do with in 2009.

The piece is titled "Here's How The U.S. Sparked A Refugee Crisis On The Border, In 8 Simple Steps." The first simple step begins in 1954 when President Eisenhower and the CIA ran an operation to oust President Jacobo Árbenz. If 60 years ago seems like a bit far back to travel for a crisis which began in 2011, the other 7 steps attempt to make the connection.

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Josh Marshall Connects Malaysian Air Shoot Down to Tea Party

Jul 18, 2014 11:05 AM PT

Josh Marshall, publisher of Talking Points Memo, suggested this morning that the separatist "warlord" who may be responsible for shooting down a Malaysian airliner and killing nearly 300 people is, somehow, just like the Tea Party. After a quote noting that the "warlord" in question used to take part in Russian military reenactment battles, Marshall writes:

So that's who you're dealing with: some mix of civil war reenactor or Tea Partier decked out in revolutionary garb, with a mix of reckless aggression and comical incompetence. Here we have them break into nursing homes to photographs senator's comatose wives; there Putin gives them heavy armaments designed for full scale land war in Europe.

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Chris Christie Would Consider Requests to Help Immigrant Children in NJ

Jul 17, 2014 7:28 PM PT

When asked his opinion of the ongoing crisis involving illegal immigrant children, NJ Governor and potential 2016 GOP presidential contender Chris Christie said, "I have great empathy for that situation. We'll take every request that comes based on its merits and make those decisions." 

He also called Americans "an empathetic people." Christie remarks came while he was in Iowa for a Republican Governor's Association event.

But he said "encouraging this would be the wrong step to take," alluding to families sending their children to New Jersey, which has among the nation's 10 largest Hispanic populations.

Christie blamed the Obama administration for the failure of the federal government to resolve the crisis involving tens of thousands of unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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White House Concluded Border Crisis a PR Problem Which Should Not Hinder Further Executive Action

Jul 16, 2014 2:17 PM PT

Despite evidence that the current border crisis is at least partly the result of its previous executive action on immigration, the White House decided it was merely a "public relations problem" and moved forward with plans to issue further executive actions along similar lines.

The New York Times has a piece out today which contains some new insight into the White House's thinking about the border crisis and how it relates to the President's stated goal of taking action on immigration without Congress.

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The Myth of the Central American Apocalypse

Jul 16, 2014 1:28 PM PT

While we're busy retiring the phony Obama talking point about how a 2008 anti-human-trafficking law means he can't do anything to repel the human wave coming out of Central America, let's also dispense with the equally bogus talking point that it's a sudden "refugee" crisis caused by an abrupt surge of violence in the countries of origin.

To be sure, conditions in Honduras, El Salvador, etc. are very bad.  You can't blame anyone for wanting to escape them.  This does not, in any way, obligate the people of the United States to care for all of those people, or grant them permanent residency.  But it simply is not true that some massive surge in violence over the last year prompted a refugee exodus on par with the people fleeing from war zones.  It stinks about the same as it always has in Central America, and it most assuredly will not get any better if the corrupt regimes and drug gangs ruling those territories know they can count on the Americans to take care of everyone they have failed.  The concept of national sovereignty means nothing if the people of one nation can be held responsible for the consequences of actions taken by the government of another.

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No 'border fix' should be necessary

Jul 16, 2014 9:26 AM PT

In response to Congressional Democrats Stonewalling Any Border Fix:

It's not surprising to see this sad little spectacle, as Democrats scramble to block any fixes to the law they claimed, just days ago, was tantamount to the hellish George Bush tying Barack Obama's hands and preventing him from halting the human tide washing over the border.  As Mickey Kaus pointed out, this is all complete and utter vindication for critics of the "Gang of Eight" deal, and all similar "comprehensive immigration reform" plans that traded amnesty today for border security tomorrow:

The reaction to the border chaos in Texas has accomplished one thing: It has exploded the lie at the heart of current “comprehensive” immigration reform plans.  The basic structure of those plans is a swap of a) near-immediate legalization for b) increased border security in the future. The appealing idea is to let current illegals stay while taking the steps necessary to prevent further waves. The lie is the assumption that, once current illegals get their legalization, pro-immigrant activists in both parties will continue to support the second half of the bargain, the increased security.

The chaos in Texas shows they won’t.  Faced with a clear hole in the border — with a wave of tens of thousands of undocumented Central Americans crossing into the U.S. in order to get in line for hearings years from now, which they likely won’t attend while they continue to live here – pro-reform activists have scrambled, not to show their border security bona fides, but to generate arguments and outbursts designed to let the new wave stay.

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Belief in 'Permisos' Driving Childhood Immigration Surge

Jul 16, 2014 8:32 AM PT

An intelligence assessment published last week found that a misunderstanding about U.S. immigration policy is a major driver of the current surge of child immigrants from Central America.

The report, published July 7th by the El Paso Intelligence Center, was uncovered yesterday by Fox News. It states, "Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors."

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Congressional Democrats Stonewalling Any Border Fix

Jul 15, 2014 7:15 PM PT

Despite what's being acknowledged as a humanitarian crisis, Democrats in Congress are vowing to derail any potential fix, even though it was the Democrat-in-chief in the White House who opened the door to that very thing.

Democrats in the House and Senate said Tuesday they would oppose any changes to a 2008 human trafficking law Republicans have blamed for the wave of child immigrants crossing the border.

The opposition sets up a standoff and raises serious doubts about whether Congress will be able to act before its summer recess in response to what both parties argue is a humanitarian crisis.

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Undocumented Activist Jose Vargas Released After 7 Hours

Jul 15, 2014 3:21 PM PT

Reports are now appearing on Twitter that journalist Jose Vargas, America's most famous undocumented immigrant, has been released from McAllen, Texas where he was detained this morning.

After flying in to Texas to film and report on some of the children arriving at the border, Vargas supposedly realized he was going to have a problem leaving the area. He posted this moments before trying to fly out of the McAllen airport.

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Progressives Need to Acknowledge the Potential Scale of the Border Crisis

Jul 15, 2014 1:00 PM PT

Last night on Fox News' Special Report, Kirsten Powers made the case that the kids arriving on the border shouldn't be treated as illegal immigrants but as refugees. Powers apparently went to the border and talked to some of the kids there and reports they had some harrowing stories of the reasons they made the dangerous journey through Mexico to America.

I suspect Powers is right that if more Americans could hear the stories these kids are telling fewer of them would clamor for these kids to be sent home. President Obama probably miscalculated when he refused to go to the border and highlight those stories. But this may be a moment where all of us, progressives especially, need to think carefully about the impact our reaction to the crisis might have in the near future.

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Republicans Need To Go On The Offensive On Immigration

Jul 15, 2014 11:37 AM PT

In response to Report: Most Child Immigrants Will Not Be Sent Home:

Remember when Obama's campaign arm, Organizing for Action held rallies all across America, last year, attracting crowds as small as five people (all OFA interns.) Where are they this year, as American citizens reel in horror at the wave after wave of humanity streaming across our open border?  

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Illegal Immigrants Shop At Walmart With Food Stamp Cards

Jul 15, 2014 9:59 AM PT

A woman in Concord, NC., captured this video of illegal immigrants being bussed to a local Walmart to buy supplies, presumably using EBT cards.

 In the video, it is clear that the illegal immigrants are not those poor kids that have been clamoring at the US border, but grown adults that President Obama has been sending to various states around the country.

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