Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Separated Children at the Border" on PBS Frontline




Tonight PBS Frontline aired the very strong documentary “SeparatedChildren at the Border” with correspondent Martin Smith.

The film traced the history of illegal migration from Central America back to Obama’s first term.
   
It also shows real footage of migrants on trains in Central America, where kids have to jump on.  
   
Gangs even control the trains, and many kids die trying to get on.
    
In 2014, the increase of migration was quite marked, and the Obama administration even briefly contemplated some family separation, but rejected it. But the film explains how the Flores Settlement was interpreted to mean that many families would have to be released.  The Obama administration was well aware that Central America could become our Syria, and that the nation faced a growing moral crisis.  


I just was in south Texas myself at the end of May.  By no means were all ranchers or people in the area are hostile; many volunteer with religious charities to help. But one rancher in the documentary said flat out that the U.S. cannot take care of everyone in the world.

During the campaign, some on the right complained that Obama’s DACA policy would encourage more illegal migration.

The later part of the documentary shows the children in the detention centers (CBS video ), and documents the inability of the Trump administration to follow court orders to reunite the families.  Workers actually lost track of many babies.

The documentary contemplated the view that Trump and Sessions deliberately separated the children as political pawns to warn other migrants contemplated illegal entry that they would lose their kids to prison-like conditions if they attempted to enter illegally, under zero tolerance.
   
In the last scene, a family is reunited in Virginia.

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