For the past month, mainstream media, local news, and social media have been full of nothing but talk about the conditions of detention centers currently located along the border. With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez now dubbing these detention centers as “concentration camps,” a newfound fervor has taken over the left.
Liberals are dubbing the Trump administration as “this generation’s Nazis” and are deeming racism as the reason for these conditions. While I’m sure the voters in the Democratic primary will appreciate the virtue signaling of these Democrats, this rhetoric is completely missing the actual issues troubling our border.
The horrible conditions of Detention Centers on the Southern border have nothing to do with racism and everything to do with overcrowding, under-funding, and an immigration system that wasn’t built to handle these kinds of numbers. It isn’t because of Trump, it isn’t because our government is the next Nazi Germany, it isn’t because of anything other than the fact that too many undocumented immigrants are coming over each month.
If you think the conditions are a result of racism, you’d have to say the same of President Obama that you do of President Trump. As early as 2014, during President Obama’s second term, there were local articles and news segments dedicated to the dismal conditions that children in particular were facing in detention centers. Texas Representative Henry Cuellar even provided the Houston Chronicle with pictures of these conditions in 2014 that you can find here. Somehow, the Democrats were able to ignore these what they now call “concentration camps” at the time. Children were laying were on top of each other, sleeping on the concrete ground with no pillows and only one blanket, and there weren’t enough hygiene products to go around. The conditions were no different than the ones making major headlines today.
What happened under President Obama and is now happening under President Trump is no single individual’s fault. The many institutions that provide guidance, funding, and infrastructure to our immigration officials were never prepared for the number of undocumented immigrants that have been flooding into the US in the past five years.
In 2014, when the pictures under President Obama were taken, there had been over 33,000 unaccompanied minors apprehended in the first eight months of the year alone. The number of total apprehensions for those first eight months was larger than the total for the entirety of the previous year.
The Trump administration is facing a similar problem of large, record-breaking numbers of people crossing the border. According to the Texas Tribune, in May over 144,000 undocumented immigrants were apprehended. That is a 13 year record.
Where will these people go? Where will they be kept? And where will the money to feed, clothe, and house them come from?