Photo credit: Office of Rep. Henry Cuellar via the Associated Press
By David Martinez
It was revealed this week that Joe Biden has attempted to restrict photos showing the growing numbers of child migrants being held in detention camps along the southern border with Mexico. For multiple weeks, the Biden administration has denied media and lawyer access to facilities in an effort to suppress images and reports which expose that US imperialism’s heinous treatment of migrants from oppressed countries, whether they are children or adults, is fundamentally the same under Biden as it was under Trump, or Obama before that.
In addition to trying to bury any exposure of conditions at the facilities, Biden’s administration has made extra efforts to deny lawyers access to the inside of detention operations such as the facility in Donna, Texas. Detained children have testified to lawyers that they sometimes go days without access to the outside. As of last Saturday, it was reported that half of the 10,000 migrants currently in the custody of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) were unaccompanied minors, even though 40% of the detained children have family whom they could be released to. In combined total, 15,000 children are being held by CBP and the Department of Homeland Security.
Photos of the border patrol detention center in Donna were published by Democratic Party politician Henry Cuellar, who says that he did so because media were being denied access to the sprawling tent facility. At the same time he sought sympathy for the border patrol agents who are watching the children and blamed Central American countries for not making the message clear that their citizens should not migrate to the US.
US imperialism violently polices its borders in response to the thousands of desperate migrants fleeing the miserable conditions in their home countries that are the direct result of US’s destabilization of their societies. US imperialism’s role is principal in any analysis of the so-called ‘immigration crisis,’ but this is obscured by the monopoly media and politicians who now use the jarring images of children huddled under silver space blankets and crowded into detention centers to generate headlines or draw attention to themselves.
Like the Democratic politicians who pushed the exposure of Southwest Key child detention facilities in 2018, any claims of concern for immigrants’ lives are entirely undermined by these politicians’ defense of the US imperialist state and their false propositions that this is simply a “humanitarian crisis” that can be solved through policy changes and foreign aid. They present themselves as the “good officials” trying to do their best in a “tough situation”; in reality they loyally preserve the principal cause of migrants’ suffering—US imperialism’s exploitation and meddling in the affairs of the oppressed countries of Latin America and around the world.