The Republican Demonization of Refugee Children Shames America

Murrieta's white folks protest the arrival of brown folks
Murrieta’s white folks protest the arrival of brown folks

On July 15, The New York Times reported that “More than 52,000 children have been caught crossing the United States border alone since October — double last year’s number.”

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) referred to this flood of refugee children as an “invasion of our nation,” He told World Net Daily and its uneducated readership that “There are more people coming across the border than invaded France in World War II,”

Never mind that the allies sent 160,000 troops across the Channel to Normandy on D-Day alone, and by the end of June, 1944, had shipped across 875,000 men. But Stockman is a Texas Republican so veracity is the last thing you should expect from him.

Pope Francis says “”This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected.” Far from it, says Michele Bachmann, appearing on CNN’s Crossfire. She shocked co-host Van Jones by calling immigrant children “invaders” and comparing them to rapists.

It was reported Monday by Mother Jones that,

Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with a dire warning: Some of the child refugeesstreaming across the southern border into the United States might carry deadly diseases. “Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote. “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.”

It’s no wonder, with rhetoric like this, that bigoted conservatives are gathering in their thousands to tell immigrant children they’re not welcome in their neighborhood. They are nothing but a bunch of little terrorists after all, future rapists, drug users, and thieves.

As CNN reported,

Earlier this month in Murrieta, busloads of babies in their mothers’ laps, teens, ‘tweens and toddlers were turned back from a detainee facility.

They were met by screaming protesters waving and wearing American flags and bearing signs that read such things as “Return to Sender.”

They were also, to the lasting shame and embarrassment of us all, chanting “USA! USA!”

The American Family Association’s Sandy Rios says they carry diseases and she be treated like lepers (never mind that we don’t even treat lepers like lepers anymore):

I think of biblical times, the lepers were separated — right or wrong — they were separated. It was understood that leprosy was so contagious. So there’s nothing wrong with wanting to separate your children. We used to quarantine people when they had diseases.

“We’re such a healthy people that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be diseased and die from those diseases in huge numbers,” she said, “but we’re going to learn, I think, again.”

And egads, these kids are transported in the “same planes that you and I fly in.”

“How do we know about lice and disease before they get on public transportation?”

Never mind that these kids are more likely to be immunized than American children and that many of them have their medical records in hand. In other words, they are nothing like Michele Bachmann, who thinks the HPV vaccine made a child mentally retarded, or Rep. Gingrey, who is opposed to mandatory vaccinations.

We saw Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu reveal in a press release the route of a bus full of 40 immigrant children. There must be something in the water in Arizona because that’s all it took to rally the bigots, who gathered in Oracle, Arizona, to do their own Murrieta Intercept. We saw Tea Party candidate Adam Kwasman freak out over a school bus full of – he assumed – those immigrant children. He hurriedly tweeted, “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law.” It turned out instead to be a bus full of YMCA kids.

Sheriff Paul Babeu, for his part, says letting those kids come into the country only encourages more. He took to Facebook to say, “These children should be returned to their home country — not to Oracle, Arizona, paid for by American taxpayers.”

Slow your roll, Sheriff. They’re children. They’re not a bunch of diseased invaders looking to grow up and rape white women. They’re children.

The Tea Party brought out all that is worst in conservatism and gave it a point of focus. They crazies then took over the asylum and the GOP is itself now in thrall to the extremists, with the result that attacking and demonizing children has become mainstreamed.

As Sonia Nazario writes in a New York Times op-ed, this is a refugee crisis, not an immigration crisis. Even so, when the Statue of Liberty says…

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

…she could have been looking directly at these children. Instead, Huffington Post reports that a new poll shows that,

A near-majority of Americans want the undocumented immigrant children currently being held at the border deported as soon as possible, even though only about one-third of adults think these children have someplace safe to return to, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

The degree of heartlessness exhibited by Americans – by Republicans in particular – beggars belief. Many of these children are victims of the drug war America is funding, and refuses to end. A drug war those same conservatives support. But then, Republicans want babies to be born without caring what happens to them afterward.

In the end though, you have to wonder how different the Republican reaction would be if these were bus loads of blond-haired and blue-eyed Northern European kids who spoke English. My guess is they’d be volunteering their homes, and serial pedophile Ted Nugent and Duck Dynasty’s Bible-totin’ Phil Robertson would probably not be alone in offering to take the 15-year-old girls into their own homes.

44 Replies to “The Republican Demonization of Refugee Children Shames America”

  1. “Ebola?” Really? Does that moron Gingrey think these kids took a sightseeing tour through west Africa on their way to the American Promised Land?

  2. these republicans should be ashamed of themselves. these are innocent children. quit being so prejudiced towards them.

  3. These are the people who have lower the standing of America on the world stage. Other countries see that “White America” has dislike and hate for anybody not like them.

  4. And these are the same tea bags that fully support the billions in their own tax money that is given to corporate welfare while complaining they are taxed too much.

    Go figure

  5. I’m not sure they would even welcome white children. IN WWII, people tried to rescue Jewish kids from Germany, Poland, and Austria, and the US had strict rules about how many could come, and where. I read a story in Reader’s Digest about a couple who ran a summer camp and had housing for 50 kids, and that is exactly how many they could rescue, but the red tape between Germany and here was astounding. And there was reticence here on accepting the children. Some of them had relatives here, and some of their parents survived the camps and came back to claim them, but many were given up in hopes they would have a better life in America. One would think that we as a people have some remaining humanity and compassion in our hearts, but it looks like the evangelicals have beaten it right out of us. It’s a tragedy that we have become so selfish and hardened. (And they still call themselves Christian, which is probably the most ironic thing of all.)

  6. Next thing you know, right wingers will complain how THEY are the REAL victims and being oppressed in all this…

  7. Remember when Jesus said “Take these kids away from me, for they are not here legally and should thus be stoned to death…”?

    Conservatives have a knack for confusing things. Best example, their motto is “Whatever happens in church stays in church”!

  8. added to your comment azportsider, if even one of these children had been exposed to Ebola,(which so far is only in Africa) All the rest would be ill or dying before they reached the border. Ebola works that fast. The train that carries them here would have had dead body’s all over the tracks.

  9. Again, Republicans railing against a law they created. Laws are only good when they propose them and only if there is a white christian male telling them it is a good law and they can like it. (see Koch brothers)

    Let’s understand this. Christians are against birth control, against abortion, against living children, against feeding the hungry, against housing the homeless, against women’s rights, anti-black people, anti-brown people (except for Ted Cruz and a few others trying to pass), against all entitlement programs (unless they are collecting Social Security, Medicare, etc.)against a livable minimum wage but are for corporate welfare, tax cuts and tax avoidance for the wealthy, privatization of everything, tax supported Christian education, more god in government to the extent they want christianity as the official religion of America. They are demanding more control over women’s health while proclaiming there is now too much government in our lives. CONTROL? GMAFB!!

  10. Plus they really don’t read the Bible very closely. Let’s revisit one of their favorite books – LEVITICUS …

    Leviticus 19:34 (NIV):

    The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God

  11. LOL. Read some of the conservative blogs – that is exactly what they are saying. While I have always been far left, I do get a giggle out of their faith based hate rhetoric. If only they knew the fallacies and real source of their belief systems.

    Worth a watch:

  12. I’n not a Christian, or religious at all, but if god is punishing America for anything, it is actions like these undertaken by “Christians”.

    I find it interesting that atheists and agnostics have more Christ-like values than so-called Christians have.

    If the Christian bigots and hypocrites want to know why more and more people reject their religion, all they need to do is look in the mirror to see the reason.

  13. I guess I must have missed the part in “The New Colossus” … on the Statue of Liberty … which describes Latino immigrants as worthless, parasitic ‘germ sponges’, daughter-raping thugs, and drug-dealing gang-bangers who should be shunned, despised, and greeted with epithets and ammo.

  14. If there was any fear, it would have been of this idiot who aspires to represent Arizona, but what matters is that VOTERS will fear the downhill slide of that state if those such as he are elected! Some stranger danger, and he is VERY STRANGE.

  15. Please, there are many white Americans who don’t agree with these a**holes. I’d even venture to say there are more of us than them, we’re just not newsworthy.

  16. These are the good Christians; and they will be the first to tell you not only that they are Christian – but they are “good Christians”. They will put their old clothes, goods, and stuff that they just do not want – no matter how worn out and tattered – into a box for donation to an orphanage or mission in Haiti or Central Africa or for those poor Indians, and say how grateful those people should be to get this stuff. And, then compliment themselves and one another about how charitable and kind they are, and how they are helping the heathens. Just as long as they don’t have to look at them.
    But, when face-to-face with starving children that in many cases have walked and traveled 1,000’s of miles or more to escape from poverty, hunger, physical and sexual abuse – the good Christians show their true colors – and met these children with guns, violent verbal abuse and threats, and want to bulldoze them back out-of-sight so that the “good Christians” can snuggle bac…

  17. How quick we are to quote the bible when it is convenient for us, but choose not to fallow it’s teachings in our day to day lives. It’s not about race or hatred it’s about economics,we can’t afford to take on this burden on our economy or our court systems not to mention they are committing a crime by entering the USA illegally and their of making them criminals. And we have enough criminals here already

  18. On quite a few of these mostly sympathetic to these innocent children posts, there are check marks on the negative “No Way” box. I’m just hoping that whoever is disagreeing with comments that are humane, Christian minded & such do not live next door to me.

  19. These are child refugees we’re talking about. Simply crossing imaginary man-made borders without difficult-to-obtain papers makes them criminals? And how is this an unaffordable burden?

  20. They are not entering the US illegally. They are coming to the border, seeking out Border Patrol agents, and saying, “Please help me.” It is not illegal to enter the country in plain view and ask for assistance. That is, in fact, the ONLY legal way to request asylum; you have to be physically present in the country.

    It’s the same set of laws that used to allow dissidents from the former Soviet bloc to get asylum, that until very recently allowed Chinese with more than one child to stay in the US, and that still protects Christians fleeing repressive Muslim governments, and so on. We don’t always allow asylum-seekers and refugees to stay, but it’s not against the law to come and ask.

  21. They are not entering the US illegally.

    That is incorrect.

    Applying for special legal protection -or asylum status – after crossing the border illegally, won’t change an illegal entrant into a legal entrant.
    If asylum status is approved, then permission has been granted to live/work indefinitely in the U.S. If the status is denied, the applicant is deported as an illegal immigrant.
    Either way…the border was still crossed illegally.

  22. Are the Kids Showing Up at the Border Really Refugees?

    The federal government did not grant refugee protection to a single person from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador or Mexico in fiscal year 2013.

    In the 7 fiscal years from 2007 – 2013, a mere FIVE Guatemalans and 25 Hondurans were granted refugee status in the United States. During that time, zero citizens of El Salvador or Mexico were granted refugee status.

    Now in the past year we have tens of thousands of “refugees”?

    Don’t think so.

  23. My guess is move down there and file your reports if they are refugees or not. Other than that, like me just say you just don’t know

  24. Just got back from vacation, went back home to Chicago had a great time but you wouldn’t believe the cost to go to the museums. We could only do one and it cost us over 275 dollars for everything. I was pissed but the family had a great time

  25. If you stopped giving away your tax dollars to wealthy corporations and and made the same corporations pay their fair share of taxes instead of hiding their money than there would be more money available to help these needy kids. They are not criminals, your former president invited them. All US citizens except for Indigenous people come from immigrants and your past history with immigration is as shameful as today’s. You hated the Chinese who built your railways, you hated the Irish, the Italians,the Latin people. Is there anyone you folks like other than yourselves? You have no empathy for anyone, we live in the same world and we should be willing to help our neighbours otherwise you so called “Christians” won’t be going to heaven when “End of Days” happens!

  26. Sorry Bob, but you’re wrong. These are not illegal immigrants trying to sneak in. These people, primarily women and children who are presenting themselves legally to border guards and requesting asylum. Whether you think we should help them or not, your statement is incorrect and representative of the prejudice that comes from people not actually knowing the facts. They are refugees, not illegal immigrants.

  27. I like to call those sorry excuses for human beings “Hatriots”. They have been listening to lies from their pastors and extreme websites and honestly believe Obama is Kenyan,or Muslim or both. They believe that there are FEMA camps set up as re-education camps for Right Wing Nut Jobs and their people are being kidnapped and sent to the camps. They think the UN is out to take all their guns. These Hatriots are many sandwiches short of a picnic.
    Many did go down to the border and erected a barbed wire fence on some property. I don’t know if they’re still down there, but if these xtians with guns are there, a confrontation is sure to happen.

  28. These TP/GOP idiots are also saying the border children’s mission is to infect & kill all Americans. This week, they are insisting if we don’t send the children back, they will take over all of corporate America. If that’s true, these are the smartest two, three & four year olds I’ve ever heard of!

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