New Texas Trump concentration camp for immigrating

This 28 March 2019 video says about itself:

USA: Migrant families held in pen under El Paso bridge

Footage filmed on Wednesday shows hundreds of migrant families from Central America being held in a pen beneath an underpass, in El Paso, Texas, as they were waiting to be processed by US immigration officials. The makeshift encampment was set up in a parking lot of a Border Patrol station, beneath the Paso del Norte Bridge. Footage shows migrants cramped in the encampment, behind a fence and razor wire.

By Eric London in the USA:

US detaining immigrants under highway overpass in Texas amid renewed crackdown

29 March 2019

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is unleashing a massive crackdown on Central American immigrants attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. According to CBP figures, the agency made 66,450 border arrests in February, the highest monthly total in years.

Children detained in a US Border Patrol Processing Center in McCallen, Texas in 2018

The border region has been placed under military occupation and is turning into a legal no man’s land. Video and images released Wednesday show immigrants being detained underneath an overpass in El Paso, Texas. In the images, hundreds of immigrants huddled behind barbed wire appear beneath a freeway surrounded by trash and armed guards.

El Paso, Texas, concentration camp for immigrants

The decision to hold immigrants under an overpass is a calculated, provocative maneuver. Trump, emboldened by the collapse of the Democratic Party-led Russia witch-hunt, is giving the green light to his fascistic supporters within the military and immigration agencies who are demanding a dramatic expansion of the network of immigrant internment camps across the US.

Late yesterday, NBC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will imminently ask Congress to provide billions of dollars in emergency funding for detention centers, including those specifically intended to jail thousands of children.

People locked up in El Paso concentration camp

Immigrant children, the DHS letter complains, cannot be “expeditiously removed” due to “outdated laws” and “resource constraints”. The letter blames protections for immigrant children as a “pull factor” that encourages immigration. “We are witnessing the real-time dissolution of the immigration system”, the letter states, warning of a “system-wide meltdown”.

The DHS letter calls for granting “emergency” authority “to restore order” and “stem the historic flows” of immigrants, including through the elimination of legal protections for detained immigrants, the building of “temporary processing facilities” and the deployment of “at least hundreds of additional personnel to support CBP and ICE.”

The government is currently holding over 1,300 children without their parents in cold “holding cells”, including over 250 who are under the age of 12. This does not include the 12,000 children who are dispersed throughout the country at longer-term child detention centers. The Trump administration also recently requested that the military agree to hold 5,000 children at Goodfellow Air Force Base outside of San Angelo, Texas.

The Washington Post reported that the detainees in cramped internment camps have “a variety of ailments and communicable diseases”. Many of the migrants are “seriously ill”, the Post wrote, “including infants with 105-degree fevers, a 2-year-old suffering seizures in the desert, a 19-year-old woman with a congenital heart defect who needs emergency surgery and a 40-year-old man suffering from multiple organ failure.” ICE recently acknowledged it had detained over 2,500 pregnant women since 2016.

On Wednesday, Trump took to Twitter to denounce Mexico and Central American countries for “doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our country…The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!”

At a rally yesterday night in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump declared: “National emergency it is. If you look at the border, and you look at the hundreds of thousands of people who are invading our country… We are building it very rapidly.” Earlier this week, Trump successfully earmarked $1 billion for wall construction in Texas and Arizona.

The scale of the border crackdown is without precedent. In the first four months of the current fiscal year, CBP arrested 136,150 people who crossed the border as families, far surpassing the 107,212 “family units” arrested during the entirety of the last fiscal year, which broke the prior record for the most family arrests in history.

Family arrests have risen 338 percent so far this year across the border, with a 1,690 percent increase in El Paso and a 696 percent increase in the San Diego, California area. With more favorable spring weather, crossings will increase further.

Roughly 4,700 soldiers remain deployed at the US-Mexico border on the orders of President Trump. Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley supported the deployment of troops to the border, saying it did not detract from “force readiness”.

Despite the Trump administration’s claims that the military is playing only a technical role, those units deployed include the 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, the Marines’ 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, the 505th Military Intelligence Brigade, the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, the Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, and more. Trump has consistently referred to immigration as an “invasion” and last year said soldiers would be able to “shoot” immigrants at the border.

In addition, the Trump administration is attempting to deputize officials from non-immigration agencies to travel to the border and engage in the ongoing mass roundups.

The Post reported that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “is readying a plan to ask volunteers from the US Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration and other Homeland Security Agencies to go to the border to help with the flood of Central American families.” One official told the Post: “We are burning red hot right now, and we are looking everywhere for help.”

Already, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has trained over 1,500 local and state police to arrest immigrants. ICE Acting Director Ronald Vitiello said on Tuesday that local police arrested 160,000 immigrants on immigration charges in 2018.

The attacks on immigrants and democratic rights take place with no real opposition from the Democratic Party, which opposed efforts to stop Trump’s long-planned efforts to expand the immigration internment camp network constructed under Democratic President Barack Obama.

The fact that so many families are escaping Central America despite Trump’s fascistic anti-immigrant program testifies to the degree of the social devastation wrought by US imperialism over the past century of corporate exploitation of the region.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration reached a new agreement with several Central American countries to fund police and military operations aimed at stemming the flow of immigration. In reality, such agreements will only further fund US-backed death squads that roam the countries, collaborate with drug cartels and protect the rule of corrupt national bourgeoisies in the most unequal region in the world.

The US government’s attacks on immigrant workers in the US and Central America is an attack on the international working class. In the midst of a growth of the class struggle on a world scale, American finance capital is expanding its international military-police-intelligence apparatus aimed at suppressing the class struggle and protecting the profits of US corporations through brute force.

According to leaked documents provided to local San Diego news station NBC 7, a government database has been targeting journalists and activists at the southern US border. As news has spread of the operation many other groups and organizations have also spoken of increased surveillance and harassment by the Border Patrol, ICE, and other government agencies for covering immigration in Mexico: here.

ICE arrest foiled by activist who knows the law.

At a staged media event in Calexico, California on the US-Mexico border, President Donald Trump on Friday reiterated his intention to build a border wall, defended his declaration of a national emergency to bypass Congress in funding the reactionary project, said he would deploy more troops to militarize the region, and called the attempts of refugees from Central America to gain asylum in the US “a scam”: here.


Hundreds of priests abused Texas, USA children

This Associated Press video from the USA says about itself:

(1 Feb 2019) Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children. Some investigations dated back to 1950. The majority of those identified have since died.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in Texas has released the names of 286 clergymen who are accused of sexually abusing children. They worked at fourteen dioceses in the US American state.

The disclosure follows a similar publication in the state of Pennsylvania. In August last year, the authorities in that state published a report showing that in the past 70 years in Pennsylvania more than a thousand children have been abused by 300 priests. …

Just like in Pennsylvania, some suspicions in Texas go back more than seventy years. Many clergymen who are mentioned have since died.

TEXAS OUTS HUNDREDS OF CATHOLIC ABUSERS Catholic leaders in Texas identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, one of the largest collections of names to be released since the grand jury report in Pennsylvania last year. [AP]

Texas salamanders, new species discovered, threats

This 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

Texas Blind Salamander in the Edwards Aquifer

The first ever video of the rare Texas Blind Salamander in the wild.

From the University of Texas at Austin in the USA:

Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction

January 14, 2019

Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought.

Writing today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team, which includes one of the scientists who identified the endangered Barton Springs salamander, warns that more severe droughts caused by climate change and increasing water use in Central Texas have left groundwater salamanders “highly vulnerable to extinction.”

The groundwater salamanders of Central Texas — just 2 to 3 inches long — swim in springs, underwater caves and channels deep within limestone rock and are keystone species in the local Edwards and Trinity aquifers. As top predators, they help maintain the health of aquifer ecosystems, meaning they are key for preserving water quality in the aquifers that local residents depend on for nearly all the fresh water supplying nearby cities, industries and agriculture. The loss of these salamanders would compromise the delicate aquifer systems of which they are a critical part, the biologists said.

“Even if people do not care about salamanders, they care about maintaining the quality of the aquifer systems that provide most of Texas with its fresh water”, said David Hillis, professor of integrative biology and senior author of the paper. “Fortunately, what’s good for the salamanders is also really good for the people. What we need to do to protect these salamanders also happens to be the exact same things we need to do to protect the water resources that ranchers, cities, homeowners and everybody else depend upon.”

For years, Central Texans have worked toward preserving several threatened or endangered salamanders, many of them discovered because of research by Hillis and his colleagues. The new paper adds to this body of work, which has led to protections for the Barton Springs salamander, the Austin blind salamander, the San Marcos salamander and the Georgetown salamander through entities such as the Edwards Aquifer Authority, which addresses an aquifer segment that supplies water to San Antonio.

One of three newly identified species, which is yet to be named, is critically endangered: a tiny, golden-colored salamander that lives only in a small area near the Pedernales River west of Austin. The scientists also discovered that the Georgetown salamander, which lives in springs near Lake Georgetown and already has federal protection as a threatened species, has a much smaller range than previously thought and, thus, is far more endangered.

“I think the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should review the status of all these salamanders in light of the new evidence,” Hillis said, referring to the process for assessing the conservation status of species under the Endangered Species Act. “They are part of the rich biological heritage of Texas, and losing these groundwater salamanders would be a huge loss for our state’s biodiversity. Importantly, protecting these salamanders also means protecting the quality and quantity of fresh water that Texans rely upon.”

For the new study, Hillis and other researchers delineated the geographic ranges of more than a dozen Central Texas groundwater salamander species by studying the genetics of preserved specimens, collected over several decades and stored in the University of Texas Biodiversity Collections. First author Tom Devitt, currently an environmental scientist with the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, carried out the genetic analyses while still a postdoctoral researcher at UT Austin working with Hillis, helping to identify the three species previously unknown to science.

Found nowhere else in the world and difficult to study due to the inaccessibility of their underground habitats, these salamanders, Devitt explained, represent a kind of mystery and rare beauty, a legacy of wildness that lives on despite a rapidly changing landscape.

“There’s a whole underground ecosystem all the way from Salado to West Texas that many people don’t even know about,” Devitt said. “Within it are these endemic species that are found nowhere else on Earth.”

Trump’s concentration camp for children in Texas, USA

This video from Associated Press in the USA says about itself:

Tent city expands to house more migrant teens

(27 Nov 2018) A temporary, emergency detention camp that opened in the Texas desert in June for an overflow of migrant children shows no signs of closing. There are now more than 2,300 teens being held inside the tent city, some have been there for months.

From Associated Press:

Texas detention camp for teen migrants keeps growing


27 November 2018

TORNILLO, Texas — The Trump administration announced in June it would open a temporary shelter for up to 360 migrant children in this isolated corner of the Texas desert. Less than six months later, the facility has expanded into a detention camp holding thousands of teenagers — and it shows every sign of becoming more permanent.

By Tuesday, 2,324 largely Central American boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 17 were sleeping inside the highly guarded facility in rows of bunk beds in canvas tents, some of which once housed first responders to Hurricane Harvey. More than 1,300 teens have arrived since the end of October.

Rising from the cotton fields and dusty roads not far from the fence marking the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the camp has rows of beige tents and golf carts that ferry staffers carrying walkie-talkies. Teens with identical haircuts and government-issued shirts and pants can be seen walking single file from tent to tent, flanked by staff at the front and back.

United States Trump-supporting nazi Internet site the Daily Stormer is very happy about that; posting a photo of people with ‘identical haircuts and government-issued shirts and pants’ imprisoned in Hitler’s concentration camps; where the Tornillo camp reminds them of.

More people are detained in Tornillo’s tent city than in all but one of the nation’s 204 federal prisons, and construction continues.

None of the 2,100 staff are going through rigorous FBI fingerprint background checks, according to a government watchdog memo published Tuesday. “Instead, Tornillo is using checks conducted by a private contractor that has access to less comprehensive data, thereby heightening the risk that an individual with a criminal

eg, racist violence

history could have direct access to children,” the memo says.

Federal plans to close Tornillo by Dec. 31 may be impossible to meet. There aren’t 2,300 extra beds in other facilities, and a contract obtained by the AP shows the project could continue into 2020. Planned closures have already been extended three times since this summer. …

Children numbers at Tornillo camp

The camp’s population may grow even more if migrants in the caravans castigated by President Donald Trump enter the U.S. Federal officials have said they may fly caravan teens who arrive in San Diego directly to El Paso, then bus them to Tornillo, according to a nonprofit social service provider who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter.

As the population inside the camp swells, young detainees’ anguish has deepened.

“The few times they let me call my mom I would tell her that one day I would be free, but really I felt like I would be there for the rest of my life,” a 17-year-old from Honduras who was held at Tornillo earlier this year told AP. “I feel so bad for the kids who are still there. What if they have to spend Christmas there? They need a hug, and nobody is allowed to hug there.”

He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from immigration authorities.

The nonprofit agency contracted to run Tornillo says it is proud of its work. …

“We don’t have anything to hide. This is an exceptionally run operation,” said Krista Piferrer, a spokeswoman for BCFS Health and Human Services, a faith-based organization.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mark Weber, said no decisions have been made about whether Tornillo will close by year’s end as scheduled.

“Whatever it is we decide to do, in the very near future, we’ll do a public notice about that,” he said.

In June, as detention centers for migrant children overflowed, Scott Lloyd, director of HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement, signed a memo granting a waiver to staff up Tornillo without the required child abuse and neglect checks, which flag any potential employee who has a record of hurting a child. There were two reasons, according to a memo by HHS’s inspector general’s office: first, there was pressure to move quickly to open the detention camp, and second, Lloyd’s agency assumed Tornillo staff had already undergone FBI fingerprint checks. They had not.

Lloyd, under fire for his handling of the migrant crisis, was transferred out of the refugee resettlement branch and to a different division of HHS last week. Weber did not immediately respond to questions as to why the department waived background checks.

Failing to properly check staffers’ backgrounds “can lead to potential abuse and neglect of these kids,” said Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jeffrey Harp, a retired FBI assistant special agent in charge, told the AP that FBI fingerprint background checks can be completed in a few minutes and reveal much more information about job candidates than checks that simply run a person’s name against criminal history databases.

“How do you know the person is who they say they are unless you do a fingerprint check? They can’t lie about their fingerprints, but they can lie about their name or take on someone else’s identity who has a crystal clean record,” Harp said.

US waived FBI checks on staff at growing teen migrant camp: here. So, no check on links to the Proud Boys white supremacist violent gang, the Ku Klux Klan or the National Socialist Movement, etc.

MAN SHOUTED ‘I HATE MEXICANS’ BEFORE ATTACK A Utah man has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly beating a Latino father and son outside their tire shop in Salt Lake City after yelling about his hatred of Mexicans. [HuffPost]

Rivoli’s hummingbird in Texas, USA

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Male Rivoli’s Hummingbird Sparkles While Sipping Nectar – Oct. 5, 2018

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all look this majestic while eating a meal? It comes naturally for the male Rivoli’s Hummingbird. In the right lighting, these hummers reveal their spectacular metallic teal throat patch and purple crest. It’s not surprising that this species was known as Magnificent Hummingbird from the 1980s until 2017.

Texas protest against Trump jailing immigrant children

This video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

29 September 2018

Protesters gather at Tornillo Port of Entry.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Protests hit mass detention of immigrant children in Texas tent camp

1 October 2018

Scores of protesters gathered outside the Tornillo border crossing about 35 miles southeast of El Paso, Texas over the weekend to protest the mass incarceration of immigrant children there in a barren tent camp in the desert on the Mexican border. The demonstrators demanded the immediate release of the children as well as that of their parents.

The protest came amid reports that over 1,600 children have been relocated to the camp as part of a brutal immigration policy involving what amounts to midnight raids on shelters and foster care homes throughout the country.

Children are literally being dragged from their beds in the middle of the night without warning in order to prevent them from escaping, according to a report Sunday by the New York Times. They are then loaded onto buses and transported hundreds if not thousands of miles from as far away as New York and Kansas to be imprisoned in the Tornillo detention camp.

The Times reported that caregivers at the shelters and homes from which the children are removed have protested the action and have been left in tears by the government’s action. Children already traumatized by their detention and separation from their parents are once again subjected to the cruelty of the US government’s police-state regime against immigrants and refugees.

“Several shelter workers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired, described what they said has become standard practice for moving the children: In order to avoid escape attempts, the moves are carried out late at night because children will be less likely to try to run away”, the Times reported. “For the same reason, children are generally given little advance warning that they will be moved.”

The Tornillo detention camp, or “Tent City” was originally opened in June to house 400 boys after the Trump administration’s implementation of its “zero tolerance” policy, which effectively meant that all undocumented immigrants, including those claiming refugee status, were to be imprisoned, and all those deemed to have violated immigration law criminally prosecuted. While held in custody, parents were separated from their children.

While the administration has formally ended the policy of separation, it acknowledges that nearly 500 children are still separated from their parents and in custody, including 22 who are under the age of five. The parents of at least 322 of these children have already been deported. Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) notified Congress earlier this month that it cannot locate about 1,500 children released into custody by immigration authorities and for whom it is responsible to ensure care.

The number of detained immigrant minors has increased fivefold since 2017, with more than 13,000 now in custody. The average period of time that these children spend in detention centers has nearly doubled from 34 days to 59 days, according to DHHS.

While the government initially said it would close down the Tornillo camp in July, it subsequently pushed the closing date to September and has now revealed that the facility is being vastly expanded and will remain open at least until the end of this year.

The children imprisoned at the camp are classified as “unaccompanied minors”, though it is unclear whether some of those housed there were separated from their parents either in crossing the border or by the Border Patrol itself.

Children sent to the Tornillo federal detention camp are taken from homes and shelters elsewhere to live in tents where they “sleep lined up in bunks” and are denied the right to education that is mandated in facilities under the jurisdiction of individual states’ child welfare laws. Their access to attorneys handling their immigration cases is also sharply curtailed.

Hundreds of children are being been dragged to the desert detention camp in Texas because of the overflow in other shelters caused by the record number of children that have been detained at the border and the difficulty in releasing them to family members created by the US government’s own draconian immigration policies.

Under the pretense of imposing more rigorous background checks on family members coming forward to take care of the children in custody—which has included the demand that they be fingerprinted—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has targeted these caregivers, many of whom are themselves undocumented immigrants, for detention and deportation.

Last month, ICE senior official Matthew Albence testified to Congress that under background check procedures, his agency had since July arrested 41 people who had come forward volunteering to “sponsor” the imprisoned children. An ICE spokesperson told CNN that 70 percent of these arrests were made based on the sole “crime” of being undocumented.

“Close to 80 percent of the individuals that are either sponsors or household members of sponsors are here in the country illegally, and a large chunk of those are criminal aliens”, Albence told the Congressional panel. “So we are continuing to pursue those individuals.”

Albence is the same ICE official who testified to Congress this summer that detention facilities like the one in Tornillo were the equivalent of “summer camps” for kids. Asked if he would send his own children to one of them, he replied that the question was not “applicable.”

The government’s crimes against children detained on the US southern border have only escalated since the Trump administration formally rescinded its policy of separating children from their parents. Yet, they are largely ignored by the media and by the Democratic Party, which put in place the “emergency shelter” regulations now being brutally implemented in Tornillo.

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN TEXAS Over the past two weeks, hundreds of migrant children have been taken from shelters and sent to a tent city in Tornillo, Texas, according to The New York Times, in what experts are calling a humanitarian crisis of the U.S. government’s own making. [HuffPost]

IMMIGRATION POLICY BLOWS HOLE IN THE BUDGET After two years, Trump’s promised immigration crackdown is nowhere near its goal of deporting 3 million people. But the failed policy has blown a gaping hole in the budget. [HuffPost]