Debate over child detentions and family separation at the border has gone into overdrive in the wake of President Trump’s executive order. But a video from 2014 shows that discussions of coming into the United States took on a very different tone just four years ago.
Back in 2014, there was also controversy due to the detention and housing of a large amount of children coming over our southern border. The vast majority were unaccompanied minors, just as in the present day. But our domestic Spanish-language networks seemed much more willing to help curb the human inflow, thus deflecting heat from President Barack Obama, who was then just two years removed from signing DACA.
Here’s Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and then-anchor Maria Elena Salinas, appearing on Univision Sunday public affairs show Al Punto and describing, in vivid terms, the reasons why minors should not come over the border and the deadly hardships they’d endure upon arrival:
CONGRESSMAN LUIS GUTIÉRREZ (D-IL): The law is clear. The inmen...Jorge, 95% of those children will never resolve a relief for their immigration situation. They are all in process of deportation at this time, and even after their hearing before the Court, 95% of them will be ordered to be deported. That’s why I don’t want them to come. And I join all those who say, “Children- and parents, don’t send your children here because that will resolve absolutely nothing. First, the coyotes and human traffickers will abuse them, they will rape them, they will kill them, and at the end they will charge them very expensively- and in the end, who wins? Those who are in human trafficking because the children will eventually receive no help in terms of immigration.
MARIA ELENA SALINAS: We went by the ranches through which most of the undocumented cross. You can see why so many die along that way at Fanfurres, at McAllen, Texas.
JORGE RAMOS: Why? Why do they die?
SALINAS: Because they have to walk up to 35 miles to arrive at the road under terrible conditions. These are ranches with animals, snakes, the inclement weather, weariness, lack of water, and since there are checkpoints, they have to get off at a certain point and then walk or run. That’s how many die trying (to cross the border).
Contrast those pleas to remain South of the border with this week's bait-and-switches- from opposing family separations to opposing detentions that keep families together and now to the clamor for catch-and-release under any circumstance by those who champion open borders. Further evidence that the politics of immigration is far preferable to action on immigration, especially at Univision which has a stake in maintaining an open, porous border.