UN Official Debunks Claim That Obama Immigration Policy Created Border Crisis

Thanks to the work of anti-immigration activists, it has quickly become a matter of faith in the conservative media that the huge influx of children and families from Central America coming to the southern border is a direct response to President Obama’s 2012 executive order that halted deportations of some undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children — or even the intentional result of a conspiracy to recruit Democratic voters.

But a National Journal interview with a UN refugee official this week paints a much more complex picture. Leslie Velez, senior protection officer of the UN Commission for Refugees, tells National Journal that the UN started noticing an increase in people fleeing violence in Central America as early as 2005, that it started accelerating in 2008, and that the number of Central American asylum seekers has “been doubling every year since 2011.”

Velez notes that Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Belize have been seeing similar influxes of immigrants fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and that only a tiny number of the children her staff talked to in their research mentioned the United States’ immigration policies as a reason for arriving here.immig

She adds that this is “not a migration story” but “a humanitarian crisis and a foreign policy issue.”

When did it become apparent that something out of the ordinary was happening with migration out of Central America?

Our sister agency, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, started the clock at the increase in violence and insecurity in the Northern Triangle in 2006.

Around 2008, it was probably the first time it really hit the U.N. refugee agency's radar. When we went back to the numbers, there was an increase in asylum applications starting as early as 2005. It wasn't too significant until we got to 2008. And in 2008 to 2013 we noted a 712 percent increase that were lodged in countries other than the United States [like Mexico, Panama, Belize, and Costa Rica].

So why are we hearing about this now?

The numbers have been doubling every year since 2011. And for us, that's dramatic. For the U.S. government—who has been really challenged in order to process this large number—I think their capacity has really been tested in the last few weeks. I think that's what generated a lot of attention. Because the numbers have rapidly increased.

And your next followup question is probably going to be, "Why?"

Yes it is. Why?

From reports that we are hearing from individuals on the ground, both from our U.N. offices that are there, as well as NGOs—in particular Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador—they have been really clear that on the ground a few important things are happening.

One is that the criminal armed actors, specifically gangs, are really operating with significant impunity and targeting children at a younger and younger age. Recently there was a very public massacre and dismemberment of children as young as seven who had refused to join the gang. So it was a message to show who is in power, who is in control.

I've been reading that these children are coming north on rumors that the United States will let them in, that the Obama administration has lax policies toward minors. Did you find that at all in your survey?

We interviewed 404 children asking extremely open-ended questions as to the reasons and the nature of having left and what they were expecting when they arrived. Out of the 404, only 9 of them mentioned any kind of possibility of the U.S. treating children well. Two said "immigration reform"; one said "I hear they treat kids well." It's very general and from the perspective of a child. But only nine out of 404 said anything about that.

So what is attracting them to the United States?

First, I have to point out to you, it's not just the United States. That was a another red flag for us. There is an increasing trend to seek asylum in Mexico, which is much safer for them than where they are from. The number of asylum seekers in Nicaragua, in Belize, in Costa Rica, in Panama—all of that has grown 712 percent since 2008.

This is not the normal flow. For the U.N. refugee agency to register an uptick in asylum applications in places other than the United States is a huge red flag for us. People are leaving to places where they can find safety.

So what are the countries experiencing the influx?

The U.S, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Belize.

Is the U.S. handling this well?

The U.S. is doing everything that I think it possibly can in this short-term context. We have really applauded that President Obama has recognized there is a humanitarian crisis, and that he engaged FEMA and has asked the Secretary of Homeland Security to respond. The machinery is in place, it's starting to move. The domestic response, in the short term, is doing the best that it can to get people out of the bottle necking facilities that are just not equipped to deal with this type of flow.

But what the U.S. could be doing better, is that this is really a regional issue. Each country is unique and if you look at the data in our report about what's happening in each country, you are going to see some clear difference. At the same time it's a regional challenge—people are leaving and they are going to points North, points South—it requires a regional response. It's not on the U.S. alone to solve. But were supporting it to recognize that there is a foreign policy element here to all of the challenges.

The humanitarian response is not going to solve the problem. The faucet has to be turned off or the water is going to keep flowing. To that end, the U.S. needs to address the root causes, and it has a role in addressing the root causes. First, on the top of the list, is to continue violence-prevention efforts—like job creation, education, strengthen women's counsels—do a lot more institution strengthening, more government programs.

What is the American media getting wrong about this story? Or, what's the take-home point we miss?

This is not a migration story. This is a humanitarian crisis, and an example of consequences of weak governments. It's a humanitarian crisis and a foreign policy issue. We're responding in a humanitarian way, and supporting the government to do so, but that's not going to shut off the faucet.

The normal migration patterns in this region have changed. While it is still a mixed migration flow—people are still coming for a number of reasons. There is a growing number of people who are literally fleeing for their lives.

Tony Perkins Outraged That Military Color Guard Marched In LGBT Pride Parade

Four years after he lost his unhinged campaign to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins is now expressing dismay that the U.S. military color guard marched in the Washington, D.C., LGBT Pride Parade “alongside half-naked people and drag queens.”

Perkins claimed in his radio bulletin today that the color guard’s decision to march discriminates against Christians because uniformed soldiers didn’t participate in the March for Life.

The problem in D.C.'s gay pride parade wasn't that active duty troops were saluting the flag. The problem was which flag they were saluting. Hello, I'm Tony Perkins with the Family Research Council in Washington. March madness isn't just for basketball! After last week's gay pride parade, it applies to the Obama administration too. For the first time ever, the President authorized an eight-member military honor guard to march alongside half-naked people and drag queens. The move, which Capital Pride Parade called "significant," caps off years of being denied by the prestigious soldiers. Making matter worse, this color guard was provided by the U.S. Military District of Washington, which is reserved for the President, Congress, and other state functions. And while the Pentagon may be willing to bend the rules for this cause, you can bet Christian soldiers wouldn't enjoy the same "exemption" if they wore their uniforms to the March for Life. Unfortunately for today's troops -- "equality" is a one-way street, and that street is full of activists.

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/17/14

Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 6/17/14

  • Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas says that President Obama's "egregious violations of our cherished freedom of religion reminds me of the infamous Hanoi Hilton."
  • "Mark my words": Rob Cunningham is positive that progressives will turn on President Obama and allow him to be impeached for his various crimes.
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt says that even if marijuana become legal nationwide, God opposes it and people will be held accountable for using it.
  • Apparently, the constitutional right to counsel is not something that Joseph Farah understands.
  • In August, FRC will host a discussion on "Putting the Bible and Prayer Back in the Public Schools."
  • Finally, we're not even going to bother debunking this because it is obviously absurd: "2% of all active homosexuals experience 80% of all STD's."

Dutch Sheets: God Needs An Army To Save America From 'Demonic' Destruction

Today’s “Prophetic Insight” comes via Dutch Sheets, a leader in the dominionist New Apostolic Reformation. It combines the kind of religious persecution rhetoric examined in PFAW’s recent report, “Persecution Complex,”with a triumphant assertion that God will destroy the people standing in the way of establishing God’s kingdom in America.

Back in 2012, Sheets gave the keynote at a conference organized by fellow prophet Cindy Jacobs with an assist from the Family Research Council.  Sheets mocked churchgoers who focused on things like pastoral care, saying he was looking for “warriors” who would assume their responsibility to legislate, govern, and manage the earth in partnership with God.

Sheets’ new prophetic word is that “God is not done with America,” in spite of a “demonic tide of destruction” that has been “unleashed upon our nation.” Sheets bemoans, “Politically, economically and humanistically, there is an agenda to make this nation never again look the way it has looked before.” He returns to his theme that Americans are not doing enough to build the kingdom of God on earth:

After making great advances in kingdom building, many have let discouragement and fear gain a foothold in their hearts. They've laid down their tools and folded their hands. Others are busy with good kingdom works, but don't dare challenge the status quo, much less, the systems aimed at shredding the moral fabric of our nation, destroying the institution of the family and stripping us of our religious freedoms.

As in the days of Ezra, "wicked counselors," known today as lobbyists, are diligently and strategically opposing God's people to advance the antichrist agenda in every sector of society. This is a fulfillment of the first few verses of Psalms 2, which describe those who hate God and take counsel together, devising plans to contend against Him and His people. These counselors think they've overthrown God's rule and conquered His people and, in their arrogance, openly decree this.

Sheets wraps himself in the kind of martyrdom rhetoric that is seemingly irresistible to Religious Right leaders:

Fellow warriors, we cannot fear that if we resist the government and the political activists, we might be taken out. Neither can we fear that we might go to jail, lose our government funding or tax-exempt status, or have our business shut down for speaking the truth or refusing to marry same-sex couples. Yes, these things are already happening—some are already paying a high price to stand for righteousness—but we cannot cower and live in a paralyzing fear. We must only move in the fear of the Lord.

But don’t worry, he says. God will laugh at those wicked counselors and then destroy them: “Lastly, God takes His rod and begins to break and shatter kingdoms in order to reestablish His reign in the earth. The good news is clearly laid out here—in the end, we win!”

Sheets tells a Bible story about prophets Haggai and Zechariah who worked with God’s government (Joshua the priest) and civil government (Zerubbabel the governor) to lead a reformation. Sheets clearly wants to play the part of prophet in the modern version of the story.

Zechariah later prophesied to Zerubbabel saying, this mountain in front of you is going to be brought low and become a plain. Not by might or power but by my Spirit, you will tear it down with shouts of grace, grace! This is a picture of what God wants to do in America!

God just needs warriors.

It is OK to grieve, like Jeremiah or Nehemiah, over the condition of our nation, but we must not give in to discouragement and fear. God is calling forth an army of faithful followers who will come up out of their discouragement to boldly push back the darkness.

Many leaders in government, health, education and ministry are having to make a decision right now—am I going to make my stand or am I going to compromise and yield to the enemy's plans? I, for one, say what America's founding fathers said upon signing the Declaration of Independence and, thereby, committing an act of treason against the crown: I pledge my life, my fortune, my sacred honor—everything to stop this insidious plan of hell. Will you join me?

Judicial Watch: Obama 'Engineered' Border Crisis To Force Vote On Immigration Reform

Yet another anti-immigrant activist is claiming that President Obama orchestrated the crisis at the southern border in order to push a vote on immigration reform.

Sean Dunagan of Judicial Watch tells the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow today that Obama “engineered” the influx of families and unaccompanied children in order to “make current immigration law look as cruel and inhumane as they possibly can to possibly build political support for some additional amnesty program”:

Dunagan suggests Obama is opening the floodgates to these young illegal aliens for purely political reasons.

"It seems to be that the administration is trying to make current immigration law look as cruel and inhumane as they possibly can to possibly build political support for some additional amnesty program," he says. "I absolutely believe that it's being engineered and exploited to try force action into bad policy decisions and bad votes on the issue."

Last week, Republican congressmen Steve King and Steve Stockman claimed that the influx of immigrants was part of an Obama administration plot to increase the Democratic vote . Anti-immigrant activist William Gheen has also claimed that the crisis was “orchestrated” by President Obama and George Soros.

On his program last week, Glenn Beck also claimed that the border crisis is part of a plot to pass immigration reform and to ultimately return Arizona to Mexico:

To his credit, Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, one of the anti-immigration reform movement’s most prominent spokespeople, has pushed back on the conspiracy theory.

Glenn Beck Has An Explanation For Any Outcome In Iraq

Glenn Beck spends a large portion of every program laying out grand theories about how current and future events will unfold and then patting himself on the back whenever he thinks things are working out just as he predicted while utterly ignoring all of the times that he was laughably wrong.

To make things easier on himself, Beck is now conveniently covering all of his bases when it comes to the crisis in Iraq by predicting, on the one hand, the President Obama will not provide significant military support to stop ISIS from taking over the country because he genuinely "believes the world would be a safer place if a caliphate would happen over there."

On the other hand, Beck asserted that if Obama does provide military support, it is because his progressive "overlords" have decided that continuous war is good for the economy and so they are "pulling his strings" in order to force the US to get directly involved in the conflict.

Regardless of what happens, Beck can now claim to have predicted it since he has a conspiracy theory that accounts for either possible outcome:

Richard Land And Jerry Boykin Claim Obama Is God's Judgment On America

On yesterday’s “Washington Watch,” Religious Right leaders Jerry Boykin and Richard Land agreed that President Obama is — in Land’s words — “a judgment of God on the United States.”

Land, a former Southern Baptist Convention official, blamed Obama for the current conflict in Iraq, saying that he lost the Iraq fight just as Americans abandoned the South Vietnamese.

Later in the program, Land reassured a listener who asked if impeaching the president “would start a race war.” Land responded that it wouldn’t because African Americans would realize as a result of the impeachment process that Obama “was doing things that were illegal” and so “ it would not break out into any sustained episodes of violence.”

Pat Robertson Warns Courts Are Ushering In Homosexuality While Attacking Churches

Pat Robertson said today that he was “disgusted” by the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal from the Elmbrook School District, which had asked the high court to reverse a Seventh Circuit Court ruling that found the district in violation of the First Amendment for holding a graduation ceremony in the sanctuary of an evangelical church.

The federal appeals court wrote that “the environment was pervasively Christian, obviously aimed at nurturing Christian beliefs and gaining new adherents among those who set foot inside the church.”

“The American people wouldn’t have voted in homosexuality, but the courts did; the American people wouldn’t have voted in same-sex marriage, but the courts did; the American people wouldn’t have given up on the Ten Commandments and prayer in schools, but the courts insisted on it,” the 700 Club host said today. “A few unelected judges, just a few, have distorted the history of our nation to give us something that we never intended to have, and something has got to be done about it.”

Robertson also accused the courts of trying to force the church in question to “smash out the stained glass windows that show Jesus so it won’t be offensive to the ACLU.”

The Prophet Glenn Beck Speaks Again: 'The Great Humbling' Is Coming

Glenn Beck took a victory lap on his television broadcast last night, claiming that despite all the mockery he received, the current crisis in Iraq proves that all of his warnings about a global caliphate are coming true, going so far as to compare himself to the Apostle Paul who, in Acts 27, warned his captors not to try and sail for Rome because a storm was coming. 

The captors, of course, did not listen and when the storm came, they all went running to Paul to ask what to do:

Later in program, Beck was shown holding court during his morning staff meeting where he prophesied that America has become so arrogant that God has no option but to humble and destroy us.

"Because I know the one thing the Lord absolutely destroys every time," Beck lectured, "no matter what, destroys it ever time is arrogance. And because his people are arrogant, he will humble us. A humbling, that's the next phase. The great humbling. We are going to be humbled":

Keep in mind that the warning that God will humble anyone who becomes too arrogant is coming from a man who, earlier in the program, likened himself to the Apostle Paul.

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