The Biden administration is opening a new child prison along the United States-Mexico border in order to put child refugees in cages in Texas.
The center, located in Carrizo Springs, around 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, is being specifically built for unaccompanied migrant children attempting to cross the border and will hold around 700 people when finished.
While the Trump years were filled with stories about “kids in cages” and ICE “concentration camps” along the border, they have instead almost universally referred to the new project as an “overflow facility” to help lock up migrant children.
“Overflow facility” is a distinctly pleasantly sounding term for such an establishment, suggesting links to positively-charged services like swimming pools or libraries.
The phrase is a completely new way to refer to prisons, a news search for “overflow facility” pre-January 2021 brings up only stories about COVID-19 overflow clinics or emergency sewage treatment works.
The phrase “concentration camp” to describe the structure was completely absent. Searching for “Biden concentration camp” into news databases is more likely to generate stories about the plight of Uyghurs in Western China rather than domestic affairs.
Headline news informed readers that the Biden administration offers to open overflow shelters for migrant children in Texas. A framing that invites the audience to see the move as a humanitarian gesture, along the lines of rape crisis shelters.
None of the children who will be sent there will go of their own free will and it is doubtful whether many will appreciate the “shelter” that the U.S. government will provide them.
In reality, economic and political factors largely account for the enormous migration — many of which have their origins in decisions taken in Washington, D.C.
Free trade deals signed with developing countries, like NAFTA, decimated local agriculture, as small scale farmers suddenly had to compete with massive, U.S. government-subsidized agribusiness, leading to a collapse in the Mexican rural economy and a huge influx of people into the country’s largest cities.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s decision to overthrow the government of Honduras in 2009 led to a military dictatorship, persecution on a national scale, and a mass exodus from the country.
In neighboring Nicaragua, by comparison, the U.S. has tried — but failed — to remove the Sandinista government. As a result, emigration from Nicaragua has been minimal.
The lack of critical coverage of Biden’s new announcement suggests that corporate media will no longer be as concerned about “kids in cages” now their preferred candidate is in the White House. Perhaps they never cared at all.
Mint Press / ABC Flash Point Slavery News 2021.