(NNPA)—I have been increasingly concerned by the near hysteria in connection with the Central American immigrant children who have attempted to enter the USA, fleeing from poverty, crime and violence. The political Right in the USA is trying to make this the defining moment in their attacks on the Obama administration, playing to the worst and most xenophobic sides of the U.S. public. The Obama administration, true to form, has done a very poor job in responding to this insanity. They have particularly avoided saying something that could change the entire tenor of the debate. It goes something like this.
The immigration from Mexico and Central America cannot be understood outside of understanding U.S. foreign policy and, specifically, the relationship of the U.S. towards Mexico and Central America. Continuously, since the 19th century, the USA has interfered in the internal affairs of Latin America and the Caribbean. This has included direct invasions, e.g., the Dominican Republic in 1965; coups, e.g., the 1954 ouster of the Guatemalan President Arbenz; the promotion of insurgencies, e.g., the Contra war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua; blockades, e.g., Cuba, Haiti (in the 1800s); and colonialism, e.g., Puerto Rico. As a result the entire region has been destabilized for more than a century. Added to that is that there exists a proliferation of U.S.-produced weaponry that has shifted, over time, from political battles to battles among and between various crime families.