CNN’s Don Lemon broke down during his broadcast Tuesday night while reporting the tragic story of a migrant man and his two-year-old daughter found washed up dead on the banks of the Rio Grande, the latest casualties of America’s broken immigration system that’s encouraged hundreds of thousands of migrants – many of them children – to make the dangerous journey to the United States through Mexico.
Accompanying the story is a chilling photo that’s gone viral of the two bodies lying face-down in the water. The photo is so disturbing that I won’t include it in this writing, but here’s a link.
"For anybody who doesn't think that immigration is a crisis...I got to show you this picture,” Lemon told his audience, choking up before launching into a back-and-forth with fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo over the situation currently plaguing our Southwest border.
Details of the overwhelming humanitarian situation at the border have caught fire over the past few weeks, largely thanks to liberal politicians and talking heads who’ve suddenly decided to take an interest in the matter. While the problem of overcrowded and underfunded border detention facilities is far from new, only in the past few weeks have lawmakers like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez begun labeling these temporary holding centers “concentration camps,” accusing the Trump administration of, quite literally, “killing children.” Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) this week accused Trump of “torturing children” for political gain. In response, a seemingly unending torrent of stories and videos quickly gushed from the media machine detailing the “horrific” conditions inside border detention centers, accusing the federal government and its border agents of mistreating migrant families and children even as tens of thousands of illegal aliens continue to pour in from Mexico and border officials beg for more funding and resources to address the overwhelming flood.
Except these are the same lawmakers who, merely weeks ago, were downplaying the entire issue, touting the Democratic line that the situation at the border was nothing more than another wild Trumpian exaggeration created to score political points.
For example, Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday tweeted out photos of her visit to a border facility from a year ago, claiming to have seen “traumatized moms and children” being tortured at the hands of the Nazi-esque Trump regime back then.
This week marks a year since I visited the Port Isabel Reunification Center in Los Fresnos, TX to find out what was really happening to immigrant families ripped apart at our border. I saw right away: It wasn’t a unification center—it was a prison. pic.twitter.com/aAP8eTmN8e— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 26, 2019
But interestingly, here’s Warren just last January, a full seven months after she'd visited this so-called "prison," standing on the floor of the U.S. Senate accusing Trump of using a “manufactured crisis” at the border to score political points:
"...This shutdown is a manufactured crisis that the President is using to fan the flames of racism and bigotry - all so he can distract the American people from demanding a government that works for them."
And here she is again, just 18 hours ago, now calling the situation a "crisis."
One year ago, I was in McAllen to see the families ripped apart by the Trump admin. A year later, his administration is fighting to make sure the kids held in those cages don’t have soap or toothbrushes. This is a humanitarian crisis, and @realDonaldTrump is responsible for it. pic.twitter.com/93Z25Z2hxF— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 25, 2019
And the media’s no better – in fact, far from it.
Here's CNN's Jim Acosta standing in McAllen, Texas -- home of the same border facility Warren visited and claimed to have found a shocking humanitarian crisis -- claiming he didn't "see anything resembling a national emergency situation."
I found some steel slats down on the border. But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen TX area of the border where Trump will be today. pic.twitter.com/KRoLdszLUu— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 10, 2019
Here's Don Lemon -- the same Don Lemon who just lectured "anybody who doesn't think that immigration is a crisis" less than 24 hours ago -- telling his viewers in April that Trump was "creating the chaos" so that it merely "looks like a crisis."
“Here’s what I want to know,” Lemon told a panel of guest "experts." “Is it possible that he is doing this, that he is creating the chaos, because he wants there to be a crisis at the border? That he’s ... doing it so it looks like a crisis and then he’s the guy who comes in and saves” the day?"
That was less than three months ago. Three months.
And, while Lemon sheds crocodile tears over poor migrants’ plight – on the eve of the first Democratic presidential debate, notably – he certainly wasn’t showing that much concern several years ago, despite the demonstrable fact that migrant bodies washing up in the Rio Grande and bleaching under the Arizona sun aren’t anything new.
In fact, here’s a piece I wrote in 2016 exposing how more than 850 bodies of migrant men, women, children and even infants who died trying to cross the border illegally are lying frozen and unidentified in just one Arizona morgue. Here’s a Breitbart piece from that same year detailing the horrific conditions many migrant women face during their journey, which is often plagued by multiple sexual assaults and even death, and how migrants who find themselves sick or injured are often left to die by their smugglers.
If migrants do manage to make it to a U.S. border facility, the conditions there aren’t great – but they haven’t changed much in the past half a decade, and the “deplorable” conditions certainly didn’t start under Trump. Here’s another piece I wrote in 2014 describing the horrific conditions I witnessed during a trip to one such border detention facility in McAllen, Texas – the same one Elizabeth Warren visited just last year, in fact.
Except this piece was written five years ago, when President Barack Obama still occupied the Oval Office and a Trump presidency wasn’t even a blip on most Americans’ radar.
Where was the media then? Where was the leftist outrage over thousands of families, including infants and young children, being crammed inside poorly ventilated bus ports baking in the Texas heat? Many children stuffed inside these facilities were suffering from lice, scabies and chicken pox as border agents tried desperately to provide medical care with limited supplies – we were there, but where was Elizabeth Warren?
Where was liberal Hollywood's horror when these photos from inside a border detention facility were taken in 2015 showing migrant children crammed into cells and sleeping on concrete floors under bright lights with nothing but thermal space blankets? Those pictures didn't go viral until last week, when a left-wing actress cropped them of their original time stamp and used them to blame Trump for abusing kids.
And where was the liberal media’s outrage when Obama used Fort Sill – that same Oklahoma Army base that used to detain Japanese Americans during World War II and which Trump has been accused of using to “intern” migrant children – to house thousands of unaccompanied illegal alien children back in 2014?
In fact, where was the media, with their cameras and their “journalists” and their righteous indignation, as congressional Democrats railed against the Trump administration for allegedly “manufacturing” the border crisis to build his wall, just a few short months ago?
The crisis at the border is real. It has been for years. It deserves attention. Even more so, it deserves a fix – a permanent fix. It deserves a Congress willing to get up off its useless, overpaid ass and address it rather than use it as a political football to score points before a major election year. And photos of dead toddlers lying face-down on the muddy banks of the Rio Grande deserve every single second of the public grief and horror that they’re getting.
But they deserved it five years ago. They deserved it six months ago. And if anything about the situation has been “manufactured,” it’s the left’s ginned up, politically-timed outrage.