The media, left-wing talking heads, and even some elected officials, have spent the better part of two days accusing President Donald Trump of “re-opening” an old interment camp used to house innocent Japanese Americans during World War II in order to imprison poor migrant children coming across the U.S. border in search of asylum.
Here’s the Hill, peddling this headline:
Here’s Sen. Jeff Markey, from Oregon:
This photo of a Japanese American internment camp represents one of the darkest chapters of our history. Yesterday it was announced Donald Trump will be reopening one of these camps to detain migrant children. These children belong in homes, schools, and parks—not prison camps. pic.twitter.com/Ea1FBfCcWF— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) June 12, 2019
Here’s California state lawmaker Mark Takano:
Families like mine still bear scars from the suffering they underwent in Japanese internment. It’s immoral for our government to be doing this to children seeking asylum. Internment was a dark time in our history — we can't allow history to repeat itself. https://t.co/yguBv0gmWv— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) June 12, 2019
And the ACLU:
Anti-immigrant politicians ARE learning from our history. They are using it to repeat one of the most shameful eras of our past. https://t.co/6BoyfDnG7q— ACLU (@ACLU) June 12, 2019
Here’s Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders – who, frankly, should be pretty familiar with decades-old history:
The internment of Japanese Americans is a stain on our history. It abhorrent that 75 years later, this administration now wants to hold migrant children in one of those same camps.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 12, 2019
We will look back on Trump’s racist child prisons as an abomination. https://t.co/DOBxbhdrcd
And every tiny bit of it is a bold-faced lie.
Let’s break this down – it’s actually very simple.
The location these disingenuous hacks are referring to is Fort Sill, an Army base in Oklahoma that’s been in use since the Indian Wars in late the 1860s. So no, it's not being "reopened." According to reports, roughly 1,400 unaccompanied alien children will soon be sent there for temporary holding while the federal government can process them and figure out where to send them in the United States – which is a whole other ball of unconstitutional wax, but whatever.
According to the Military Times, “The timing of the arrival of the children hasn’t yet been determined, according to a spokesperson for HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, who added, ‘No children will arrive before the facilities are prepared to safely house and care for incoming minors.’”
And, while the base was temporarily used as an internment camp by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt (a Democrat) back in the 1940s, for the past 150-plus years, it’s largely been just that – an Army base.
Except for back in 2014, when former (also Democrat) President Barack Obama used it to – wait for it – house a couple thousand unaccompanied alien children. And no one said jack diddly about it – well, except a few Oklahoma Republicans who didn't want their nice Army base overburdened with a migrant crisis shipped in from the border.
But rest assured, no Democrats at the time were calling Obama an immigrant-hating racist who likes to torture children for funsies.
In addition, the reason so many migrant children are being even sent to Fort Sill rather than being processed at traditional immigration detention centers in the first place is largely because rather than increase the amount of space border agents have to work with, congressional Democrats are too busy voting to decrease the number of available beds at detention centers, meaning there’s literally nowhere else for these kids to go except be crammed into overcrowded cells – over which Democrats have also cried "racist," despite their also being used during the Obama years – or dumped out on the streets.
But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good race-baiting lie, right?