0624 GMT February 18, 2020
Hoenig, a former Green Party candidate for Congress, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Saturday while commenting on the death of an immigrant child, who died in custody in the United States.
Seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, who had traveled with her father to the US from a rural area in Guatemala's impoverished Alta Verapaz region, died while in custody at a US Border Patrol detention center.
“Although being a nation of immigrants, we’ve long been anti-immigrant. Our support in the past has been based primarily on seeking cheap labor or fighting the Cold War. The Braceros Program of the 1940s brought in many Mexican farm workers but like any program today, these workers are often exploited by the agribusinesses in ways that deny union protection and often the confiscation of their papers, preventing any freedom of movement,” Hoenig said, Presstv reported.
“The plight of refugees may have support in our laws, but in practice, there are far more other considerations. Our entire slave system up until 1865 was for the purpose of forced African immigration for free labor. In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited Chinese laborers from coming to the US. Jewish refugees during the Nazi reign were repeatedly denied entry, with catastrophic results. Haitians fleeing economic despair were highly restricted from entering. Cubans, on the other hand, were welcomed because they were fleeing Soviet supported Cuba, and the majority were of more Spanish origins, namely white,” he stated.
“So it is no surprise that such a horrible condition exists on our border that a 7-year-old child would die of dehydration as she and her family were fleeing economic despair in Central America, caused by US multinational corporations and the government destroying the local economies. US immigration police have long been noted for destroying water canisters set to help fleeing migrants into the deserts of the American Southwest,” he noted.
“President Trump has expressed no measure of concern for this, as it is his argument that the family came here illegally, not acknowledging international law, which is also federal law, to allow them to enter and seek refuge,” the analyst said.
“The US House of Representatives will likely hold hearings with the new Congress, but not because they will be Democratically controlled and concerned about these people’s welfare, but as a way to go after President Trump. The Democratic Party has been as brutal to refugees as Republicans can be, although they try to put on a more human face to it. President Clinton’s 1995 State of the Union Address on immigration could have been written by Donald Trump’s speech writers,” he said.
“It was tragic what happened to this 7-year-old Guatemalan girl. It’s unfortunately that people will use it for political gains without truly recognizing our responsibilities to protect these migrants,” he concluded.