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Opinion

Newsletter: With crowded migrant camps, an uneasy July 4

Protest against migrant detention in San Diego, Los Angeles, USA - 02 Jul 2019
Demonstrators at the entrance of the Otay Mesa Detention Center during a protest against migrant detention in San Diego on July 2.
(Etienne Laurent / EPA/Shutterstock)

Good morning. I’m Paul Thornton, and it is Saturday, July 6, 2019. Let’s take a look back at the week in Opinion.

If you felt uneasy celebrating America’s Independence Day amid a growing scandal over the treatment of immigrants in U.S. Border Patrol facilities, you weren’t the only one. In letters to the editor — both published ones and others that were sent to us but did not make the cut — readers expressed anger over news of the overcrowding and allegedly inhumane conditions suffered by immigrants held in what some are controversially calling concentration camps.

Against this backdrop, the L.A. Times Editorial Board published a lengthy piece July 4 noting that our status as a nation of immigrants is in fact written into this country’s founding document:

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How bad are the conditions in migrant camps? Lawyers who visited one facility said they found children in soiled diapers and without ready access to bathing facilities or toothbrushes. But the saddest thing? This isn’t the first time migrant children in custody have been mistreated by the U.S. government. L.A. Times

Favor immigration? Then you need to oppose open borders. The basic truth of immigration policy in the United States is that Americans are fine accepting foreigners into the country, but only if the government can effectively limit illegal immigration. The Democratic candidates, especially Kamala Harris, who say they would not deport any otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants do not realize they are giving a major political gift to President Trump. L.A. Times

Trump’s Fourth of July bash probably bored his supporters, which might have been a letdown for them but was a relief to the nation. Hey, at least he showed them he could read, right? Virginia Heffernan sums up the bizarre spectacle: “Trump came off as petrified. He was, as usual, firing blindly, cornered, a little hysterical and surrounded by tanks, as if he were America’s enemy instead of its president.” L.A. Times

It wasn’t “busing” that people opposed, it was racial integration. Harris’ dramatic confrontation with Joe Biden in which she mentioned her own childhood experiences with busing in the Berkeley public school system decades ago has led to some confusion on the issue. The term “busing,” emphasized by white opponents of school desegregation, may obscure the fact that the program in which Harris participated as a public school student was successful. The Atlantic

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Trump does not like L.A., and he’s found a new excuse — a good one, but still — to bash us: homelessness. In an interview with Fox News, the president compared gleaming Osaka, Japan, to West Coast cities with “junkies” and “where police officers are getting sick just by walking the beat.” It just so happens that the cities Trump selected for scorn are also so-called immigrant sanctuaries. (But at least he’s thinking about homelessness!) Vanity Fair

Rep. Duncan Hunter should have resigned long ago. If the San Diego County Republican were an honorable man, he would have suspended his reelection campaign last year the moment he and his wife were indicted on 60 criminal counts. But he didn’t, and he ended up being reelected. Now, with his wife set to testify against him, there’s no way Hunter can give his constituents the attention they deserve. He should step down and let voters select his replacement. L.A. Times

Reach me: paul.thornton@latimes.com


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