John Derbyshire: OK, So Who Are These Illegal-Infiltrator “Children” We’re Supposed To Be So Upset About?
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

The President's speech on Wednesday seems to have been carefully crafted to appeal to those suburban women who, according to Senator Lindsey Graham and various pollsters, are fleeing from the Republican Party. [The GOP’s deficit with suburban women starts at the White House, By Dan Balz, Washington Post, November 13, 2018] So we heard the President tell us that

Migrant children … are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system. This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

Aside from these appeals to the feelings—wo wo wo feelings!—of suburban women, there were some nuggets of sense in the President's speech:

We have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Of course, the whole crazy system needs to be overhauled by legislation.

Anyone who pays attention now understands the game being played down there. Juanita pays a sum of money to the coyotes, memorizes a sob story they feed her, rounds up her kids—or hires someone else's from the coyotes—treks north to our border, presents herself to Border Patrol, or to immigration officers at a port of entry, regurgitates the sob story, lingers in detention a few days being interviewed and signing forms, then gets a ride to the nearest big-city bus depot.

Recently, I went to a talk by Todd Bensman, who worked intelligence at the Texas border. A regular chore for workers at those big-city bus stations, he told us, is sweeping up the piles of ankle bracelets illegals cut off as soon as they get there.

Court appearance? Yeah, right. She's in, and will never be deported. And so are her children. Or “children.”

The Democrats' response to the President's speech, by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, was the usual predictable blather about of course they favor strong border security, but the Wall would be—quote from Schumer—"ineffective and unnecessary."

We got the tugs at our heart-strings too. Nancy: "The women and children at the border are not a security threat."  

I agree, they're not. But they are an insult to our laws and our sovereignty, an insult that a nation of proud patriots should not tolerate.

Let’s look at those “children.” My own home town of Huntington, Long Island was the focus of a big news story on illegal immigration the other day. I mean big in wordage and journalistic prominence, not big in importance. It ran as a lead feature in the New York Times Sunday magazine, December 30th.

Headline: How a Crackdown on MS-13 Caught Up Innocent High School Students. Sub-heading: The Trump administration went after gang members—and instead destroyed the American dreams of immigrant teenagers around the country. [By Hannah Dreier, December 27, 2018]

The story concerns Alex, a lad from Honduras. Alex's father, Viktor, snuck across the border in 2010 and settled in Huntington. He's an illegal alien. He got work here and sent money back to his family. The money attracted gangs back in Honduras, and that (allegedly) put the family in danger. Gangs mugged Alex's mother, harassed Alex, and shot his uncle dead, the story tells us.

Either that's true—in which case it tells us that these remittances are driving crime and violence in Central America—or it's just a sob story Alex was coached in by the coyotes. Form your own judgment about the relative probabilities.

In 2015 Alex's dad in Huntington paid $4,000 to coyotes to bring Alex, then aged 17, to our southern border. Alex presented himself at a border checkpoint, told his tale, and asked for asylum.

He was released and joined his dad—an illegal alien, remember—in Huntington.

He enrolled in Huntington High School—the same school my kids attended, the school I pay for out of my property taxes. He was a 17-year-old freshman, which apparently is OK with the authorities here.

Then—sinister drum roll—Donald Trump got elected President and Jeff Sessions became Attorney General.

Long Island has for years been plagued with Central American youth gangs. There have been many murders, mostly of teenagers. Jeff—bless him!—took matters in hand and there was a clampdown on any kind of gang activity in our schools. [Thank you, Jeff Sessions, for crushing MS-13, by Steve Levy, NY Post, November 8, 2018]

Alex got caught up in this. Whether he actually was in a gang is hard to tell. Gang membership isn't a clear line. Quote from the NYT, which of course is doing its best to stir our sympathies for this lad:

He had grown close to a group of friends in his homeroom who showed off their Central American pride by dressing in the colors of their home countries' flags. They tagged themselves in group Facebook photos with the telephone calling codes for their home countries—503 for El Salvador, 502 for Guatemala and 504 for Honduras.

Way to deflect any suspicion of gang affiliations, guys!

Alex was suspended from school in May 2017 and arrested the following month.

He'd originally been waved in to the U.S.A. as an unaccompanied minor, which in immigration law means under age eighteen. Since Alex was now eighteen—or possibly nineteen, it's not clear—Alex's appeals were rejected and he was deported back to Honduras in July 2018.

His dad, still in Huntington, and still an illegal alien, hired another coyote to get Alex back out. This time Alex was caught trying to cross the border. He was arrested and re-deported. He now has a criminal record and a 20-year ban on re-entry.

I've covered that little tear-jerker at some length not just because it concerns my home town, but also because

(a) it sheds light on what's actually going on with these illegal aliens from Central America; and

(b) because of the way the New York Times presents the story to readers, with Alex as some kind of tragic hero that those readers would naturally sympathize with.

It's heartening to see that reader comments on the story at the New York Times website include many that don't swallow the Times's propaganda line. An encouraging number want to know why Alex's dad hasn't been deported—which I'd also like to be told.

I urge you to read the whole story for the full flavor of long-form Open-Borders propaganda at its most sophisticated.

There’s a note attached to the article saying “This article is a collaboration between The Times and ProPublica, the independent non-profit investigative-journalism organization.” It might as well say “My name is George Soros, and I approve of this message.” Writer Hannah Dreier [Tweet |Email her] is apparently a ProPublica operative, not a Timeswoman.

I will only lodge a small protest at the New York Times having written up Huntington as some kind of Atlantic-coast Malibu. Sure, we have some rich doctors and lawyers up there by the water. We have a ghetto, too, though, down by the railroad station. My Huntington neighbors are schoolteachers, middle managers, retired engineers, small contractors, and such.

We're a pretty nice crowd, hard-working and hospitable—but not, to judge from conversations I've had, much thrilled at paying sky-high property taxes to educate 20-year-old foreign scofflaws in our schools, gang-affiliated or otherwise.

As Editor Peter Brimelow once said, the immigration issue’s potential is far from exhausted in northern-tier states that are, currently, blue.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire's writings at can do so here.

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