InfoWars mob terrorizes mothers and small children arriving at a Catholic Charities facility

Remember Alex Jones? He is the guy that runs InfoWars, the conspiracy-smothered, fact-free dreck-machine that people like Donald Trump and the Republican Party rely on to confuse and obfuscate reality for them. Unlike Fox News’ Tucker Carlson—who spews very similar BS—Jones comes in a repellent package that embodies the hedonism, corruption, and narcissism of the conservative movement in our country. 

On Wednesday, Jones and his InfoWars sociopaths decided to try and one-up the Republican Party’s anti-immigrant publicity stunts by staging one of their own. According to the Daily Dot both Jones and Drew Hernandez—a self-described investigative reporter who believes Black Lives Matter is a “Marxist terrorist organization”—released video of themselves stopping child trafficking! Whoa, that’s big news! Except it’s the opposite of that. What the two men and their film crews did was in essence terrorize three mothers and their children, along with a man driving them from the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the city of McAllen, Texas, to the Human Respite Center, also in McAllen.

In video that was posted by Hernandez and subsequently taken down on many sites, Jones can be seen in the middle of the afternoon on a McAllen street, standing and screaming at the occupants of a white minivan. Jones calls for the police while Hernandez points out that the children aren’t wearing seat belts and don’t have car seats. “No car seats. What organization is this? I want to know who the hell this is,” he demands. The Daily Dot reports that later in the video, in classic charlatan nonsensical histrionics, Jones yells, “If I drove around with three of my kids in the back of the car, I’d get arrested.” That’s not the law in Texas, to be clear. Also, Alex Jones not being allowed to drive with children might be more related to the fact that he’s had questionable judgement when driving. 

Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande, released a statement to reporters saying the video misrepresented what was happening. These children were not being “smuggled” anywhere; they were being driven from one place to another to receive some help from an organization that works to ameliorate poverty conditions for families. Pimentel did, however, say that the children should have been wearing seatbelts, but “unfortunately, this was not the case.”

“I urge you to look past the fear-mongering and mischaracterizations,” said Pimentel. “Remember to actually see the human beings fleeing persecution and their need for human dignity, which mirrors our own.”

Jones has long wrestled with clear personal issues. He is a bad person who has frequently preyed upon families in order to make his money. In recent years he has lost lawsuits filed by parents of children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School for promoting the truly horrific conspiracy theory that the whole thing was made up and the parents were “crisis actors” pretending for years and years to have lost their children. To be Alex Jones is to be lost in the heart of darkness. Donald Trump’s mediocre mind and his popularity among the conservative movement created fertile ground for Jones and others to exploit the more openly white supremacist members of the right wing.

Cages installed outside Iowa caucus sites remind public to not look away from anti-immigrant abuses

Iowans on their way to caucus in Des Moines on Monday may encounter a reminder from a leading immigrant and refugee rights advocacy group: in the midst of the Republican Senate’s sham impeachment trial, threats of war with Iran, and other imperial presidency horrors, abuses at our southern border and in detention facilities across the U.S. continue. 

“We put up a dozen chain-link cages in the city, placing them outside caucus sites, media offices, and other prominent places in the city, like city hall,” RAICES said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “These cages have fake children inside covered with mylar blankets, symbolizing the children jailed in detention along the border and throughout the country. Each cage includes a #DontLookAway sign and plays an actual recording from a child who was kept in detention.”

RAICES, which in 2018 donated millions to assist in the reunification of families separated by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, seeks to keep a focus on anti-immigrant policies that, in just a few examples, have jailed record numbers of people in inhumane Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities (and in direct defiance of congressional limits), contributed to the in-custody deaths of a number of children and other vulnerable populations, and blocked the U.S. and international rights of asylum-seekers.

“We’re doing this as the administration has broken records in immigration detention by keeping up to 55,000 people jailed at once, and has sent back more than 60,000 people to Mexico to await their asylum hearings in conditions that are utterly depraved, as we have been documenting for months,” RAICES continued in the statement. “We’re doing this as the Trump administration has quadrupled workplace raids that target people holding a job and paying taxes in this country.”

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This isn’t the first time RAICES has used installations to call attention to the rights of immigrants and refugees. At the 2019 South by Southwest Convention, the group recreated the notorious “ice boxes” where migrants are initially held by Border Patrol, and then later that year installed cages across New York City. “We’re replicating the action in Des Moines at the height of the most anticipated caucus in modern history,” RAICES said. “We’re doing this because almost no politicians in this country are laser-focused on immigration. While some do far better than others, the horror at our border still goes ignored far too often, absent from the policy debates and statements from elected officials.”

But our nation’s immigration system doesn’t have to be this way. The group points to its Migrant Justice Platform, which pushes for major changes to our current and unjust system, including “a full moratorium on deportations, an end to immigrant detention, citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people in the country, demilitarization of the border, the dismantling of ICE and CBP, and the formation of truth and reconciliation committees examining the human rights abuses committed against immigrants by past administrations,” the group said.

“The horrors at our border and throughout our immigration system are too often ignored by the public and politicians,” chief advocacy officer Erika Andiola said in the statement. “We’re asking people in Iowa and across the country: Don’t look away from the terrors enacted in your name. Don’t look away from the kids in cages, the asylum-seekers turned back at our border, the deportation raids destroying communities across the country. This anti-immigrant crackdown has to end.”