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Project Pedro Pan and Today’s Manufactured Border Crisis

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Before we examine the current immigration issue and President Obama’s ill-conceived immigration policy, says Elise Hilton in this week’s Acton Commentary, let’s go back to 1960, another crisis and another group of children:

Most people have never heard of Project Pedro Pan. When Fidel Castro brought the horrors of Communism to the island nation of Cuba, parents feared their children would lose their faith, their heritage and suffer indoctrination. Some parents did the unthinkable: They sent their children away, not knowing if they’d be reunited.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • H. Kirk Rainer

    Illegal immigration occurring in the Deep South is a long-standing condition (see the trends); and yes, it involves children as unfortunate victims. But what is also true and similar to Cuba, is that policy has fostered the condition; from the rise of Communism to the deterioation of the economy and civility South of the Border. In the cause & effect is economic and political interests, aside from particular leaders, leaving compassion to those, as described, that truly care.

  • smartypants

    Wonderful article Ms. Hilton. But I would like to add that there was another reason the Cuban parents sent their children to the US, to avoid having them taken from their homes and sent en masse to Russia, which is what happened in Spain during the Civil War. Many thousands of Spanish children were taken by the Communists and sent to Spain , never to see or hear from their families again. The treatment they received in Russia was horrendous.

    The Cubans knew that their children were going to a humane and civilized country where there was at least the chance they could correspond with one another and maybe even unite someday.
    What is going on here now is unspeakably cruel and cynical and absolutely nothing like the Peter Pan movement , except in that families are being destroyed to suit the ends of a corrupt government.

  • JRDF

    How much does the USCCB respect America & Americans?

    Not much at all — see

    The Title of this book — Immigration and the NEXT America —- says it all!

    Excerpts from the book show Archbishop Gomez’s belief that America belongs to Hispanics & he is working for that end.

    And Archbishop Gomez immigrant history / credentials / assignment (Chairman of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration) by the USCCB tells one just how little the USCCB & Vatican respect America & Americans.

    With Archbishop Gomez being Chairman of the United States Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration; the USCCB & Vatican give US-borne Americans no voice
    about immigration into America; we are essentially being convicted / sentenced by the Vatican
    & USCCB without the right to self-defense. Archbishop Gomez has no right /
    authority to speak for Americans.

  • Russ Dewey

    Wow, what flagrant bias. The “manufactured border crisis” you blame on Obama is from enforcing the law signed by George Bush! The law is being gamed, no doubt about that, systematically and deliberately, so it must be changed. But Obama is not the one gaming it; he is just doing what the law requires.

    • “On Immigration Crisis, Obama, Not Bush, Is To Blame — A 2008 human trafficking law is not at fault for President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration laws.”

      As Hans von Spakovsky wrote back in December, Central American families are hiring traffickers to bring their children into the United States illegally, and the Obama administration is helping them complete the crime. One federal judge cited in Spakovsky’s piece had four consecutive cases where the Department of Homeland Security “completed the crime by delivering the child to the parents and refusing to take any action against them.” To the extent that parents are risking their children’s safety by abusing federal human trafficking laws, the blame lies not with Congress or President Bush but with such parents and the Obama officials aiding and abetting them.

    • “The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization
      Act of 2008 gives children entering the United States alone access to
      legal assistance and medical care while authorities determine how best
      to reunite them with family members.” – Note: “while authorities determine HOW BEST TO REUNITE THEM WITH FAMILY MEMBERS.” Know your law.

  • Paul

    The president of the USCCB is Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, not Louis.

  • Law 5

    Matthew 25:35. It may not be comfortable, but that’s what Jesus tells us to do.
    For more on Operation Pedro Pan, you can read Carlos Eire’s autobiography, “Learning to Die in Miami.”

  • AlbtMka

    The answer is simple. Take 50 percent of what the Koch brothers spend on politics and get these children food, clothing, medical, care and a college education. The only intent the Koch brothers have is to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, the government. The money they spend on swaying public opinion is designed to appeal to people with xenophobic tendencies while at the same time they’re reaching into the pockets of everyone.

  • FelixGorney

    How many never made it? How many 1000’s have died horrible deaths in an attempt to get here after being lured by this administration and others?