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The Non-Existent ‘$50 Million Federal Resort for Illegals’

They say truth is the first casualty of war and it’s proving true in the right wing’s war on 52,000 child refugees — and on common decency. Jim Hoft, the infamous Gateway Pundit (often referred to as the Dumbest Man on the Internet), published a piece with the headline: “FEDS TO OPEN $50 MILLION RESORT FOR ILLEGAL CHILDREN – Complete With Tennis Courts, Sauna & Pools.” Guess what? It’s a lie.

I mean, it would be true except that it isn’t the feds doing it (it’s the Baptist Child and Family Services), it isn’t for $50 million (and the article cited on Hoft’s blog says nothing remotely like that) and it won’t have all those wonderful amenities designed to outrage people who don’t have them in their homes. Salon.com debunks the lie.

The hotel is described elsewhere in conservative media as a “$50 Million Illegal Alien Resort Spa,” “multimillion-dollar hotel complex,” “luxury lodging” and a “fancy hotel.” (Those last two, oddly enough, are from the same story that also describes the Palm Aire as “not exactly Club Med.”)

While the Palm Aire is indeed a “multimillion-dollar” hotel — 600-bed commercial properties typically do run at least into seven figures! — descriptors such as “resort,” “spa,” “resort spa,” “luxury,” and “fancy” do not seem to be the case. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a charity is able to come even close to buying a 600-bed commercial property to turn it into a fenced facility to house migrant children, it’s probably fallen into a bit of disrepair and isn’t exactly the object of a international bidding war. Steve M. of No More Mister Nice Blog notes that reviews on Google and TripAdvisor suggest the rooms have mold, insect, plumbing and staining problems; those who do find the accommodations acceptable cite such things as proximity to shopping outlets, not black-tie caviar orgies. But hey, it’s got internet access, cable TV, and a pool — fit for the Queen!

This line: “The Obama administration has awarded a $50 million contract.” The Obama administration has not “awarded a $50 million contract” to a charitable group to buy some dump hotel off the highway. That claim just … well, who even knows? We can, at least, trace this “$50 million” figure to a story in the local Valley Morning News paper:

Hidalgo County leaders, including Judge Ramon Garcia and Pct. 1 Commissioner A.C. Cuellar, have been proponents of the project.

“I think we could use something like that in Weslaco,” Cuellar said. “Anytime that humanitarian problems happen I’m interested, especially when it involves kids.”

He added that the project, which BCFS said will employ 650 people and have an annual economic impact of some $50 million, would be a major development boon.

BCFS would not have been taking home $50 million in this project. That’s not how “charities” work. What they would be doing is purchasing the facility, renovating it to serve its needs, and hiring staff, something county leaders suggest could “have an economic impact of some $50 million.” As in, it could spur $50 million in economic activity in the area. Now, of course, it won’t.

And it won’t because these lies caused BCFS to cancel the project. So the lying wingnut assholes get what they want, which is more suffering for child refugees. Because that’s exactly what Jesus would do, isn’t it?

Comments

  1. Kevin Kehres says

    I’m quite sure Jesus said, “suffer, little children.”

    Or something like that.

  2. eric says

    @1: you forget that to evangelical americans, all the messages of charity, hope, and forgiveness in the bible come with a BTM (Browner Than Me) exclusion.

  3. D. C. Sessions says

    I think that’s just an example of the general NLM exclusion: Not Like Me. Also applies to things like clothing — if those beggars had any respect they’d wear the same styles and brands as my kids.

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Non -existent eh? Pity. It sounds nice -or not!

  5. raven says

    (it’s the Baptist Child and Family Services),

    It’s not all bad.

    I wouldn’t want Baptists to get their claws into children, even if they are refugees.

    This is jumping from the frying pan of Central America to the fire of OMICthulhu, Baptists. Even the Catholics would be better.

    Hmmm, probably not. How about leaving the refugees to the professionals. IIRC, the UN runs a lot of refugee camps.

  6. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Because that’s exactly what Jesus would do, isn’t it?

    No.

  7. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    A lot of mischief could have been avoided if the King James translators of Mark 10 had chosen to use not “suffer”, but some other synonymous word, such as “permit” or “allow”.

  8. dingojack says

    Hmmmm WWJD?

    Matthew 25:31-46;
    31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
    32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
    33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
    46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal”l.

    Well — that seems pretty clear.

    Dingo

  9. bahrfeldt says

    John Stewart noted the American Taliban, teatards and other so-called Christians screaming “Not my kids! Not my problem!”. If they were the Christians they are claiming to be they would not be ignoring “What you do unto the least of my brethren, you do unto me” or “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”. Yeah, if.
    And I get the enormous differences between the theories and the practices of most believers in sacred (in every sense of the word) tenets, but these clowns are like an attack of food poisoning.

  10. D. C. Sessions says

    Good idea, MO. Reminds me of the fight song of the University of Arizona:

    Punch Down, Arizona
    Punch Down, red and Blue
    Punch Down, Arizona
    Hit ‘em hard, let ‘em know who’s who;

  11. Mobius says

    I see on the Daily Show that Fox News (Faux News?) has already picked up on this meme and is running with it. Can anyone be surprised?

  12. says

    Mobius “I see on the Daily Show that Fox News (Faux News?) has already picked up on this meme and is running with it. “
    Obviously. FoxNews is Fair and Balanced. They’ll attack every minority.

  13. caseloweraz says

    Slate: BCFS would not have been taking home $50 million in this project. That’s not how “charities” work. What they would be doing is purchasing the facility, renovating it to serve its needs, and hiring staff, something county leaders suggest could “have an economic impact of some $50 million.” As in, it could spur $50 million in economic activity in the area. Now, of course, it won’t.

    aaand… the party of job creators racks up another “win.”

  14. ursamajor says

    The luxury resort meme reminds me of another bit on nonsense I hear from some conservatives. In this one all unauthorized immigrants are given wads of cash and a business (for free) for walking across the border.
    For the life of me I can not understand how they come up with much less believe such idiocy.

  15. eric says

    In this one all unauthorized immigrants are given wads of cash and a business (for free) for walking across the border.

    Which is somewhat ironic given the GOP supports deregulation and removing unnecessary government requirements for activities such as setting up a business. IOW, conservatives typically argue we should all be able to start a business for free. But not immigrants, I guess.

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