Yesterday Donald Trump finally caved on the immigrant children question. He said he had been persuaded by the images of children weeping as they are split from their illegal immigrant parents.
So Trump signed an executive order requiring that immigrant families be housed together, except in cases where there are concerns about the welfare of the child. But this isn’t the way the laws are written or legally supposed to be enforced.
The reason for these controversial separations, (of which there were only about 2,000 by the way, hardly a massive number) is that adults who cross the border illegally are criminals and must be detained awaiting trial.
The children they bring with them are not criminals, under the law, but rather unfortunate accessories to a crime committed by their parents. So they cannot be thrown in jails with their parents, but must rather be held in lower-security facilities separate from their criminal relatives.
That’s how the laws are written. But until recently, no administration had fully enforced that rule according to the letter of the law. Obama did separate some families, but usually only when officials believed there to be a real danger to the child, ie in cases of abuse.
But the law is clear. And while it’s more difficult and more expensive to separate the families, it also serves as a very valuable lesson to illegals. If you try to break the law, and bring your children here, you will be hurting them in the process. You will be hurting yourself. As a deterrent, that must surely be effective.
But of course, the parents know they are putting their children at risk. They are doing so just by bringing their children on the perilous border crossing. They don’t care that the risks are very great, they don’t care that little children can hardly be expected to hike across an arid wasteland. They believe that free entry into the USA is worth the risks.
Is the risk of losing their children, and temporarily at that, really going to deter these people? Probably not. They were willing to undertake that risk the moment they set out to cross the border. So if we’re going to round them up, detain them, and expel them again, as we should, it’s probably best to do it as cheaply as possible. Which means throwing them all, parents and children alike, into the same cages.
But at the end of the day, it wasn’t the fault of the government that these children were being separated from their parents. That’s the same kind of twisted leftoid logic that makes heroes of criminals and blames the existence of laws for the actions of the lawless.
No, it’s not the government’s fault. The government is just, finally, for the first time in decades, doing its job. A no tolerance policy on illegal entry has been long overdue.
It’s not the fault of the border patrol. It’s not the fault of the Trump administration. It’s not the fault of the US for having borders and choosing to protect them.
No, it’s the fault of the parents for trying to enter this country illegally, between border checkpoints, without going through any of the proper channels. It’s the fault of parents, criminally negligent parents, who are bringing their children on these dangerous journeys across hostile terrain, who are putting their children in the hands of human-traffickers, who are trying to circumvent the laws of the nation they want to enter.
These separations are tragic, and the pictures are very sad.
But they are not the government’s fault.