On the day before Christmas, another migrant child passed away after falling ill while in the custody of federal immigration authorities. Predictably, the progressive members of the political and chattering classes pounced on the opportunity to use the child’s death to attack President Trump’s efforts against illegal immigration.
On the right, people defended immigration authorities, pointing to the fact that the men and women serving in these agencies do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of the individuals under their jurisdiction. But the question still remains: Why is this such a problem in the first place?
Another Migrant Child Passes Away
On Christmas Eve, an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy died in New Mexico a few days after illegally crossing with his father. A Border Patrol agent stated that neither the boy nor his father “showed signs of potential illness,” when they were detained.
When the child began exhibiting symptoms Monday, he was taken to a medical center in Alamogordo, New Mexico where he was treated for a common cold. Before the boy was released, the hospital staff noticed that he had a fever and held him for another 90 minutes before sending him off with prescriptions for amoxicillin and other medications.
On Monday night, he was nauseous and began vomiting and was sent back to the same hospital, but lost consciousness en route. Medical staff were unable to resuscitate the boy and pronounced him dead at 11:48 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the agency said in an updated statement late Tuesday. CBP had previously reported that the boy died early on Christmas Day. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan released a statement calling the boy’s death “a tragic loss,” and extending CBP’s “deepest sympathies” to his family.
The Left on the Attack
It didn’t take long for progressive leaders to use the death of the eight-year-old illegal immigrant to score political points by blaming the Trump administration. Left-leaning politicians and actors, who happen to be immigration experts, trashed conservatives for opposing illegal immigration. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted: “Felipe Alonzo-Gomez was just 8 years old when he died on Christmas Eve while in CBP custody. CBP must provide answers about how this happened, and create stronger protections for people in its custody. The loss of even one child is too great – these tragedies cannot continue.”
…target those who aid those who enter the country illegally …
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio also took the opportunity to excoriate immigration authorities, tweeting: “It is unacceptable for a child to die in the custody of the U.S. government. Anyone and everyone responsible must be held accountable. Period.”
The National Immigration Law Center also tweeted: “Another child has died in @CBP custody. This time on Christmas. For far too long, this agency has operated without any accountability. It’s time for that to end. Congress must investigate immediately. #DefundHate”
Of course, what the left is leaving out is the obvious fact that the authorities and medical workers did everything in their power to save the boy’s life. In fact, it was recently reported that after he was discharged from the hospital and began vomiting, further medical treatment was offered to the boy, but his father declined, stating that he was feeling better.”
What’s Really Causing These Deaths?
So what is truly to blame for these tragedies? The parents are certainly the primary culprits. It does not seem reasonable to take a small child on such a perilous journey when there is such a high probability of a calamity occurring. But, we also cannot ignore the fact that the U.S.’s immigration policies are in dire need of an overhaul.
While President Trump is in a no-holds-barred match with Democratic lawmakers over funding for the border wall, there is an important factor that isn’t being discussion. While a physical barrier and more border security is certainly essential, few people have brought up the fact that illegal immigrants have an incentive to flout our immigration laws.
It’s pretty simple. Folks are entering the country illegally because they know they can find jobs and access welfare programs. Indeed, it is not overly difficult for an illegal alien to obtain employment by either falsifying their social security numbers or agreeing to be paid under the table. For this reason, it is imperative that the United States apply more pressure on businesses who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
E-Verify allows employers to determine if they are hiring an American citizen or legal resident. The problem is that in most states, companies are not required to use it when they are going through the hiring process.
Instead of our typically laissez-faire approach to companies that hire illegal alien workers, the U.S. must target those who aid those who enter the country illegally and contribute to the problems which inevitably arise. It is not enough to merely hamper the immigrants’ ability to subvert our laws; the U.S. needs to punish Americans who assist them. Instead of focusing only on preventing illegals from breaking our laws, wouldn’t it make more sense remove their reason for doing so in the first place?