Almost 2,000 children of illegal immigrants have been separated from their parents since last year, and the Democrats want you to believe it’s the Trump administration’s fault. Indeed, Democratic politicians and their allies in the establishment media have been working hard to vilify the president for enforcing the law.
In their bid to promote their open borders agenda, the left is arguing that the United States is guilty of treating immigrants in a way that is inhuman and even un-American. However, they are ignoring several realities that would reveal the weakness of their arguments.
The Left Attacks Trump for Border Policies
First, the left attempted to use deception to smear the president. They spread photographs of children being held in detention centers and posted messages slamming the president for imprisoning these kids.
There was one problem: the pictures were taken in 2014 when Obama was president. Yes, Obama separated parents from their children as well. Rather than calling out their messiah for his treatment of the little ones, the left decided to press their attack on Trump.
The New York Times published a piece savaging the Trump administration’s decision to enact a zero tolerance policy for illegal immigrants under which law enforcement arrests anyone who crosses the border illegally. “The United Nations human rights office called this new practice a serious violation of the rights of children and demanded an immediate halt,” they wrote. “Catholic bishops denounced it as immoral. The American Psychological Association warned that the separations threatened the mental and physical health of the children.”
CNN claimed that “The Trump administration’s latest tactic is part of a long-fought campaign to dehumanize immigrants, particularly women who are mothers and victims of domestic violence. Aside from being wrong, Trump’s policies and treatment of immigrants are fundamentally un-American.”
In a piece discussing the president’s zero-tolerance policy, Vox falsely claimed that the policy of separating parents from their families is new. However, the Obama administration implemented a similar initiative called the Alien Transfer Exit Program, also known as “lateral repatriation.” Under this program, a male illegal immigrant who tried to cross the border would have been arrested and then transported back to an area in their country that is thousands of miles away from where they originally entered the United States. These men who attempted to enter the U.S. with their families were also separated from their loved ones.
Here’s How It Works
While the left would have you believe that the Trump administration is callously ripping children away from their parents, the reality is more nuanced. In a piece for The National Review, Rich Lowry explains how the policy works:
“Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.
It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)”
In cases where the migrant is a first-time offender, they can plead guilty and be sentenced to time served. Afterward, they are reunited with their families and deported. However, if the migrant is a repeat offender, they might face jail time, and this is where separation would occur because we do not keep children in adult correctional facilities.
Who Is At Fault For The Separation?
You’ve got to hand it to the Democrats – they are playing a clever persuasion game here. By appealing to our emotions, they are attempting to paint the Trump administration and its supporters as insensitive monsters who don’t care about the plight of children. After all, why would anyone want to rip children from the arms of their parents? However, the left is hoping we forget what’s most important: the facts. The truth is when anyone — including American citizens — commits crimes; they are taken away from their children.
When was the last time you heard anyone complain about a bank robber or drug dealer being separated from their children when they are arrested? According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 20,000 American children were placed in foster care due to a parent’s incarceration in 2016, but you don’t hear the Democrats protesting, do you? There is a reason for this: most Americans understand that the fault lies with the person who committed the crime, not the government.
Democrats are arguing that we should give illegal immigrants special accommodations. In essence, they are saying that we should treat illegals better than American inmates. Democratic politicians are pushing to allow children to stay with their parents in detention instead of allowing them to reside in foster care or with a relative. While this may score them some political points, it is the children who will ultimately suffer.
Congress will vote on an immigration bill that would halt the practice of placing the children of illegal immigrants in foster care. If they pass this bill, the authorities will confine the children in adult detention centers with their parents. Don’t let the term “detention center” fool you — the children will be in jail. According to Nolo, these centers “feel like prisons,” and detainees are “housed in correctional facilities, which are either operated by the federal government, the state, or an outsourced private company.”
Apparently, opponents of Trump’s policy believe that holding children in prison-like conditions is preferable to a home with adults to care for them. As usual, their policies will harm those they claim to protect.