In (Partial) Defense of the President’s Border Policy

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I believe it is immoral to separate parents from their children, even as a deterrent to illegal immigration. We would not, as a society, slowly drop a man feet first into sulfuric acid to execute him. There are times that people propose policies for deterrence that exceed the level of cruelty we as a society should accept. Just as I support capital punishment, but think a slow drop into acid would be cruel and unusual, I also support deterring illegal immigration, but think separating children from their parents is too cruel for a humane society to use.

But in the emotion of all of this, both sides have lost sight of some legitimate goals and necessary concerns. Frankly, the America media has so far gone into advocacy against the President’s policies, they are doing a poor job of telling the full story. Likewise, I think we are back to this issue, which was pretty thoroughly addressed a few weeks ago by all sides, because the media would prefer to talk about something other than bribing FBI agents for leaks.

We know for certain that many of the children coming into the United States and in these detention camps are unaccompanied minors. The present administration is continuing an Obama era policy in that regard. Though the media is showing us pictures of kids crowded into camps, it too often ignores in the coverage how many of those kids made it to the United States without their parents.

Likewise, there have been documented instances of children being trafficked or otherwise smuggled into the United States with people posing as the child’s parents. The administration is in a catch 22 here in that if they left the kids with the adults and the kids are abused, the administration will be attacked. Separating the kids from the adults lets them be attacked too. It is to their credit that the administration is aggressively verifying that kids are not being trafficked or otherwise smuggled or abused in the process of getting into the United States illegally.

In cases where children are shown to be with their actual parents, I think they should be detained together as the deportation process works. I think it is unacceptable to let them into the country as that will just incentivize more people flowing illegally across the borders. Keeping the children with the parents in detention facilities while the government processes them for deportation is preferable to separating kids from their actual parents.

Unfortunately, so many people on both sides have gotten so emotional, it is hard to have a reasonable discussion on the topic. The reality is, however, that unaccompanied children should not be left to roam freely into the United States so they are put in these detention facilities. Some smugglers and traffickers are trying to bring kids into the United States pretending to be the parents. They should be separated from the kids.

The United States government should only separate kids from adults for the purpose of ascertaining the relationship between the children and adults. Once that relationship is ascertained, the children with their actual parents should be placed with their parents. I continue to believe it is immoral to do otherwise. But it is also immoral to know some of the kids are victims and do nothing to help them.

Lastly, this administration is, through this enforcement action, doing a very good job of showing how absurd discretion standards can be abused by any administration and President Trump is right to demand Congress fix this. The best fix would be a wall to completely discourage illegal immigration into the United States.

About the author

Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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