I’ve been grappling with this illegal immigration issue revolving around splitting up families and placing detained kids in cages. A post on the topic is overdue, and here it is, but it only came after deliberating what there even is to discuss.
As the national debate has dragged on, I’m left with the choice between throwing in with the callous side who is perfectly willing to keep using draconian measures to stem illegal immigration and the cynical one who would encourage this virtual Children’s Crusade of unaccompanied minors to exploit for its own purposes of promoting open borders.
You all suck.
As I’ve evaluated the issue and thought about the best way to approach it, I figured it would be best if I started by determining ahead of time what I won’t do to explain my position on the issue or to discuss it.
First, I’m not going to make light of the issue or minimize what’s happening with these kids. They’re victims and they have absolutely nothing. They’re alone, unhappy, and I can’t say for sure what homes they have to go back to. They’re victims, not criminals. Not victims of this Administration, mind you. But victims of the failed societies, weak families, and (in extreme cases) the downright Satanic traffickers who sent them here.
Maybe they’re someone else’s infestation or political football, but not mine. Other people can do that, but I’m not going to.
What else do I not want to do in this post? Whataboutisms. I’m seeing a lot of that out there and it isn’t getting anywhere. Look, I think playing “whatabout” is fair. Yes, if Trump is being condemned for enforcing a law that was passed under a president whose family is now criticizing him for doing it it’s perfectly fine to point that out. It’s also valid to point out the hypocrisy of the press, who ignored the Obama Administration’s use of some of the same practices that the Trump Administration is now doing.
Whataboutisms are fine, but only when they’re used properly. If you want to claim that Obama is a monster for doing the same things that Trump is now being called one for, then at least give Obama the benefit of the doubt for doing what he thought he had to in a bad situation.
Why did Obama have to detain kids? Is he a demonic monster? Well, yeah, but that’s not why. Illegal immigrants and human traffickers figured out that this was a vulnerability in our own laws. There are circumstances where we have to accept kids and there are others when it’s necessary to separate them from their parents. It’s bad optics for those of us who are tough on immigration and helps them achieve their goals.
So why didn’t the laws get changed? Congress wouldn’t work with Obama because they didn’t trust him. Because of Satan. Since the news media was curiously incurious about children being locked in cages and other topics that might have made the Obama Administration look bad, there wasn’t very much public pressure to do anything about it. Now we have a new president and the media is interested in applying some of that public pressure.
When it comes to the children being in cages, separated from their mommies and daddies, does it really matter who did what four years ago? No, it doesn’t. The American people elected Donald Trump partly because we wanted him to deal with this issue. We wanted to “get tough” on illegal immigration.
Well, putting kids in cages is pretty hardcore, as it goes. Very Kevin Spacey, as Seth Macfarlane would have it. And it turns out that the American people are now uncomfortable with being tough and would like to be less tough for a little boy who isn’t one of those MS-13 members we keep hearing about. Trump and the Republican Congress have to act and what Obama and Bush did or didn’t do is irrelevant to me.
I’ll tell you why. I’m as anti-illegal immigration as you can be. I’m highly dubious about the benefits of legal immigration and want it severely limited. DACA? Yeah, I agree with Trump. You have to go back.
I’m tough. But guess what? I don’t want kids locked up in cages or separated from their parents unless it’s absolutely necessary and I’m far from convinced that it is. Nobody has successfully made the case to me that this is all wonderful and good.
“We’re only talking about a small number of minors, WG”, you might say. I don’t care. I do not want to see any kids in cages. One is too many and yes, a confined area is a cage whether it has bars or chain link fencing or those weird circling hoop things that General Zod and his minions were trapped in at the beginning of Superman 2.
For those times that we have to detain children separately, I want them to be in the most comfortable circumstances imaginable. Whatever money we have to spend to turn every child detainment camp into Disneyland, do it. I don’t care if the ICE agents all have to dress like Disney princesses and read them bedtime stories every single night using different voices for all of the characters.
We can do better than this. I’m not defending putting kids in cages or tearing families apart simply because they crossed the border illegally. The kids are generally blameless and should only be separated from their parents if we’re really going to charge them with felonies, not just to punish them as a deterrent to others (it won’t work anyway). If I have to be on the side of harshly punishing children for the sins of their parents, a violation of the highest moral law, count me out. Okay?
That’s the last thing that I refuse to do on this post or discussion. I’m not going to defend the indefensible nor am I going to waste time explaining why I’m not a monster for wanting a strong border.
You know where I stand and I think that this is a good starting point for all of us. We all want to see the kids out of cages and reunited with their parents, right? Right. There’s no need to demonize or anything like that.
We can all start by agreeing that we want to stop kids from being separated from their families and put in cages, one way or another. Either we change the practices, make it easier for people to immigrate lawfully, or increase the penalties on adults sufficiently to deter illegal immigration. We can disagree on the methods, but I’m starting with the assumption that nobody likes what’s happening and everybody wants it to stop.
Here’s another piece we all have to understand and agree upon. All of us that I’m aware of live in First World nations. As countries in the Third World continue to deteriorate and people have to choose between dying in war and poverty and rolling the dice on crossing our borders, we’re going to see a lot more of them. This problem not only isn’t going to go away, it’s going to get worse. Can we agree on that?
I see a couple of my friends have been arguing this issue on the open thread and it’s gone about as badly as it has on every single forum I’ve seen where current events are discussed. Let’s see how this goes.
Everything that we have to discuss from here is what’s best for managing the human tide. What’s the best choice for humanity? What policy proposals have you heard that you like? There are a couple of measures being discussed in Congress.
Tell me. What best characterizes your view? Are you more open borders/easy access or Fortress America? What should be done with unaccompanied minors and families who show up on our doorstep? Hey, maybe my assumption is wrong. Maybe somebody thinks the current policy is good. Sell me on it.
I feel like we’re all locked in our own little cages and it’s causing a lot of bad feelings. Doesn’t have to be like that.
I’d like to see a good discussion, but I’m not going to moderate this thread. I’m only imposing rules on myself for what I won’t do. This issue is something I feel I have to come to terms with as a Trump voter and someone who defends his Administration, more often than not. Again, I think we can do better than this. I just want to figure out how.