We Should Acknowledge the Reality of Illegal Border Crossings Before Generically Criticizing US Policy

A group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are loaded on to a van, Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in Granjeno, Texas. At least six local, state and federal law enforcement agencies patrol the five mile zone which is illegal immigration’s busiest corridor. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Recently, pictures of children in an ICE holding facility which were published by a local Arizona outlet in 2014 have re-surfaced. They re-surfaced because dozens of journalists and Obama Bros. thought they could use them to smear President Trump without people realizing they were old pictures. Many ended up deleting or editing their tweets. Other’s may of been legitimately duped, which still doesn’t say much about their ability to critically think and verify their rantings.

Irregardless, I understand those who saw those pictures and were bothered by it. You should be bothered by it. Being bothered by something is not a solution though.

With that said, I’m going to posit some points about the situation that can hopefully add context to the broader argument. When all this context is taken into account, perhaps it will help some understand why it’s not nearly as simple as just demanding detention policies cease.

1) Some of the children crossing with adults are not actually the children of those adults.

Put yourselves in the shoes of the CBP. Some 30+ year old man shows up with a 5 year old. What now? Do you take the man’s word for it that it’s his kid? Maybe it is? Maybe it isn’t? Do you now let that adult and child into the general population just because he claims it’s his child?


This is one of the issues at play. Some of the children that cross the border with adults have been abducted or are being used as pawns by criminals to gain access to the country. Without proper paperwork, the Border Patrol has noway of knowing immediately who’s who. This leads to separation and investigation, which takes time, to ascertain whether that child even belongs to the adult they were with.

Now, let’s game this out further. If the CBP started uncritically admitting every adult with a child into the country via “catch and release,” what effect would that have on human trafficking? Would it not highly incentivize the cartels to abduct more children, knowing the US will graciously facilitate their entry into the country, no question’s asked?

If you aren’t taking that into account, your calls for change may actually have the unintended consequence of putting even more children in danger.


2) The journey to the US border is not safe.

This again has to do with unintended consequences. Many women and children die at the hands of the cartels and the brutal conditions they are subjected to while traveling with criminal coyotes who facilitate their journey through the desert.


If we simply go to wholesale catch and release in order to not separate families, what will that do for border crossings as a whole?

It will of course incentivize other parents to bring their kids on a journey that’s ended up in thousands of unmarked graves over the years. Those parents and children who do make it into the country are usually still beholden to the cartels who brought them. This leads to further violence and mistreatment even after they enter the country and it perpetuates a cycle of human trafficking that could be shown to be far more inhumane and deadly than what’s seen in those pictures from 2014.

Another issue in regards to those crossing the border is sexual assault.

Salinas said at first she was confused when a guide at the start of the trip offered her and other women pills he said would prevent pregnancy. Later, it made more sense.

Once Salinas started walking with the group, she couldn’t keep up. One coyote said he’d help – on one condition.

“If I gave him my daughter, then he’d wait for me,” Salinas said. Meaning, if she let him have sex with her daughter. She refused, and he abandoned them. They only survived because they found Border Patrol.

“It’s awful,” Salinas said about making this trip as a woman. “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

And when a woman is raped in remote stretches of the border region, it almost always goes unpunished. Almost always.


The system is simple. The drug cartels run human trafficking rings, which make up the vast majority of border crossings. Those who guide these trips are called coyotes. You must always pay a large sum of money to these people but many times the women are forced into sexual slavery as well. This leads to mass sexual assault and abuse on the way to the US border that can not be stopped nor prosecuted by US authorities as it happens in the Mexican desert.

3) We must think critically, not emotionally, when dealing with this problem.

Those who see the pictures of the children sleeping on the floor in ICE facilities need to look past their emotional response to that. Why? Because emotionally responding can lead to far worse outcomes for women and children if we respond in the wrong way.

What’s worse? Children being temporarily separated from their parents while CBP tries to figure out where the children (many unaccompanied and alone) belong or incentivizing an increase in tens of thousands of more children being trafficked into all forms of criminal activity by the drug cartels? Neither is preferrable, but when we think critically, clearly the latter is a far worse outcome.

That is not a false dichotomy either. If we relax border laws and start wholesale catch and release for anyone who brings a child, it will do nothing to mitigate how dangerous the trip north is. The conditions will remain the same in Mexico and beyond. Doing so will instead only encourage more human trafficking, which will result in more deaths, more quasi-slavery to the cartels, more sexual assaults, and more human trafficking of children.


The most humane thing the US can do is vigorously enforce border laws. When taken in a vacuum, that can seem harsh. I completely understand the emotional response but in reality, by reducing the incentive for illegal crossings, thousands of lives are saved and thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of children are prevented from being human trafficked.

Conservatives can not fall into the trap liberals often fall into. That being taking action with good intentions while promoting far worse unintended consequences. Children being temporarily seperated from their parents in an ICE facility is not pleasent. Children dying and being forced into sex trafficking is far worse.

It should speak volumes that both the Obama administration and Trump administration operate(d) with the same policies on this issue. That shows this is not an issue of political ideology. It’s not an issue that can be blamed on President Trump being evil. It’s an issue with no perfect solution and those protecting our border are doing the best they can in a difficult situation.

In the end, this problem can only be solved by the destruction of the drug cartels in Latin American countries. Until Mexico, Guatemala, et al decide to take the issue seriously instead of letting their leadership be bought off with bribes, this crisis will continue. The solution is not to incentivize illegal US border crossings as it only strengthens the cartels and perpetuates an inhumane, brutal cycle.






Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos