Diary

Families Should Stay Together. Where?

Hawa Tembe, whose mother is from Mozambique, joins the applause as Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., top center, joined by Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., protest against threats by President Donald Trump against Central American asylum-seekers to separate children from their parents along the southwest border to deter migrants from crossing into the United States, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
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Democrats currently are fanning the flames of outrage against the US policy of separating children from adults charged with illegal immigration. The whole shaky-fisty drama can be challenged with one simple question: if families should be kept together, where should that be done?

As a Vox writer says in one of the milder critiques,

The Trump administration’s separation of families at the border — taking children from their parents, arresting the parents, and taking the kids into custody — sounds almost too cruel to be real.

Plenty of others are screaming about gulags and concentration camps. Conservatives caught up in the emotion are joining in. While such hyperbole grabs headlines, it’s difficult to find any discussion of the alternatives.

If families cross the border without proper entrance visas, there are a limited set of actions immigration officials can take. Either immigration officials separate families, house them all together, summarily deport them together, or release them into the US as illegal immigrants.

Let’s dispense with the last two alternatives.

We can’t just deport everyone who we find who looks like an illegal immigrant. The line between “looks like an illegal immigrant” and “looks like someone whose ancestors came here in 1540” is nonexistent. It’s a big step to send someone to a foreign country if there’s a chance they don’t belong there.

They need to stay here a while to process them through our immigration enforcement system.

Contrarily, there is not going to be a time when the United States allows unfettered entrance without a visa to anyone who shows up. In a world with terrorists and child traffic, we will always control access. That the Obama administration loosened enforcement is no argument for the current administration not to tighten it.

It’s natural to empathize with people who want to come to America, and to search for some way to let them do it. As long as we’re going to control access, though, there will always be people who try to get around whatever system we have — to cheat.

In controlling access, we often apprehend entire families crossing the border in search of a better life — either for economic reasons, reasons of personal safety or political expression, or some combination.

It’s not even clear that all of the “families” are related to one another. Some children being “ripped” from their mothers’ arms, to use the usual emotive verbiage, may be the victims of child traffickers or young people trying to find a better life in America without the encumbrance of actual parents.

Many are nuclear families – dads, moms, and kids. The current furor in a furorpot is over the efficient plan of housing kids with other kids and adults with other adults.

But suppose that families we believe are foreign nationals attempting to enter the United States illegally should not be split up, but kept together.

Where should that be done?

There aren’t tracts of empty apartment buildings just sitting about waiting to be filled with smiling immigrants. There are no rows of neat scattered site-style housing kept empty on the off chance a media-generated crisis will create demand for them.

The facilities for housing together illegal immigrant families don’t exist, nor should they. The United States is the haven for the world’s destitute seeking a better life in freedom, but it is not our national mission to provide that better life in return for someone showing up here in need.

Since those facilities don’t exist, it may be assumed that the Trump administration should create them.

That is not, however, a power of the executive branch. The same people claiming President Trump is a dictator are complaining the loudest that he doesn’t wave his little finger and call into creation shiny clean suburbs full of high-quality housing for families who show up.

The furor mob pitched a fit over the plan to create temporary structures to house kids or families, calling them “tent cities,” but gave no indication that people should stop crossing our border without a visa.

The goal of most people screaming “Gulag!” can therefore be seen to be a wide open border. As Dan McLaughlin notes, the feeding frenzy is not about separating families, but just another round in the immigration fight:

A word about the “asylum seekers.” They are really just people who want to immigrate here, and have been told about a loophole.

The “asylum seekers” are part of a Cloward-Piven strategy. Word has gone out that you can claim to be a refugee or are seeking asylum for some reason and get around the usual immigration hurdles.

At least, claiming refugee status can get your feet on American soil, which is half the battle. The paperwork is the other half, which is a lot easier once you’re here. And there is always the chance that Republicans will offer up amnesty.

In the interim it appears that someone has decided to shove every immigrant they can into the “refugee” or “asylum seeker” slot, telling them it’s a way in but really hoping to break the system.

Big media are helping to break the system by demanding families be kept together and not in temporary shelters. We can’t house families together. There’s no place for them. If not housed separately, they would have to be released and told to come back for a court date, a court date which in most cases would be as meaningless as the need to get a visa in the first place.

The only way to house these people (who mostly shouldn’t be here) is to house the adults and kids in separate dorms while figuring out who is a real asylum seeker, who has another legitimate reason to stay, and who needs to get back in line at the embassy in their country of origin.