The "Family Separation Crisis" on the Border Highlights Hypocrisy Not Policy Failures

Screengrab from movie High Plains Drifter.

A friend and former RedState contributor has often remarked that President Trump is very much like Clint Eastwood’s “The Stranger” character in the 1973 classic (IMO) High Plains Drifter. Whatever you think of Trump’s actions, they inevitably say more about hypocrisy in the status quo and his opponents than they do about him. In High Plains Drifter a preacher, a judge, and other prominent citizens are exposed as craven frauds when their actions are measured against their rhetoric. Much the same can be said for the Trump administration so far. Take, for instance, the Iran Nuclear Deal. By withdrawing, we find out that everyone knew Iran was cheating and planned to cheat and what was really wanted by Western governments was an agreement. I’d argue that the hostile reaction by the arms control and non-proliferation mafia to Trump’s overtures to North Korea shows that they prefer a rogue and nuclear-armed state because that advances their own interests. The budget agreement that was signed pretty much revealed that absolutely no one in Washington, despite their press releases, cares about spending.


The same is true for the current faux crisis on the border, a crisis that just happened to be discovered at exactly the same time that the Department of Justice IG delivered a damning report on the way James Comey and the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let’s take a quick look back to 2015:

U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), today introduced S. Res. 104, legislation expressing the sense of the Senate regarding Operation Streamline, a program that has seen success in reducing recidivism among illegal border crossers. The resolution, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), also calls on the Obama administration to immediately remove any directives or policies that would bar the prosecutions of first-time border crossers under this program.

“For too long, Arizonans have paid a disproportionate price when it comes to illegal immigration,” said Flake. “The Obama administration’s rollback of prosecutions under Operation Streamline threatens to water down an effective deterrent for illegal border crossers. At the very least, the steps that have led to some measure of improvement at the border should be preserved.”

“Arizona’s Yuma Sector has gone from being one of the busiest sectors for illegal immigration in the U.S. to one of the most secure thanks to the stepped-up efforts of our law enforcement officials under Operation Streamline,” said McCain. “Despite this success, the Obama administration continues to scale back important progress by ceasing to prosecute illegal border crossers. The citizens of Arizona cannot afford to lose the gains that have been made to secure the southern border, and I will not stop fighting to ensure that we have the best policies in place to keep our communities safe.”


Keep in mind, under this resolution children are, by definition, going to be separated from their “families” as their “parents” are going to be in an adult detention facility awaiting prosecution. And now that the Trump administration is carrying out a policy McCain demanded three years ago, we have:

Did John McCain really want Barack Obama to prosecute first-time border crossers? More than likely no. McCain has always been a big government, chamber of commerce Republican and would have voted for any amnesty bill that ever got to the floor. He was just putting on a matinee performance of Failure Theater for his constituents.

This (please excuse the source of the tweet, I am truly shamed) was Hillary Clinton in 2014:

This is Hillary Clinton yesterday on what would have been one of the logical side effects of the policy she promised to implement:

“This is a moral and humanitarian crisis. Every one of us who’s ever been a parent or a grandparent, an aunt, a big sister, any one of us who’s ever held a child in our arms, every human being with a sense of compassion and decency, should be outraged.”


Throughout the regime of Barack Obama, you could rely upon the Weekly Standard to protest selective enforcement of the law. Neither DACA nor DAPA had safe haven there. But, this is how they are handling the “family separation” story:

As long as the “zero tolerance” policy set forth from the Trump administration is in operation under current law, adults will be separated from the children they bring while crossing the border, either illegally or to seek asylum. It is incorrect to place the blame on a law passed by Democrats, as it is the “zero tolerance” policy from the current administration that began, through prosecution, separating children and adults who illegally crossed the border together.

And this blatant hypocrisy is not limited to Bill Kristol’s house organ. I could…should I so desired…document at least a half-dozen prominent conservative pundits who railed against Obama’s use of “prosecutorial discretion” with DACA and are now purporting to be OUTRAGED1!!!1!!11!!! that the enforcement of the law required some children to be separated from their “parents.” And you know what, if Trump pulled the plug on DACA and put those DREAMers back in line for deportation, the same people who flogged Obama for creating DACA would beat Trump to bloody rags for getting rid of it.


We saw the same dynamic in play earlier in the year when DREAMer legislation was being debated. The Democrats were offered a solution and they walked away because they wanted the DREAMer issue as a subject for fundraising emails, they didn’t want a solution.

And our fearless and indispensable media?

In retrospect, you could say that it was hypocrisy on immigration that gave us Trump and his continuing to expose that hypocrisy could very well produce some answers. A more likely outcome is that this current outrage dies under the weight of its own lies–well over 10,000 of the 11,000+ “children” in custody are 16-year-old and older males who were apprehended traveling on their own–interest will flag and we’ll be left with the same laws and the same hypocrisy that created this crisis.

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