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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Trump, Borders, and Separating Children From Parents

Jun 19, 2018

It is normally a good thing to keep children with their parents. But not all times are normal. When parents are abusing their children, it is usually best to separate them. When a parent commits a crime and is sent to prison, then they are separated from their children, whether we like it or not.

That is usually how things go. But the left has found a new issue to make a stink about. And as usual, the leftists are awash in hypocrisy, double standards, and plenty of lies and falsehoods. I refer to recent debates about current border policy in the US.

Leftists are now up in arms that some children are separated from their parents at the US-Mexican border. That countless folks try to get into the US from south of the border is nothing new. But previously it was often just men who sought to get in, especially as illegal immigrants.

But of late more and more of these men have brought family members – or who they claim are family members – in the hopes of getting a better chance at making it into America. Even the hyper-leftist New York Times has admitted that there are some real problems here:

Protecting children at the border is complicated because there have, indeed, been instances of fraud. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive there every year, and those with children in tow are often released into the United States more quickly than adults who come alone, because of restrictions on the amount of time that minors can be held in custody. Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner. Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.

Recent changes in official policy on this by the Trump Administration – one that pushes a new “zero tolerance” approach – have resulted in hundreds of children being separated from adults – whether they are their actual parents or not is a moot point.

But a bit of history is essential here. Back in 1997 the Flores Consent Decree was passed which established a national policy on the detention, release, and treatment of all minors in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

It had to do with how long unaccompanied illegal immigrant children could be kept in custody. The limit was 20 days, but the policy specifics were later amended. This decree of course came about under the Bill Clinton administration, and the Obama administration also went along with it – and then some.

The concerns of the Trump Administration are that it can take quite a while to adjudicate the cases of these would-be arrivals, and the question is: should children stay with their detained parents for who knows how long, or should they be separated, so as not to remain overly long in detention?

As I said at the beginning, whenever a crime is committed and/or a court case is determining the crime, and a prisoner is in custody, children are almost always separated as a matter of course. This border situation is a bit new and tricky, so politicians and jurists are looking at how best to deal with things, and how the best outcomes of children can be achieved.

But leftists are milking this for all its worth, turning it into a political football. They are screaming about Trump ripping children away from their parents, etc. Um, double standards much? Almost all of these lefties also fully support things like abortion, surrogacy and the like. And guess what happens then? Yep, sure enough: children are often violently separated from their parents. But then we only have crickets chirping.

Getting back to this particular debate over Trump and his policies, let me quote a few others. Elizabeth Llorente reminds us that everything Trump is now being slammed for was basically taking place under Obama. She writes:

The Obama administration actually expanded the system of detaining families – typically mothers and their minor children – after a huge surge of Central Americans along the U.S.-Mexican border in 2014. The policy resulted in many minors being detained in various locations, in much-criticized conditions, either with their families or by themselves, if they had crossed the border alone.
Videos and photos at the time showed children in tears, many of them still wearing dirty clothes, in detention facilities where they were kept with their families. The conditions – which ranged from six adults and children sleeping crammed on two mattresses laid out on concrete floors, to sick minors not receiving medical care – were documented in many news accounts and reports by human rights groups.
At the time, Obama administration officials argued they had no choice but to implement policies intended to deter families from entering the U.S. illegally. Trump administration officials have made similar arguments.
The difference is the Trump administration is now taking children away from parents who are being prosecuted criminally for offenses that often were once considered civil violations. The children are not being charged with crimes, and are being placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Speaking at the National Sheriffs’ Association conference in New Orleans on Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “We do not want to separate parents from their children.”
But Sessions said word had gotten out before Trump became president that anyone who tried to cross the border with a minor would almost certainly be “given immunity from prosecution.”
“Word got out about this loophole, with predictable results,” Sessions said. “The number of aliens illegally crossing with children between our ports of entry went from 14,000 to 75,000 — that’s a five-fold increase — in just the last four years.”
“We cannot and will not encourage people to bring children by giving them blanket immunity from our laws,” Sessions said.
www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/18/years-backlash-obama-policy-on-illegal-immigrants-children-was-also-slammed-by-critics.html

And some wise words by Ben Shapiro deserve to be heard here. He offers some of the history that I did above, then looks at some of the myths about this issue. He writes:

2. Immigrants Seeking Asylum Are Being Punished For Seeking Asylum. This is plainly untrue as well. Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country – they’re not arrested. They’re processed through ICE, and their children stay with them. If, however, illegal immigrants cross the border illegally, the Trump administration now treats them as criminals. If they choose deportation, they aren’t separated from their kids; if they choose to apply for asylum, they stay in the country longer than 20 days, and their kids have to be removed by operation of law.

3. The Trump Facilities Are Awful Thanks To Trump. They may be awful, but they were just as awful under President Obama…. Trump isn’t forcing children away from parents. He’s enforcing the law on the books. The legislature can fix that law at any time. The facilities he’s using are the same facilities Obama used. Pretending that this is Japanese internment (as Laura Bush suggested) or the Holocaust (as General Michael Hayden suggested) is ridiculous. This policy ought to be fixed. But lying about it isn’t designed to fix it. It’s designed to prevent a fix by allowing Democrats to play political football with children, believing they’re winning a victory by holding Trump’s feet to the fire with pictures of crying children.
www.dailywire.com/news/31980/media-are-lying-about-trump-separating-illegal-ben-shapiro?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=benshapiro

Finally let me offer the concluding words from a recent article by Rich Lowry on this:

Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.

The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.
www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/

Clearly these are rather complex and difficult issues, and much thought and care is needed as to how best to proceed. But the hysteria and hypocrisy of the left is not helping things at all.

For those who would rather watch and listen than read, these two videos are useful:

-An informative six-minute video by Brittany Hughes: www.mrctv.org/blog/no-trump-isnt-losing-immigrant-kids-or-ripping-apart-families-here-are-facts

-A fact-filled eight-minute video by Jon Miller: www.crtv.com/video/ep-191–dont-want-families-separated-close-the-border–white-house-brief

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13 Responses to Trump, Borders, and Separating Children From Parents

  • Bill, what if we in america decide to try and help fix central america, especially mexico? I am not against immigration but i feel that we’ve imported enough people, especially from central america and its getting to the point where were getting over run and many are getting frustrated and tired of america being the saviors of every crisis that happens in some 3rd world country. The left here uses the same tactics that the left uses in europe to flood the country with muslim migrants. I have also seen lefties try to quote the bible and made the claim that Jesus would of told us to accept everyone, even though the bible clearly does have parts where it was clearly pro borders and even walls.

  • Thanks James. Yes I speak to what Scripture says on this matter here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2010/11/09/christians-and-asylum-seekers/

  • Meanwhile in Sweden
    “0ne program introduced on the first Monday of each month at a public swimming pool in the city of Malmo eliminated gender-separate areas such as change-rooms and toilets in an attempt to encourage transgender people to come along and not feel threatened. As it happens, Malmo is a heavily migrant populated city.

    Guess what happened.

    The organisers found that while very few transgender people were making use of the program, the pool was invaded by men and boys taking the opportunity to perv on naked women. One advocate for the initiative, a University lecturer in diversity issues, Ms Jeanette Larsson, was shocked by this male invasion.”

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=19798

  • Assuming the Cruz legislation lives up to the hype, it’ll be interesting to see what the response is. Of course if Democrats and the quisling MSM are more interested in hypocritically attacking Trump and the Republicans than resolving the situation they’ll oppose the proposed legislation so as to continue their narrative.

  • So in Oz, the SJWs wanted to get the children out of detention (presumably while their parents stayed in detention), whilst in America, they want them kept with their parents (in detention, presumably)! Actually, it wasn’t just in Oz—the Huff Post wanted this (for Oz) also: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/10/05/there-are-children-in-australias-detention-centres-again_a_21575345/

  • I love children and hope to have many of my own one day. Children are the responsibility of their parents and extended family, my dad’s first responsibility is to my brother and me. his resources are used for the benefit of his offspring simply because it was he and my late mum who are responsible for burdening the world with us, my dad is not responsible for someone else’s child, however, he should ensure the church may meet its commitments to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and ensure such people become contributors to that end too.

    My dad gives to the church freely, he could at any time say I am not contributing to x. It is immoral to force someone to give money to something like supporting abortions for instance or even forcing someone to contribute to someone else’s child, as its always to the detriment of that persons own child by definition. The solution in Christianity to this problem is charity, it’s the most moral way of solving what is a failure elsewhere.

    Once, my dad is forced (at gunpoint if necessary) to give to the government so the government may give to another, then this bypasses my dads right to say how and who has that money. Once this becomes the norm it becomes the norm that the government and not my dad decides what and when I am taught about sex.

    You can not build a society on socialism, as it’s by definition immoral. Dads are mini-governments who rule their kingdoms sacrificially, the government simply protects the borders and ensures it is as small as possible and does not interfere in dads kingdom. If a father is abusing his children or wife the men in that community should solve the problem by whatever means they think necessary. Its best for any country to have one Rogue dad than one Rogue president/prime minister.

    It could be that you can’t have a world that does not have abusive dads in. It may not be possible to have an orderly society where homosexuality is normalised, as everyone has to contribute a child to the next generation. We do not know if the social experiment we are engaged in now will work for the betterment of man, however, we do know, what we had, lifted more people out of poverty and provided leisure and freedoms never known in history before. It seems when God sends his blessing we criticise rather than give thanks and live in the grace of the gift.

  • Sarah Clark, are you suggesting that people shouldn’t pay taxes? Or shouldn’t put their hands in their own pockets to help the needy? Jesus and Paul were quite clear that people should pay their taxes even to the Roman Government and the Jewish Temple tax. Romans 13 makes it clear that people should pay their taxes.

    Just as a matter of interest, are you Australian or American as your views I have seen more commonly from Americans.

  • Good Morning. There is a rather interesting article at this link discussing how the various self-interest groups are trying to drive this whole debacle.
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/06/20/illegal-immigration-and-lax-border-controls-are-the-epicenter-of-the-uniparty/#more-150778

  • Thanks. I wondered why don’t deport adults and children together then no problem about separation. However when we remember what we Aussies did to Chamberlin family to protect dingo we cannot criticise others. You obviously understand the system.

  • >>>Louise Bingen,
    Hi Louise,
    In response to- “Sarah Clark, are you suggesting that people shouldn’t pay taxes?”

    No, I’m suggesting that you shouldn’t have to pay tax but for about 1% and that would be for things like border integrity,

    In response to – “Or shouldn’t put their hands in their own pockets to help the needy?”

    Well, you pose the question in a confusing way for me, as you could put your hands into your pocket to help the needy or you could let the government put their hands into your pocket to help those who they considered the needy.

    When the government picked my dad’s pocket for the needy the needy considered his daughter a subject for rape due to her colour which as you can see is white. I do not think the Bible teaches that the government should concern itself with the needy, however, it does say we should, as Christians. Christianity recognised early that the needy existed, in fact, I think the Bible makes clear there will always be the needy, therefore, charity. was created to cater to what as individuals we could not.

    As regards your comment about the Bible passages its not unlike what was said about slavery, other than Jesus comment, which was to give to Cesar, that which is Cesar’s, which was a coin but importantly had a graven image on which Jews were not to have, so plainly it was Cesar ’s. Mr Muehlenberg has pointed me to one of his lessons on this subject which I will read at Youth on Friday, however, I will take some convincing God placed, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, or a government that turned its back on preteen girls so they could be raped in their tens of thousands.

    You are partly right about my nationality, my mum was from Texas in the USA and my dad is English, my Dad met my Mum when she came over to the UK to do her final year exams for her music degree, my dad told her she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen (do dad’s teach their sons this line?) Anyway, they married and spent some time in America, where my brother was born and sometime in the UK where I was born. My mum was killed by a drunken Driver when I was nearly 12. I didn’t only lose my mum but she was my teacher too as I was home-schooled. I was placed for a start in the state school then the insurance company decided my mum could be replaced with a place in a private school, after a few weeks the teacher wanted me to board and I had lost my mum and I didn’t want to lose my dad for weeks on end, as I needed him even more now and I was worried something would happen to him if I weren’t there to look after him, and then become an orphan and be given to an atheistic family or worse my brother! My grandma in America told me that would never happen, as she would look after me if she could prise me away from my aunties so I didn’t worry about that any longer. I’m back in a state school now as the travel time to the private school was too long, live in the UK but spend the summer holidays (7 weeks) with my Aunties and Granma in Texas, they are really nice, my aunties let me wear a little makeup. My mum taught me Piano and Violin and I learnt the Flute at school when my mum died the music inside me died too, but my grandma had taught my mum and she keeps waking up the music in me.

    I am not sure why you think the way I think is related to a location, as you only have to look at a socialist state to realise its evil, its action is responsible for the mass rape of my peers by those, socialisms, needs to get power. And there are two incidents that will live with me forever that socialism has indelibly printed in my mind, the first was when a member of the labour party laughed at the plight of those children who were raped, just to impress a Muslim group being addressed, and the other was when one of the raped girls tried to complain and was told to shut up as the aim was multiculturalism, not her pity party, not one feminist even commented on either of those comments.

    I think we Christians need to review if it’s productive to continue to play the part of a doormat, as the barmy liberals in our ranks are only too happy to link us to the equally barmy lefties. Those girls who I have spoken with didn’t have the police to help them, they didn’t have social services to help them, they didn’t have an MP who would help them, and the ones I spoke too will never get justice as they are too ashamed, too scared, and what shocked me, did not want to know that people do not even care, so will never come forward, shamefully they didn’t have a church to turn to either.

    Please, do not be offended by anything I have said. If I came across as disrespectful, sarcastic or ignorant then I did not mean to do so.

  • Sarah Clark, I am sorry that you lost your mum so young. No, you didn’t come across as disrespectful, sarcastic or ignorant. I was very interested to read your views, even if I don’t agree with everything you said, but then we are all different. I don’t even agree with everything I thought when I was your age 🙂 I am now 72 and have lived through a lot of different times, especially the Cold War, Vietnam War, I can remember the assassination of President Kennedy, first man on the moon etc etc. Life changes you and how you view things, but of course basic Christian ideas never change, but views on political things can.

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