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Perspectives

What’s the Real Story with Children at the Border?

By Dennis Grimski

You would have to be tone deaf not to be aware of the outcry from the mainstream news media about children being separated from their parents at the southern border.  The public outcry, including strong opinions from Trump’s own family, led to the President stepping away from his “zero tolerance” policy, at least as it pertains to separating families at the border.   

But the underlying argument is still present, and isn’t going away.  The central question at the border isn’t whether we should separate families — even most hard-liners in the Trump administration would prefer to hold families together — but whether “illegal aliens” should stay in the United States?

With his Executive Order, Trump hopes to salvage his “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all illegal border-crossers.  Yet he is politically astute enough to know that separating children and families at the border is not tenable.  Yet, as well intended and politically motivated Trump was to end family separation, the practical and legal obstacles his administration will face with his executive order are substantial. 

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The reaction among immigration advocates, especially from leaders in the Democrat Party, has gone from outrage about family separations to consternation about family detention.  It is becoming apparently clear the “lefts” ultimate goal is to let all illegal aliens come into the United States and stay.

This is not to deny that the first iteration of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy was a fiasco. The justifications for the policy was deemed necessary, because over the past eight years under the Obama administration we had 100% tolerance (i.e., catch and release), which was a total ignoring of America’s immigration laws.  In short, Obama violated his Constitution pledge to uphold the law, including all our immigration laws.

Moreover, Congress, and in particular Democrats, didn’t give us any of the rules necessary to make closing the southern border to illegal aliens possible.  Many believe the lack of rules is by design.  The real goal of the Democrat Party is to permit the flooding of our country with poorly educated and unskilled people.  It is their belief that such illegals would become long-term dependents on the government “welfare state,” and, thus, become long-term Democrat voters.  The DNC is promoting itself as the party of “freebies.”  For me, the larger point of “open borders” is the real Democrat agenda; and children are just pawns in their overall political chess match strategy.

How many children are being detained?

The mainstream media would like you to think that tens-of-thousands of families are being separated at the border and are being held in inhumane cages perpetually.  

Yet, since the implementation of the zero-tolerance policy, between April 19 and the end of May, of the 13,500 children presented at the border, only 1,995 minors were separated from adults at the border, per the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

And, as of June 15, there were 11,517 minors in the “Unaccompanied Children’s Program,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Instead, HHS uses about 100 shelters in 14 states.  In congressional testimony, Steven Wagner, acting assistant secretary for the HHS Administration for Children and Families, told the Senate that children have spent an average of 57 days in custody during fiscal year 2018. After that, minors are placed with a sponsor, who could be a parent, another relative or a non-family member.

Does the U.S. use ‘cages’ to detain children?

In the media hysteria, the claim has been made that the government is detaining children in cages when separated from their parents. The government, however, has totally rejected the idea that it uses “cages” in its facilities. But that’s the term used by activists and others who oppose the administration’s immigration policy. Also, news organizations have used that term, including the Associated Press, which used the word to refer to the fencing enclosures at one Texas facility.

In truth, the Department of Justice disputed the characterization of cages or other like structures.  This US Customs and Border Protection photo dated June 17, 2018, erroneously displayed a child in a cage. The problem, the picture was from 2014, and was under the Obama administration at the Texas facility noted above. (Photo: Handout, AFP/Getty Images)

“Before being transferred to HHS custody, DHS houses unaccompanied minors in short-term facilities,” it said in a June 4 statement. “These short-term facilities do not employ the use of ‘cages’ to house UACs, but portions of the facility may make use of barriers in order to separate minors of different genders and age groups.  These barriers were installed via the Obama Administration policy, and is for the safety and security of all minors in the custody of the United States government.”

Pursuant to a SNOPES fact check, the use of cages and other such containment devices has been strongly refuted.  Yet the mainstream media continues to use the above “false-captioned” picture as its calling card to promote its larger agenda of the “inhumanity” of the Trump administration.

What’s the Real Issue at the Border?

For the Trump administration, the President’s Executive Order this past week will soon be up against the Flores consent decree, which makes it difficult to hold kids longer than 20 days.  The Flores decree grew out of a court case 20 years ago, and was enacted into law in 2003 as an “anti-trafficking” law for minor children. Thus, it’s an anti-trafficking law that prevents us from quickly returning home Central American kids — because they are from non-contiguous countries — due to a Democrat measure, that was signed into law by the progressive-globalist George W. Bush.

Because of the Flores decree, it is impossible to hold Central American parents and children together for any length of time. The children have to be released, and if you are going to keep them together with their parents, the parents have to be released, too. This is the forcing mechanism for waving Central American illegal entry into the country — more than a quarter of a million children and members of a family group over the past two and a half years — and Trump is right that Democrats have no interest in changing this law, or fixing this emerging issue.

When Republicans this week proposed fixes to remove the perversities in the law, and to expedite the asylum process and provide for more detention space, Chuck Schumer and his party minions like Debbie Stabenow had no interest.  The DNC thought they could back down Trump unilaterally from the family separations — correctly, as it turned out.  In short, Democrats have no interest in making it easier for Trump to remove anyone from the country, due to the primary end goal noted above (i.e., open borders), and they are willing to use children to achieve their ultimate outcome.

It’s easy to lose sight of the radicalism of this position. It’s understandable to oppose deporting an illegal alien who has been here for, say, 10 years. But these migrants are illegal aliens who, in most cases, literally showed up in the past few weeks, including yesterday.  In this case, we’re not talking about amnesty, but total “catch and release” of all adults with children.

The question the Democrats are now posing isn’t whether we are going to let illegal aliens who are already here stay; but whether we are constantly going to welcome more illegal aliens in a perpetual, rolling amnesty?  The large policy question becomes whether we will have a border with immigration rules; or whether a certain class of illegals can present themselves to the authorities and expect to be admitted into the country?

My prediction is that the Democrat Party will continue to unfold its true agenda by resisting any attempt to pass a compromise bill to rectify the current border immigration issues, including addressing the issues presented by the Flores decree.  The DNC’s real goal is to allow all illegal aliens to enter into our country with no controls or conditions.  By Democrats “resisting” any attempt to adequately fund the border wall, nor addressing the issue of chain migration, nor addressing the perversity put forth by the Flores decree, Democrats are saying, “We are more comfortable with our radical agenda to liberalize America, then to protect our borders from the onslaught of illegal border crossers, especially the screening for terrorists and known criminals.”

The only way to change this current Congressional stalemate is to elect representatives this November who care more about America security and nationalism, than imposing a radical progressive agenda of “open borders” on our nation.  Conservatives control of the US Senate is critical to changing our current immigration policies and funding levels, given it takes 60 votes to enact any new laws (due to Democrat obstructionism).  In this regard, Debbie Stabenow must be voted out and replaced by a true conservative like John James, the Republican candidate who is attempting to unseat her liberal reign.

Remember, to not vote in this congressional election, is to vote Democrat, and for “open borders without restraints.”  That is the current policy stance of the DNC. Is this the “policy” for America you really want? 

Again, the real issue at the border is not “children and families” as the media wants you to believe.  Instead, the real issue is about having “open borders” without screening and deportation. In the interim, expect to be deluged with a large amount of sensational and false news stories, as has occurred this past week.  

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Dennis is a 40+ year resident of the Blue Water area. He is a retired Executive Officer for two regional healthcare organizations; and was the CEO for his own successful Management Consulting firm. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History from Western Michigan University; a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling from WMU; and a Specialist Degree in Psychology/Behavior Modification from the UM. Dennis is a Christ-follower, husband, father, grandfather, and loves golf, board games, and discussing politics and religion. He is a leader in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF); disciples several men; and has been an Elder, children’s bible teacher, Sunday school teacher, Life Group leader, and Men’s ministry leader in his church.

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1 comment

Dennis Grimski June 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm

To augment my article, over the past few days, the Democrats and liberal left have begun comparing the incarceration of illegal aliens in holding stations as “concentration camps.” Their latest tactic is to compare our government’s holding stations to Nazi concentration camps; and the Trump Administration to the Nazi regime enacting Nazi measures. Of course this is not true, but it plays well in the mainstream media, if your goal is to demonize an administration that is attempting to uphold the current laws on immigration as written by Congress. It is sad that we live in a world where Congress will not fix the perversities of existing laws, but instead are content to demonize, obstruct, and do nothing in an attempt to achieve an outcome of total “open borders.” As Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer articulated when a “compromise bill” was proposed this past week, Democrats are content to vote no if any proposal contains: border screenings, funding for a border wall, ending chain migration, or any other measure designed to prevent illegal aliens from freely entering the US. Such leadership, that includes the 100% support of Debbie Stabenow, Michigan’s current US Senator, is a total travesty. I hope American’s make their voice clear in the upcoming mid-term elections.

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