I would prefer it if children were not being detained at the border. I would also prefer it if millions of adults were not breaking our laws by sneaking across our border with their kids. But the first thing must unfortunately happen because the second thing is unfortunately happening. If we are going to enforce our laws, then illegal aliens must be caught and detained for a time. This will include children, sadly. There is no way around it.
The best solution to the problem is to prevent people from breaking the law in the first place. Until we accomplish that, the second best solution is to capture the law breakers, and, if they are a family, detain them together so that children are not separated from their parents. If President Trump is moving toward that policy (away from the Obama-era policy, in other words), I think it is a good and important step.
But it is still a rather unpleasant thing to capture and detain entire families. It will be scary for the kids. There will be tears and shattered dreams. People will be sent back to countries they were trying to escape. This is sad — but it is not unjust, nor unfair, nor inhumane. It is just to have a border. It is just to have immigration laws. It is just to protect that border and enforce those laws. It is also unpleasant. But a civilization must be willing to do unpleasant things if it wants to continue existing.
Many other things are unpleasant, too. It is unpleasant to lock criminals in prison for committing felonies. It is unpleasant to give hefty fines to people who drive at high rates of speed through residential streets. It is unpleasant to collect taxes. It is unpleasant to take children away from neglectful parents. It is unpleasant to do many of the things that a country must do if it wants to have justice and order. It would be even more unpleasant if we didn’t do them at all.
So, we should strive to do them well, do them competently, do them fairly. Our government regularly fails on all three counts. This is the hazard that comes with a bloated, inefficient bureaucratic behemoth overrun with incompetents and partisans. That is why I am very interested in having a discussion about the best way to enforce our immigration laws and protect our border. It is clear that our current method is not the best method.
The trouble is that most of the people on the Left are not interested in having that exceedingly worthwhile and fruitful conversation. They may criticize a certain immigration policy, but, at root, the criticism of the policy comes from a belief that there ought to be no policies at all. They are not looking for the best way to enforce our laws. They are looking to be rid of our laws, and our border, and, ultimately, our nation itself.
Where can we go from there? How can we have a discussion when half of the people involved in the discussion are open border utopianists who think John Lennon’s “Imagine” offers a practical legislative blueprint? We can’t have a discussion, is the answer. We can only talk in circles and accomplish nothing. And that is what we will continue doing for the foreseeable future.