Opponents of President Trump and his continuing attempt to put an end to the flood of immigrants illegally crossing into the United States have focused attention on the separation of illegal border crossers from their children. Pulling at the heartstrings of the American people has become a common demagogic tactic that covers over the obvious fact that those who cross into the U.S. illegally, even including those who subject their own children to the consequences of their actions, are indeed lawbreakers. In addition, no one should forget that a country without borders is soon no country at all.
Ignored by most of the mass media and Trump haters are several relevant facts germane to this discussion. First, during the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, border guards serving our nation regularly arrested adults seeking illegal entry. And, when those adults had children with them, the adults were separated from the youngsters while the lawbreakers were being held. Then, adults and children were reunited. Was there any uproar about this from left-leaning politicians and media during the previous administration? Hardly a peep!
Because the border remained widely open during the Bush-Obama years, and because children were being employed by border crossers to gain sympathetic responses to their illegal entries, children were in fact being used and endangered by their own parents and relatives. Our leftist pols and media stars never complained about this barbaric use of children.
A recent spread about current treatment of children at the border appeared in TIME magazine. The front cover displayed a made-up depiction of President Trump looking disdainfully at a crying two-year-old. What TIME showed its readers surely made the president look very bad, even evil. But what was shown of the supposed the confrontation between Trump and the distraught child never happened.
The truth is that this two-year-old and her mother were never separated; the Honduran mother had taken the child from her father in what could be termed a kidnapping; the mother had once been deported after illegally entering the United States in 2013; and the mother was not fleeing violence (a claim used by many seeking favored treatment while attempting to get into the United States). The crying child in the TIME photo never had any contact with Donald Trump and the supposed photo of the president looking disdainfully at the pleading waif amounts to a bald-faced lie.
When information about this doctored photo surfaced, TIME defended its deceitfulness. No one at the magazine considered what had been as an example of deceit. Obviously, TIME should not be trusted.
All across the nation, leftist politicians and their allies in much of the media have insisted that President Trump is guilty of mistreating children by separating them from a parent. But if an adult with children is apprehended breaking into the United States, the adult should expect to be separated from the children. Also, any children that fall into this situation receive humane treatment and eventual reunion with their parent. The temporary separation is not the fault of the Trump administration or any U.S. authorities; it’s the fault of a law-breaking parent.
It is also highly ironic that the politicians seeking to injure the reputation of Trump as he tries to deal with the porous border problem are overwhelmingly supportive of the grisly practice of abortion. Does not terminating the life of an infant in the womb separate that child from its mother? Isn’t that separation permanent when separations of child and mother at the border is temporary?
Leftist politicians want the border crossings to continue. They expect the flood of entrants will soon become voters who will pull levers for liberal politicians and liberal causes when they gain access to the voting booths. America became great because of less government, not more. If the border crossers understood that simple concept, liberal politicians and the leftist media tycoons wouldn’t be pointing to a few separated children at the border or creating a cleverly constructed photo that is really a monstrous lie.
John F. McManus is president emeritus of The John Birch Society.