Family Issues

Do Family Values Stop at the Rio Grande for Conservatives?

They are crying for baby Alfie in England but ignoring the plight of families being separated at the border

|

There is a horrifying scene unfolding at America's southern border, with the U.S. government forcibly taking children away from fleeing parents

Refugee Families
DAVID MCNEW/REUTERS/Newscom

seeking asylum. Why aren't social conservatives, who supposedly hold family values and cohesion in such high esteem, outraged over what's happening?

After all, they spent last week justifiably howling over the British government's refusal to let a mom and dad fly their 2-year-old son, who was on life support and has since died, to the Vatican for treatment. But when it comes to the rights of the parents and children at their own doorstep? Nada. Not a word.

For months now, the Trump administration has been literally kidnapping children from parents arriving at the border in search of asylum and sending them off to prison-like detention camps thousands of miles away. In one particularly egregious case, authorities seized the 7-year-old daughter of a mother fleeing violence in Congo. Without offering her any explanation, they dispatched her little girl to a Chicago camp while holding the mother in San Diego. The mom wasn't being punished because she was trying to sneak in illegally. She presented herself to immigration authorities exactly as she was supposed to and even passed an initial screening to determine if she had a "credible fear" of harm in her home country. It took the ACLU four months of dogged petitioning before the distraught mother and the traumatized daughter were finally reunited.

In another case, an 18-month-old boy was taken away from his Honduran mother, who arrived at the Texas border. She showed the authorities copious records to prove that she was in fact the infant's mom, but they didn't care. They ordered her to place her baby in a government vehicle and drove him away to a San Antonio facility while she wept helplessly and her terrified son screamed inconsolably. She herself was detained in a facility in Taylor, Texas.

The administration pretends that these are isolated incidents but, in fact, a New York Times investigation a few weeks ago found more than 700 cases of parents and children separated just since October, including 100 under the age of 4. The ACLU has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the parents.

This is all shocking, but shouldn't be surprising. Chief of Staff John Kelly talked openly about closing detention facilities that housed families together and making separation official U.S. policy back when he ran the Department of Homeland Security. He backed down after intense pushback but, it appears, the department quietly implemented the policy anyway.

However it happened, this much is clear: The Trump administration is intentionally inflicting trauma on innocent children as a deterrent measure in order to discourage their parents from coming to the United States.

Keeping the children and parents together has no bearing on whether they are eventually granted asylum. So what is the purpose of this cruelty? How do DHS officials justify it? By demonizing the parents. They claim that fleeing parents aren't trying to bring their kids to safety — they are using them as "human shields" to enhance their chances of being released into the United States while their asylum application is considered. This is grisly logic. And every family values conservative in this country ought to be appalled.

Compare the silence from these social conservatives to the cacophony set off by the case of Alfie Evans in England. Social conservatives in America were rightly outraged watching the sad spectacle of Alfie's parents being demonzied as religious zealots while begging the British government to let them make a last-ditch effort to save their son, who had a degenerative neurological disorder. But the government pulled the plug anyway, refusing even the pope's offer of free care, because the doctors insisted that this would only prolong Alfie's suffering—never mind that there was no sign that he was suffering.

He died over the weekend.

The hubris of British authorities was beyond staggering. It was extraordinarily presumptuous to appoint themselves the arbitrators of Alfie's best interests, over his parents, especially when his treatment wasn't going to cost British taxpayers a single shilling. This is the action of a totalitarian bureaucracy, convinced that its incomplete scientific judgment was superior to the certitudes of the parents' Catholic faith, taking it upon itself to dictate matters of private conscience.

Obviously, ending a child's life is vastly more serious than temporarily orphaning a child. But conservatives who howled about Alfie and remain silent on these immigrants are still engaging in rank hypocrisy, especially since unlike the British government, the Trump administration is not even pretending to act in the children's best interest.

If Alfie's family mattered, these immigrants' families matter, too.

Social conservatives might be tempted to argue that in Alfie's case, the British government was disenfranchising its own citizens, whereas in the case of border families, Uncle Sam is merely refusing to recognize the rights of the foreign born, something that it is under no obligation to do. But they of all people ought to understand that a government is only as good as the norms it is expected to hew to and uphold. If it has a free hand to assault some families in some instances it erodes the sanctity of the institution of the family itself, making it less able to withstand assaults by other interests for other reasons.

Conservative writer David French warns that Alfie's fate in Britain "foreshadows a dark American future" unless this country ditches its creeping secularism and recognizes the God-given rights of parents. But one doesn't need God to see that that future is already here — one only needs eyes.

He and his fellow conservatives should just turn their gaze from across the pond to what's happening right under their noses at the southern border.

This column originally ran in The Week

Advertisement

NEXT: Why a Bad GMO Law Makes Good GMO Regulations Impossible

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Government takes kids away from domestic parents as well. I don’t see her bleating about that.

    1. So you can’t criticize one atrocity without condemning all other?

      1. The atrocity is dragging a child through the desert. I criticize that often. The atrocity is bringing along your kid as a prop to try and tug at the heart strings of an immigration judge. I criticize that as well.

        1. It’s not their fault, their brown people. Everyone knows brown people aren’t responsible for their own actions, especially if their illegal actions.

    2. How do you know that she didn’t “bleat” about that? Have you done a survey of all her previous articles? Or does she need to do it each and evey time she points up another example of government malfeasance? And if she didn’t, then does that mean she should not criticize this instance of government harming families?

      1. It is completely legitimate to question Dalmia’s sincerity in being concerned for the families, when she is using it to attack opponents on an issue she writes about constantly. Her rank intellectual dishonesty in comparing this to the Alfie case doesn’t help.

        1. And yes, she bleats.

  2. “Conservatives” in the United States are really just white supremacists. They don’t care about black and brown children. That’s why they oppose the Reason / Koch immigration agenda.

    #NoBanNoWall
    #Resist

    1. Open the border and take in everyone who wants to come in. No restrictions, on conditions nothing but open arms of welcome. With that open arms of welcome also comes federal aid in getting established including teaching of US English and how to drive a auto since most would not have had the opportunity to learn. It would include housing and job training and a basic income until they could support themselves. If it proves that they cannot support themself here then the basic living stpin would continue.

      1. We will find a way to blend our backward, half-educated, intolerant, economically inadequate red staters into modern America, over time. Why couldn’t we do the same for immigrants, who seem to have a head start on initiative, entrepreneurship, motivation, and other positive attributes?

        America is strong and improving. Immigrants have contributed to our strength and momentum — despite successive waves of know-nothing intolerance deriving from skin color, religion, and immigration, involving Italians, Asians, blacks, Hispanics, Jews. women, Catholics, eastern Europeans, agnostics, the Irish, gays, atheists, and others — because over time America tends toward reason, science, tolerance, and education.

        This latest batch of bigots seems nothing special, its fondness for the charms, insights, morality, and trustworthiness of Donald J. Trump notwithstanding. It will fail just as its predecessors did.

        1. Your troll game is weak, tired, uncreative, and stupid. You’ve got just one note, and you play it poorly. Nobody will ever mistake you for intelligent, though.

        2. “We will find a way to blend our backward, half-educated, intolerant, economically inadequate red staters into modern America, over time. ”

          “because over time America tends toward reason, science, tolerance, and education.”

          This seems contradictory. Don’t you mean to say that unless the original Americans
          are replaced with foreigners who are more willing to vote for socialism and statism
          and a bigger welfare state, America is doomed?

    2. In the future everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes.

      1. Well, OK. But which 15 minutes? The Poland blitzkrieg or the bunker?

  3. I’m afraid that the Shikhas of the world have a bit of a crying-wolf problem – if would-be immigrants (legal or illegal) are inconvenienced in any way it’s a crime against humanity which shows the hypocrisy of conservatives. Repeat that sort of thing often enough, and when they try to alert the public to an actual abuse, normal people may have tuned them out.

    Maybe there’s a credible source doing an expose of mistreatment of children by the immigration bureaucracy. If so, Shikha should explain calmly point to that source and show that “OK, I may have overhyped things a bit in the past, but look, this time I actually found a case of misconduct by immigration authorities!”

    It’s like a leftist journalist saying someone is a white supremacist – they’ve said that so often about so many non-white-supremacists that they have an extra burden to carry in persuading normal people that this time they found a real wolf.

    1. And it’s as if she’s not really trying to convince social conservatives, simply rallying non-social-conservatives.

      And my impression is that apart from Shikha’s “hypocrites!!” article, the only other references to the Alfie Evans case in Reason were (a) a brickbat about the cops monitoring social-media criticism of the NHS, and (b) commenters criticizing Reason for their lack of coverage.

      1. Educated, reason-based, effective people do not devote much time to trying to persuade social conservatives.

        The better use of time and energy is effect progress against their wishes and efforts — and to provide a strong lifeline for the smart, ambitious young people who wish to escape our left-behind communities for education and opportunity found on strong campuses and in modern, successful communities.

        1. Do you mutter that stuff in your sleep?

        2. Arthur L. Hicklib promotes his AIDS-ridden paradise.

        3. “The better use of time and energy is effect progress against their wishes and efforts”

          Communism is alive and well. Bring the kulaks along kicking and screaming into the socialist paradise of the future whether they want it or not.

          1. What your betters have built with their progress is America. I like it. Whether conservatives like it or not does not much matter.

            1. “What your betters have built with their progress is America. I like it. Whether conservatives like it or not does not much matter.”

              America is historically known for individualism, dog eat dog capitalism, democratic militarism in an Athenian/Roman bent, and a heavy evangelical Protestant presence. This is what you dream of?

    2. “Maybe there’s a credible source doing an expose of mistreatment of children by the immigration bureaucracy.”

      The premise is that separating a small child from her mother is de facto mistreatment.
      Dalmia links to a couple of articles which document the separations.

      1. Forcing taxpayers to pay for two more foreign mouths to feed is de facto mistreatment.

        1. In many cases, hopeful immigrants are turned away at the border. In some cases, they are processed in. Hopefully consistent with immigration law as written by Congress.

          I disagree with almost everything Dalmia says about immigration.. but if the law is being followed, there is no reason to treat immigrants as sub-human.

          1. These are not immigrants. They’re asylum seekers. They are claiming to need protection from certain death in their home countries. They have no standing to demand good treatment even assuming they are telling the truth about their circumstances, and even less if they are lying.

            1. I said “hopeful immigrant”. Anyone who is admitted into the country is an immigrant by definition.
              If you go to Cancun for spring break, you are an immigrant to Mexico, and are likely processed by “immigration”.

              It is not hard to keep the small children with their guardian, in fact, it is easier and cheaper than separating them.
              That our “facilities” happen to be thousands of miles apart is a shitty excuse. I could fix that in a couple of weeks and save money at the same time.
              Later, if they are to be deported, it is easier to do the deportation if they are together.
              Later, if they are allowed to stay, it is easier to do that if they are together.

              1. I said “hopeful immigrant”. Anyone who is admitted into the country is an immigrant by definition.

                The definition of “immigrant” is “a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.”

                People on temporary work visas and visitors are not “immigrants”. And neither are refugees or asylum seekers (they are supposed to go back to their home country).

                Later, if they are to be deported, it is easier to do the deportation if they are together

                People present in the US with temporary status should have the decency to leave on their own when their status runs out.

              2. If you go to Cancun for spring break, you are an immigrant to Mexico, and are likely processed by “immigration”.

                Um no. US citizens returning from abroad are processed by Immigration, does that make them immigrants? Heck, by your logic, maybe Andrew Cuomo was right when he said he was an immigrant.

            2. It is a real shame to see what has happened to Reason magazine. Not more than a few years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed ever issue of Reason. It was truely a magazine that supported the ideals of Libertarianism, individual rights, limited government, socially liberal but not where that liberalism impacts individual freedoms. Over the past few years, publication has veered to the left. I fear they have spent too much time in Seattle, where Progressivism is rampant. In the past, Reason would have never published such a one sided, agenda driven article like this one. Readers expected to see a well thought out article about possible government over stepping it’s bounds, with FACTS to back up the allegations. Reades would have also expected to hear WHY, the government acted this way, a little investigative journalism. On a controversial subject such as immigration issues and families being separated by an out of control government, Reason would have had a series of articles all looking at the same subject from different angles. AND THEN they would let the reader decided. This article is just lazy, sloppy journalism. Unsubstantiated rumors, unsupported data, fear monger, and so on. And an author who doesn’t want you to think, just repeat after me, CONERVATIVES ARE BAD. Shocking appeals to emotion rather than to build an argument to Reason. Hey isn’t that the name of your magazine? Maybe you should consider changing it to Emotion. Or Reason Left.

              1. This particular author notwithstanding, Reason, and especially its commenters, have veered so far to the right on everything except civil liberties that it’s becoming difficult to counter people dismissing L’s as right-wing nutters. I don’t know what site you’re reading.

            3. If they are asylum seekers, why didn’t they seek asylum in Mexico? Mexico is signatory of the same treaties the US signed with respect to asylum seekers.

          2. You seem to not understand international asylum laws Tom. Under international rules regarding asylum, are you supposed to apply at the first country you come to in which your safety can be established. You’re not supposed to country hop to whatever country you wish to go to.

    3. What the US should do is to stop this abuse these people are receiving in the countries that they come from. That would be better for these people so that they would not be separated from the rest of their family unite. Or just bring all of the family to the US. Either one would be acceptable.

      1. So our options are either to police the entire world or bring all 7 billion to the US. Got it.

        Funny how these false dichotomies are never applied to the other 181 countries in the world, in particular the one they just walked through to get here.

        1. Curly4 is a troll and is not to be taken seriously.

  4. Uncle Sam is merely refusing to recognize the rights of the foreign born, something that it is under no obligation to do.

    According to the constitution, the government is not allowed to violate the rights of any person and so therefore must recognize the rights of every person.

    1. According to the constitution, the government is not allowed to violate the rights of any person and so therefore must recognize the rights of every person.

      Yes and every person has the right to US citizenship with no exceptions.

      1. No. Its pretty clearly laid out.

    2. According to the constitution, the government is not allowed to violate the rights of any person

      Where in the Constitution does it say that? And what rights do you think are violated when the US government keeps non-citizens out of the country.

      The Constitution defines a government of enumerated powers. One of those powers is the power to secure the borders of the US, i.e., to keep non-citizens out of the country.

    3. Some of the Bill of Rights amendments do apply to all persons under US jurisdiction. Such as freedom of speech and religion, and the right to due process.

      Rights described as a “right of the people” are not held by foreigners, as they are not of the people. Such as the right to keep and bear arms, the right to assemble and petition, the freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and any right derived from the 9th amendment. Which includes freedom of movement.

      1. Some of the Bill of Rights amendments do apply to all persons under US jurisdiction. Such as freedom of speech and religion, and the right to due process.

        The Bill of Rights does not describe a right of foreigners to free speech; it merely limits the ability of the US government to restrict free speech within its jurisdiction.

        And the right to due process clearly does not apply when it comes to military or border issues as 200 years of history show. Heck, Hillary was shooting civilians with drones without due process.

  5. We can argue about how various arrivals to the border should be treated/processed.

    However, I can’t see any point in separating family members, and especially not small children.
    It’s not humane. Wherever they get sent, they should go there together.
    It’s not even fiscally sound. Each infant/toddler/child likely needs 24hour monitoring. That’s got to be far less efficient than letting the natural parent do it for free.

    1. It certainly sounds very bad.

      I suppose my first reaction to the spittle-flecked rage of the article was to wonder if they got their facts straight.

      But if, in fact, they got their facts straight, then absolutely, the government shouldn’t separate parents and children except in cases of blatant child abuse.

      Even if they think the parent is gaming the immigration system, that’s not child abuse and it would be wrong to punish the child for it.

      1. Hey, by now, my knee jerk reaction is to assume that Dalmia is full of shit every time, since she is full of shit about 99% of the time.

        However, I don’t know what is actually happening at the border.

        If it’s as Dalmia has portrayed, I’ve stated my opinion.

        If it’s not as Dalmia has portrayed, our opinions are moot except in the hypothetical sense.

        1. I’m certainly not sticking my neck out in defense of the immigration bureaucracy.

          Just because their job is tough doesn’t mean they get to commit abuses. If they did, they deserve to have Shikha turned loose on them.

          1. That is a lucid, intelligent, well-thought-out objection to the described practices, Eidde and Tom Bombadil. This debate is better for your having contributed it.

            Thank you.

            1. When they locked up Charles Dickens’ father in debtors’ prison, they managed to let Charles stay with him.

              Are modern American bureaucrats less competent than the bureaucrats of DIckensian England?

              1. Shit, responding to the wrong weirdo.

    2. See, here’s the problem. You’re arguing (firstly) from morals, and our government doesn’t care about that. Then you’re arguing from fiscal responsibility, and our government runs like hell from that.

      Try phrasing it as “if you keep families together, you’ll fuck over [this group].” That’ll give the state a boner.

    3. However, I can’t see any point in separating family members, and especially not small children.

      There are sometimes good reasons to separate parents from their children. We don’t know what the facts are in this case, they may well apply here. Neither the WaPo nor Reason even attempt to analyze the facts, they just launch into full outrage mode and attacks on conservatives.

      And the stupid thing is that they don’t even understand what “conservative family values” mean; conservative family values are first and foremost about caring about your own family and children.

  6. By the way, I wonder if Shikha can guess who said this last year:

    “We needn’t, and therefore we shouldn’t, shut out refugees who are fleeing terrorism in places such as Syria and Iraq, even temporarily. Because it isn’t necessary to do it, it is, in my opinion, necessary not to do it.”

    1. He goes on to say that “Many of my conservative friends disagree,” but the fact is not many people are as socon as he is.

      1. Here’s an idea – Shikha can contact him, or some other prominent conservative, and get him on record.

        If socons are a bunch of hypocrites, I suppose they’ll evade her questions, and she can triumphantly proclaim how she’s gotten more evidence to support her views.

        1. The thesis of Dalmia’s current article here is the treatment children/families while they are being processed. You are venturing off into refugee/asylum policy.

          Also, you’ve quoted some guy’s words.
          Words are cheap.
          Actions speak louder than words.
          The question here is: What ‘is’ happening at the border regarding families/children and what ‘should’ happen?

          1. All I know is if I were writing about socons’ inadequate response to some crisis, I’d interview some prominent socons to see if they were, in fact, doing anything.

            1. Then if they hemmed and hawed and said they’d get back to me, but didn’t get back, then I’d have some solid evidence in supprt of my article’s thesis.

              1. Overall, a bit more journalistic shoe-leather would be good for many of the Reason writers, if only to make some phone calls and send some emails.

                Without giving the target of ytheir article a chance to explain their position, they open themselves up to the suspicion that they’re just being creative in attributing views to people.

                1. You mean like when Soave said Ben Shapiro thought the Palestinian jackass professor should be fired… only Shapiro wrote a column arguing the exact opposite?

                  Writing an email or making a phone call is work. People being paid to write for Reason shouldn’t have to do work.

                  Don’t be so unprogressive

    2. Screw that. Letting your country go to shit should not earn you a free pass to US residency.

      There are plenty of countries in the world that got their act together and set up a stable government and society, but aren’t as prosperous as the US. I bet the people who live there would love to be able to come to the US, but they can’t, because we’re too busy accommodating the shitholers.

      1. You need to go argue your case before Congress and change immigration law, especially the sections that deal with refugee status.

        The point under discussion is how to treat families/children who are admitted under the refugee/asylum provisions of the law.
        Just because people come from shitty countries doesn’t mean they are shit or there’s any reason to think they are shit or treat them like shit.

        1. You need to go argue your case before Congress and change immigration law, especially the sections that deal with refugee status.

          What do you think needs to be changed? As far as I can tell, the US can refuse to admit any asylum seeker or refugee that appears on its land borders because, obviously, any such person is already in a safe country that would be obligated to give that person asylum.

          Just because people come from shitty countries doesn’t mean they are shit or there’s any reason to think they are shit or treat them like shit.

          Nor should we treat them better than US citizens, and our government does separate parents and children when the parents are unable to care for the children.

        2. You need to go argue your case before Congress and change immigration law, especially the sections that deal with refugee status.

          Curious, do you feel similarly in the case of the bajillion laws that Reason libertarians object to? When an MJ dispensary in Colorado is shut out of federally-regulated banks due to federal prohibition, do you tell those who object that the law is the law and they have to change it before opening their mouths?

      2. “Screw that. Letting your country go to shit should not earn you a free pass to US residency.”

        Robert George’s views in the article I linked are a bit more nuanced that this.

        1. than this

    3. By the way, I wonder if Shikha can guess who said this last year:

      Hitler?

    4. By the way, I wonder if Shikha can guess who said this last year:

      Hitler?

  7. I agree that it’s horrible to separate families at the border. This is wrong and should stop. However it’s not death. As a conservative, I believe that as long as there is life there is hope.

    1. I agree that it’s horrible to separate families at the border.

      Why is it automatically horrible? We separate US parents from their US children all the time.

      Furthermore, refugees coming in from Mexico have the option of simply staying in Mexico, since Mexico is obligated to grant them refugee status just like the US.

      1. I would argue–as a right wing reactionary–that almost no one would disagree that it is horrible to separate kids from their parents. That doesn’t mean it should not be done in certain circumstances.

        Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you don’t go to prison for committing a crime. This doesn’t change the fact that separating your kids from you is pretty horrible.

        1. I would argue–as a right wing reactionary–that almost no one would disagree that it is horrible to separate kids from their parents

          What about separating kids from their drug addicted parents? What about separating kids from their father in a divorce?

          This doesn’t change the fact that separating your kids from you is pretty horrible.

          I would say putting a kid that’s at risk into a safe environment is not at all horrible, it’s the right thing to do.

  8. This is a reprint, right? Didn’t we get this article once already earlier this week?

    1. feels like we get this or similar articles every week from Dalmia.

    2. Reason reprints the same articles pretty regularly it seems. Of course, who really knows? One Shikha article reads pretty much like any other.

  9. I agree, let’s stop separating invader’s families at the border. Shooting them on sight would be hella more efficient.

  10. I’m just going to repost this comment from the earlier article. Reason really is turning into trash

    lap83|5.2.18 @ 2:19PM|#

    I’m not sure who is meant to be convinced by this argument. Concern trolls? Everyone else would be turned off.

    Conservatives are Weeping Over the Plight of Britian’s Baby Alfie. But Where Are Their Tears For College Graduates Who Have Difficulties Paying Their Student Loans

    Conservatives are Weeping Over the Plight of Britian’s Baby Alfie. But Where Are Their Tears For Single Mothers Who Have To Deal With the Gender Pay Gap

  11. To equate this practice with the state sponsored murder of Alfie Evans is a staggering act of intellectual dishonesty, even for a hack like Shikha Dalmia.

    1. It certainly is intellectual dishonesty, but Shikha has long since gone so far down into that abyss that it’s hardly unexpected. Her reputation is so soiled that when she tries to soil it further, the soil gets soiled.

    2. Oh, so we’re calling ritual human sacrifice of infant children to the glory of The Almighty State MURDER now, huh?

      /partial sarc – for intended intonation of objecting to such a horrible label as murder

      /non-sarc – the ritual of going through court; 2 courts! Extra special human sacrifice!

      1. Good thing those doctors paid out of their own pocket to fight in court for the right to starve a baby to death.

        Er…

      2. You are aware that the courts are organs of the state, are you not? If you believe that depravity in a society will somehow spare its judicial system, I’d refer you to the Soviet Union/Russian Federaion, China, the Jim Crow American south, Venezuela, apartheid South Africa, etc., etc., ad nausium.

        1. My point exactly. The NHS couldn’t spare a dime for continued care of Alfie Evans, but had all cash a-flowing to go to court…

        2. I was sarcastically objecting to using the term murder, sarcastically implying that the Alfie case isn’t murder, and explicitly stating that the (State mandated murder) was actually ritual human sacrifice with the judicial process providing the ritualistic aspect.

          Yes the courts are an organ of The State, yes it’s murder – in the form of ritual child sacrifice

          1. It was poorly formulated satire

            1. Nah. The NHS bean counters will recoup its legal fees by pulling the plug on a few more people.

            2. @Nardz, got it now.

  12. Separating children from their parents seems like the behavior of wolves.

    Ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf?

    After demonizing average Americans for thinking that immigration policy should be subject to representative democracy as the Constitution requires (Dalmia’s “slavishly deferring to the will of the elected branches”) . . .

    https://reason.com/blog/2018/04…..pe-that-th

    Who’s gonna pay attention to the cries of wolf anymore?

    The Trump administration is to blame for their bad policies.

    If people aren’t listening to legitimate complaints anymore, the circle of blame needs to be drawn much wider.

    1. I’m thinking of that article about “lol those dumb Trump-voting Iraqi Christians sure got their comeuppance now that Trump is trying to deport them!”

      Then if you read about halfway into the article, you find that the people facing deportation were convicted of various deportable crimes, but Iraq had been until recently too unstable to receive them back, but now they’re finally being deported.

      The first part of the article was suggesting that Trump was simply rounding up and arresting Christians and how it was this big emergency, and isn’t it ironic that they voted for Trump?

      1. With that quality of reporting, if an article comes along about “omg Trump’s immigration goons are separating families, will you finally join the #resistance, you hypocrites?” then the first reaction is to ask if the article is 100% accurate.

  13. Tough shit. The facilities to care for children are not in the same place as the facilities to care for adults.

    Remember, these people claim to be facing certain death in their home countries. They are placing themselves in US custody for protection from that death. They don’t really have any standing to demand to set the terms of their custody. Either they should be grateful for protection, or they’re lying about their circumstances and deserve everything they get.

    1. I wouldn’t go that far – technically we don’t yet know if their asylum claims are legit, or if this is the first country they came to before filing for asylum. In effect, they’re not exactly presumed eligible, but they have a chance to make their case without their kids being separated.

      1. But that’s the thing: if their case is legit, they should be happy to be protected from being murdered. If I was faced with having my family murdered or cared for separately, I would take the latter and be glad to have that choice.

        1. And they should face such a choice because…

          1. Because we can’t be expected to bend over backwards to accommodate these people in the way they would like. If they don’t like the terms they can go back where they came from, or stay in Mexico, which they’re supposed to do under international law anyway as that was the first safe country they reached.

            Frankly, making conditions as unpleasant as possible for asylum seekers and refugees makes a good deterrent for those who would seek to abuse the system by feigning such status. If that troubles your socon soul, sorry. America didn’t become a great nation by turning the other cheek.

            1. “Frankly, making conditions as unpleasant as possible for asylum seekers and refugees makes a good deterrent for those who would seek to abuse the system by feigning such status”

              You’re officially the thread idiot.

              1. Translation: you don’t have an argument so you resort to name-calling. Typical statist tactic.

                1. This EOA must be local chapter president of Libertarians For Bigoted, Cruel, Authoritarian Government Policies And Conduct On Immigration.

                  And, apparently, a vividly lousy person.

          2. Because there’s no magic wand to solve everyone’s problems. Because that’s reality. Because beggars can’t be choosers.

            1. When they locked up Charles Dickens’ father in debtors’ prison, they managed to let Charles stay with him.

              Are modern American bureaucrats less competent than the bureaucrats of DIckensian England?

              1. Maybe they are

              2. Despite the staged photos of women and children, in past mass migrations the vast majority of these “asylum seekers” have been military age males. Probably not the best idea to put children in custody with them.

  14. Conservative family values means I will create a safe, secure, and intact family for myself, my spouse, and my children; I will defend it against outside attack and I will safeguards its resources.

    Conservative family values does not mean that I will sacrifice my own future or fhe future of my children in order to help some other family halfway around the globe. That doesn’t mean I’m heartless, it means that the degree to which I engage in charity is something I determine.

    1. If everyone followed that approach, our red states — the rural and southern stretches — would be fenced-in, left-behind cesspools.

      America has rejected conservative positions throughout my lifetime, however, and our nation therefore is better than that.

      1. Dare I ask what conservative positions you have in mind?

        I suppose the Civil Aeronatics Board was conservative, wage and price controls in 1971 were conservative, etc?

        1. Don’t forget the conservative Fairness Doctrine, and the good old conservative 90% tax rates, and the conservative National Recover Act…all rejected thanks to left-wingers.

      2. Hey ‘rev’ – you ever wonder if you might be, even a little, a compete nutbag?

        Don’t take my word for it of course, just ask yourself this: how is it all of the ideas you believe in are perfectly moral and righteous and anyone who disagrees evil/stupid?

        Assuming the ‘rev’ in your handle isn’t compete BS, do that not teach humility anymore in your religion?

        I ask only to help – because things tend to go bad for anyone who ever finds themselves believing with full certainty that ‘their side’ is 100% great/moral/perfect and all ‘opponents’ are either stupid or evil.

        Do the names Ted Kaczynski or Timothy McVeigh mean anything to you?

        1. He’s just as much a reverend as I am the personification of England.

    2. Nail hit on head. News at 11.

      Don’t feel bad at all. Globalist crocodile tears are sickening. Shikha and her paymasters don’t give two shits about these families, they just want to import a permanent underclass which can be bought with porridge and doesn’t care about American tradition or values.

    3. So full of shit. A true libertarian takes care of himself and his family and doesn’t try to push his values on someone else through government forces. That is not what “conservatives” are doing these days, they are trying to move everyone back to the 50s where darkies are bad, women belong in the kitchen, and education isn’t important except for high falutin’ people.

      1. At least conservatives aren’t trying to move everyone back to the 30s like the leftists are.

        And what happens in most US schools and colleges these days bears little resemblance to education.

      2. You beat that strawman harder than Hihn beats on his flaccid unresponsive 90 year old cock.

        1. Oh for fucks sake.

          He didn’t hit that strawman that hard.

      3. @Devastator, I can’t quite tell whether you’re trying to be sarcastic or whether you are simply ignorant.

        In any case, to be clear: in the US, conservatism is, and has always been, about self-reliance, small government, and individual responsibility. Libertarianism is one major branch of US conservatism.

  15. Conservative family values means I will create a safe, secure, and intact family for myself, my spouse, and my children; I will defend it against outside attack and I will safeguards its resources.

    Conservative family values does not mean that I will sacrifice my own future or fhe future of my children in order to help some other family halfway around the globe. That doesn’t mean I’m heartless, it means that the degree to which I engage in charity is something I determine, subject to the constraint that it doesn’t endanger my family.

  16. ‘ … wasn’t going to cost British taxpayers a single shilling.’

    I would hope not, considering that Britain hasn’t used shillings since 1971.

    1. Oh, yeah, they switched to European monopoly money.

      1. UK does not use euros, they still have the pound.

        1. So they do, but they drew the line at the shilling?

          Personally, I don’t care tuppence.

          1. Tuppence Middleton is not here, Eddie.

  17. This is just the same old tired strawman argument. Pretend your opponent has comic-book-simplistic principles that they have a binding obligation to uphold, then exaggerate facts to accuse the strawman of not upholding them. Very old, very tired argument. Works on children and true believers and not really anyone else.

    Reason uses it to advocate importing welfare recipients. Open-borders advocates never face reality and always count on others to pay for the costs of what they advocate.

  18. Conservatives (Trumpians) don’t have any family values. They grab the world by the pussy and take what they want. People that are independent respect family values, but they also don’t try to make the government enforce their view on the world.

  19. This is a tired argument lifted straight from the leftist playbook. They’ll often say “What happened to your family values” when conservatives oppose welfare or unaccountable social spending. We heard this a lot during the height of the Obamacare debate.

    Libertarians insist that we should never engage in military intervention (for humanitarian reasons) but advocate that we simply accept people fleeing from tyranny. So we can’t be the world’s police, but we have a moral obligation to be the world’s orphanage. What is the logical unintended consequence of such policy?

    If we take in even a thousand now, 3 times that amount might come next year. And then more after that. Even if we assume that every single one of them is fluent in English and has some earning power, we’re talking about taking in waves of mostly lower middle class folks at a time when brick and mortar model is vanishing. Most of these people will be poor in America, which is a better / stable life than whatever heckhole they escaped from. But we would extending an already sizable struggling population and adding to the wave of “income equality” movement.

    The refugee and asylum system should be a case by case situation. We get the application, listen to their story, and determine who is in dire need of protection from an immediate threat. I’m sure Honduras is a gang ridden dystopia, but we can’t take caravans of people from that society every year.

    1. Very very solid argument. Best one so far. Really appreciated it, well thought out and reasoned.

      Not world policeman, but we are world orphanage?
      If you encourage an action like migration or asylum, more will likely follow. See Germany with Merkel.
      Honduras sucks, but that does not make one deserving of asylum.

    2. Libertarians insist that we should never engage in military intervention (for humanitarian reasons)

      That would come as news to Gary Johnson who vowed to engage in multi-front humanitarian wars if elected president.

  20. Keep children with their parents.

    Send them back to Mexico. Let them pile up in Mexico, thereby making this a Mexican problem. Maybe then Mexico will begin to act like a good neighbor instead of abetting the invasion. Revoke the law that gives special consideration (asylum) to some; make them all simply immigrants.

    1. Unfortunately we are currently bound by a well-intentioned but ill-conceived treaty from a different era to accept asylum seekers and refugees. Good news is we can withdraw from the treaty at any time with 1 year notice. That needs to be in Trump’s playbook.

      1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees

      1. The relevant treaties remain quite relevant, and don’t require any country to be swamped by unvetted refugees.

        The treaty doesn’t protect anyone if “there are serious reasons for considering that…he has committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his admission.”

        Also, “Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.”

        They have to be “coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened,” or else they can be deported as illegal immigrants if immigration law so provides. Hence the third-country rule – if you’re from Honduras and you went through Mexico, you can be turned back by the U. S.

        Even a bona fide refugee can be deported based on “national security or public order,” and it’s not even clear if he has the right to see the evidence against him.

        Even if a bona fide refugee faces a direct threat of persecution if he’s sent back, he can still be sent back if “there are reasonable grounds for regarding (him) as a danger to the security of the country in which he is” or he’s convicted of a “particularly serious crime.”

        And all this even if you can prove you’re being persecuted for your religion, politics, etc. It doesn’t apply if you’re simply an economic migrant.

        1. “And all this even if you can prove you’re being persecuted for your religion, politics, etc. It doesn’t apply if you’re simply an economic migrant.”

          I am saying: “Thank you (now) Eidde”
          That’s what I am saying, without irony or sarcasm.

        2. Your points are not incorrect. However those are extremely narrow exceptions. In practice we can turn almost nobody away, at least not until after an investigation. If a vaguely Arab-looking guy shows up at a border point, and says he is Ali Mohammed from Aleppo and doesn’t have any documentation, but his life is in danger in Syria, ICE has to prove one of those conditions (with all local records in Aleppo probably destroyed in the fighting there) or let him in.

          Note that the 1967 protocol also requires that the refugees and asylum seekers be given the same welfare benefits as citizens. That’s probably the biggest problem with it.

          1. This applies to “refugees lawfully staying in the() territory” of a country.

            So it doesn’t apply to those who are simpy *seeking* asylum.

          2. Your points are not incorrect. However those are extremely narrow exceptions. In practice we can turn almost nobody away, at least not until after an investigation. If a vaguely Arab-looking guy shows up at a border point, and says he is Ali Mohammed from Aleppo and doesn’t have any documentation

            And how exactly is Ali Mohammed from Aleppo show up at a border point? The US has no border with Syria and he won’t be allowed to board a commercial flight. All countries we do share a border with are peaceful, so they are obligated to give him asylum; we aren’t obligated to take him off their hands.

      2. Unfortunately we are currently bound by a well-intentioned but ill-conceived treaty from a different era to accept asylum seekers and refugees

        That treaty requires us to accept refugees that directly arrive on our borders from the country that persecuted them; that’s not true for anybody entering through Mexico.

        Also, we can, of course, simply withdraw from the treaty.

  21. I read the WaPo and the NYT articles that this is based on. Nowhere do we get the government’s side of the story. If a woman was really separated for four months from her child for no reason at all? I know people who work in CBP and they are good people. They aren’t just doing mean things for fun. I would be a lot more outraged if I knew some of the circumstances and the reasons for the separation. Both those articles don’t make a serious attempt to get that. The WaPo article doesn’t even try at all, and the NYT article gives the government’s side only in a very general sense, not specific to any case.

    1. Re: John Rohan,

      If a woman was really separated for four months from her child for no reason at all?

      That whole family wasn’t sent to the Gulag because they were innocent, right Boris?

      Trumpistas are sadists.

      1. “Trumpistas are sadists.”
        You do yourself no favors.

      2. Honey the point your missing is in the case of the gulag no one hesitates to share the reason, because sharing the reason strengthens the point of someone calling out injustice. A family sent to the gulag because one member spoke out against the regime, or watched a bootlegged video, or didn’t clap long enough are all reasons everyone finds abhorrent and sharing them encourages people to be against the policy.

        When people feel the need to hide the reason for an action though, that’s when you should be wary. What does the person making the argument fear will happen if you know why? Is it because they know there actually is a good reason for this situation, or just a reason that the majority of people would accept as reasonable?

  22. Yeah, make a run for the whore border, you degenerates!

  23. But why aren’t they appalled that the Trump administration is inflicting intentional harm on innocent children of fleeing parents as a deterrence measure?

    Because they’re sadists. I mean it can’t possibly be that their outrage is selective because they’re simply hypocrites or could it be?

    You see, Trumpistas have a very selective nature about the kind of atrocities perpetrated by government they tolerate, especially if it fulfills their nationalistic fantasies, because they’re sadists.

    1. Old Mexican says stupid shit like this because he’s Mexican and Mexicans are stupid. You see, Mexicans have a very limited capacity for thinking and problem solving, especially if it involves jeopardizing their welfare benefits, because they’re stupid.

  24. Conservatives have made it very clear how they feel about immigrants which is why they elected Trump. Conservative today meaning something different than it did in the past.

    I am libertarian and pro immigration. True open borders may not be possible in a welfare state as Milton Friedman pointed out but as close as we can get is fine by me.

    1. You pay all the costs yourself then. Leave the rest of us out of it.

      And also you pay for all the extra government services. We pay taxes for government services for _us_. But because of people like you, when we actually need to use those government services we have to stand in line behind the population of Honduras.

      1. Close the borders and you will be Honduras.

        Capitalism requires free movement of goods, services, and workers.

        I thought this was a libertarian website.

    2. Open borders are definitely possible in a welfare state. It’s just that the economy and society collapse shortly after the borders become open.

      If you want to get as close as we can get without causing economic collapse, bad news, we’re probably already past that point.

    3. Conservatives have made it very clear how they feel about immigrants

      No, only about illegal migrants. Conservatives are perfectly happy with immigration, as is Trump.

  25. Apparently I was wrong on the previous column. One person actually can be this stupid.

  26. This hockey game is driving me nuts.

  27. Conservatives are not compelled by any particular author’s notion of “family values”.

    It’s just a bogus argument.

  28. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!!!

    1. Fuck yeah!

    2. Aaaand another one!

    3. One more for good measure. Phew.

  29. [i]By demonizing the parents. They claim that fleeing parents aren’t trying to bring their kids to safety ? they are using them as “human shields” to enhance their chances of being released into the United States while their asylum application is considered. This is grisly logic. And every family values conservative in this country ought to be appalled.[/i]

    Gotcha immigration policy. If the illegals play the game right, gotcha?

    If they want to avoid complications, they need not illegally cross the border.

  30. Shikha’s on to something here. We shouldn’t be separating these families. We should immediately return them to their shithole of origin, together.

  31. If Alfie’s family mattered, these immigrants’ families matter, too.

    The connection you’re trying to draw here just can’t be made. They’re not even remotely similar.

  32. OK, fuck you Reason. That 15 minute response I wrote just flat disappeared. Next year’s contribution is an invoice.
    Did I mention fuck you, Reason?
    Just want to make sure.

  33. Once more:
    I’m one of the free trade in labor guys here; open borders and all that, even with the welfare state we have. Everything I’ve read says that the economy benefits by those folks heading this way.
    Now let’s deal with the trolls and assholes being the (X) claiming to be a reverend and the (X) claiming to be Hihn: Stick a running and rusty chainsaw up your asses.
    Now, let’s discuss Shikha Dalmia’s whine:
    If you really want to convince people rather than offer click bait, do better if you are capable. The article is long on “Trump is a poopy head” and short on evidence that much has changed since Obo was the lord of the kingdom. As I recall, Reason has run articles regarding the propensity to deport folks, comparing the O-admin and the T-ditto, and the difference favored Trump.
    So here’s a hint: Stuff the anecdotal crap and give us numbers.

  34. If family is so important to these people, why aren’t they deciding to live together in their home country?

    They have a choice: Be a family, or mooch off of US taxpayers. They’d rather do the latter, apparently.

  35. What laughable bullcrap this article is.

  36. We seem to be certain there’s a definite bad guy responsible for our problems. And what luck! The bad guy appears to reliably be the same outgroup we already hated. How very tidy.

    Seeing problems as more opportunity to confirm our bias that we’re better than Those Sorts We’ve Railed Against For Years rather than solve the problem, might have something to do with why we have so many problems and yet feel so utterly confident in our views.

  37. The turnout for this meeting of Libertarians For Bigoted, Authoritarian Immigration Practices is impressive. It’s as if every half-educated, disaffected, stale-thinking, no-count right-wing goober crammed into one Waffle House booth. This could take a while if the yahoos start to compare notes on their unconvincing libertarian drag get-ups.

    Carry on, clingers.

    1. Look at Mary Stack, posting under two different handles at once.

      How did you celebrate Karl Marx’s 200th birthday Mary?

  38. “I hear people talk about police killings, but these people never talk about how heroin should be legalized and the people who are prosecuted for heroin legalization”

    Shikha “logic”. Somehow state sponsored murder is less important than whatever your favorite pet issue is.

  39. I really don’t understand the sentiment of wanting open borders. I get that it superficially seems like a nice thing to do, as we all want to help those in need.
    But the first issue is numbers. There are hundreds of millions of people who live in less pleasant places than we do. And a lot of those people would not easily fit in here, even if the numbers were not going to overwhelm us.
    When the US and European economies start to falter, the people most severely impacted will be the world’s poor, who rely on food and economic aid for actual survival.
    If we open the borders, what do you think is the best case end result?

    1. It’s not about “being nice”. It is fundamentally being consistently in support of individual liberty.

      If I want to enter into a labor contract with another willing person, why should any third party attempt to interfere in that contract? The collectivists on the left want to try to meddle in that contract by trying to micromanage the terms of that labor contract (wages, hours of work, providing health insurance, etc.), while the collectivists on the right want to try to meddle in that contract by trying to dictate who should be permitted to enter into that contract (none of those stinky foreigners). I reject both forms of collectivism. But if you reject the collectivism of the left, but embrace the collectivism on the right, then what is your guiding principle on these matters?

      1. I want to enter into a contract with a pizza place 7 miles from my house to deliver pizza to me within 10 minutes of coming out of the oven. Unfortunately, all of the roads between the pizza place and my house have a speed limit of 35 MPH or lower, well below the 42 MPH average necessary to deliver the pizza in the agreed time.

        Is the government violating my freedom of contract by not having higher speed limits on the roads?

        1. We don’t. Care about your want of a pizza. States or locals fix the speed limit. Separate from the FEDS. Move to a state with 75 mph speed limits.

          1. Then you can move to a country with open borders.

            1. ^exactly.

              You want to contract labor with a foreign individual? Cool – move your business there or figure out how that individual can complete labor from that location.

              Countries have borders. What’s the point, and wherein comes sovereignty to govern without them?

              Sponsorship is a way to deal with the issue. You want labor? Sponsor the individual (though, in my opinion, sponsorship should include full legal and financial responsibility for the sponsor – h1b murders someone? Google is legally responsible for that murder)

    2. I really don’t understand the sentiment of wanting open borders.

      Cheap labor for big business, cheap votes for big government.

  40. SomeeCooervaatives lament that the government’s rules, regulations, statutes, etc are Boggs, stupid and idiotic. A few anecdotal incidents don’t t prove the entire system broken, but they come very close. Was theeUS the first sop on these Immigrants jouney to freedom? Don’t they need to request asylum in the fist country the enter? Congress is at fault. Leaders of both parties have been negligent as all members who have not proposed bills to fix the immigration laws

  41. Yeah the UK not allowing parents to take their child to get treatment somewhere else is totally the same as not letting illegal immigrants into the country just because they showed up. WTF

  42. Apples and bananas.

  43. As a resident of Texas, I have to say this type of reporting is not only wrong, it is infuriating. The people arriving at the border are not seeking asylum for the reasons outlined in the law, but for economic reasons. The money remitted to El Salvador by those living in the US makes up 16% of the country’s annual GDP. For Honduras, the money represents 14% of the country’s GDP. Asylum was added to the immigration statutes to afford people fleeing political oppression, not economic hardship. Why are these people so special when we do not afford those in Africa the same opportunity to come to the US? Poor Africans are forced to follow all the rules for legal immigration because they cannot simply hop across the border. In addition, the people of Texas, not the Feds ultimately pick up the cost of housing, educating and feeding all of those who enter the state illegally. It never ceases to amaze how those far from the southern border and not impacted by illegal immigration always are the most self righteous and arrogant about what should and should not be done. Live in south Texas for a year, see the real impact of illegal immigration and the cost of controlling the border and then maybe you will have the right to offer an opinion about what is right and just.

  44. Once again, it boils down to all ills being Americans’ fault. Not the Congolese, nor the Hondurans. Reason’s official platform of “everybody has a right to be here” chaps me. How can Reason promote the idea that the more you subsidize something, the more you get, then continue on to say we have to subsidize illegal immigrants and refugees and chalk it up to a net positive, instead of an increased burden?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.