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'Enforcing the Law' Doesn't Justify Separating Migrant Children from their Parents

The main justification for the Trump administration policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their families is that it is supposedly mandated by law. This claim is both false on its own terms, and an inadequate defense even if it were true.

A protest against the Trump Administration's family-separation policy. G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/NewscomA protest against the Trump Administration's family-separation policy. G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The Trump administration recently adopted a "zero tolerance" policy under which undocumented immigrants apprehended by federal officials are forcibly separated from their children. In April and May alone, almost 2000 children were torn from their parents and detained separately, often under cruel conditions likely to cause trauma and inflict longterm developmental damage. Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims that separation of families is justified by the need to enforce the law, and even asserts that the administration's policy is supported by the Bible. I will leave the Biblical issues to theologians and cardinals, who have addressed them far better than I could. But Sessions' secular argument is no better than his religious one. There is no law requiring family separation at the border. And even if there was, that still would not be enough to justify the administration's cruel policy.

The federal law criminalizing "improper entry" by aliens does not require family separation. The law also provides for the use of civil penalties, as well as criminal ones. While it states that the application of civil penalties does not preclude application of criminal ones, it also does not compel federal prosecutors to pursue both. Until the administration's recent policy change, civil proceedings were in fact the usual approach in case of families with minor children, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The use of civil proceedings generally does not require pretrial detention, and therefore obviates the need to detain either parents or children; some civil defendants were detained, nonetheless, but in facilities where families can stay together. The Trump administration, by contrast, has sometimes even forcibly separated children from migrants who have not violated any law, but instead have legally crossed the border to petition for asylum in the United States.

The Trump administration claims that their policy is required by the 1997 Flores court settlement. But that settlement in no way mandates family separation and detention of children away from their parents. To the contrary, it instructs federal officials to "place each detained minor in the least restrictive setting appropriate" and to release them to the custody of family or guardians "without unnecessary delay." The settlement also mandates that federal immigration officials must "treat all minors in its custody with dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors." Detaining children under harsh conditions, separated from their parents, is pretty obviously not "the least restrictive setting" possible, and it most definitely doesn't qualify as treating children with "dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability."

Even if the law did clearly direct criminal prosecution combined with automatic family separation in pretrial detention, it does not follow that the administration had a legal duty to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy that prioritizes prosecution of this particular type of offense. In a world where the vast majority of adult Americans have violated federal criminal law at some point in their lives, and there are so many laws and offenders that prosecutors can only target a small fraction of them, federal officials inevitably have vast discretion in determining which offenses to pursue and to what degree. First-time illegal entry into the United States is a mere misdemeanor carrying a penalty (up to 6 months imprisonment or a small fine) lower than the penalty for possession of small amounts of marijuana (1 year). The relative penalties suggest that federal law considers the latter a more serious offense than the former. Yet not even hard-core drug warriors like Sessions urge the federal government to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy under which we routinely prosecute all small-time marijuana users. In practice, the feds only target a tiny fraction of them. And when they do, they don't separate their children from them, and detain the children under harsh conditions.

The administration's zero tolerance policy, therefore, is not mandated by law. They could easily exercise the discretion to avoid prosecution and family separation, as previous administrations have, and as the Trump administration itself does in the case of nearly all small-time marijuana users. Prioritizing this offense over nearly all others is a policy choice, not a legal requirement. It's a choice the president made, and one he could reverse at any time.

If enforcing the law really were the main concern of Trump and Sessions, they could easily address the issue by supporting legislation banning family separation at the border, except in cases of child abuse or similar exigency. Congressional Democrats have in fact proposed such a law, the Keep Families Together Act. If Trump were to endorse it, the bill could easily attract enough GOP support to get through Congress quickly, as many Republicans also oppose family separation and worry that the administration's policy might hurt their chances in the midterm elections. But Trump refuses to do that, because he instead prefers to use the plight of separated children as leverage to extract concessions from Congress on other immigration issues. He literally wants to hold the children as political hostages in order to push through his agenda of drastically reducing legal immigration, as well as illegal.

In sum, no law requires the administration's policy, and it is highly unlikely that legal considerations are the true motives for it. But even if the law really did mandate the family separation policy, and legal reform were politically infeasible, that still would not be enough to justify family separation.

Not every law is just. Some, at least, are so unjust that there is no moral obligation to obey them. For example, there is widespread agreement that civil rights activists were justified in violating segregation laws, and abolitionists in violating the Fugitive Slave Acts. Violation of these laws was just because they inflicted grave harm on innocent people based on morally irrelevant characteristics: race and ancestry. Much the same is true of many of our immigration laws. Most of the undocumented migrants entering the United States with their minor children are fleeing violence, abuse, oppression, dire poverty, or other terrible conditions. The laws that bar their entry are largely based on immutable conditions similar to race: who their parents were, or where they were born. The US may not be responsible for the awful conditions these people are fleeing. But if we forcibly deport them back to places where they are likely to face oppression, privation, and often even death, we become complicit in the wrongs they suffer. As philosopher Michael Huemer explains, the situation the situation is akin to one where we use force to prevent starving people from buying food they need to survive.

Most Americans routinely violate laws far less oppressive than segregation laws. For example, the vast majority violate speeding laws, and some 52% admit to using marijuana at some point in their lives. The point is not just many Americans violate these types of laws, but that they believe (rightly) that they commit no wrong in doing so, long as the speeding or marijuana use did not endanger innocent third parties. The same reasoning applies to undocumented migrant families fleeing oppression, except that their illegal actions are motivated by far greater need, and pose much less risk to third parties than speeding does.

Jeff Sessions contends that migrants fleeing horrible conditions should "apply lawfully [and] wait your turn." This admonition might have some validity if they actually had a realistic chance of gaining legal entry in the near future. In reality, the wait time for most potential immigrants who do not have very close relatives in the US is likely to be decades or even centuries. If they apply for asylum, they face a system that refuses to grant it even for many who are victims of horrific violence and oppression, and features Kafkaesque rules such as classifying performing slave labor for guerrillas as providing "material support" to terrorists (thereby making the escaped slave ineligible for asylum). Moreover, Sessions and his political allies have for years resisted all efforts to make legal entry into the United States easier. They have themselves to blame for creating the conditions under which many undocumented immigrants have no plausible moral obligation to obey the law.

Even in the case of otherwise just laws, there must be moral limits to the means used to enforce them. The child-separation policy crosses any reasonable line. It inflicts harm grossly disproportionate to any offense. And most of that harm is suffered by children - people themselves innocent of wrongdoing. Even if their parents acted wrongly in trying to enter the United States, the children had little choice in the matter.

Some try to justify the administration policy by pointing out that people convicted of crimes are often imprisoned in ways that keep them apart from their children. But, in such cases, the children are left in the custody of relatives or guardians chosen by the family, not housed in harsh detention facilities. In addition, it is extremely rare for first-time offenders charged with misdemeanors to be subjected to prolonged detention at all, or even to get prison sentences after conviction (as opposed to fines or probation). If the government started rounding up small-time marijuana users or violators of speeding laws, putting them into pretrial detention, and separating them from minor children who are then placed in confinement under cruel conditions, there would be an outcry. Few, if any, would seriously claim that the policy is justified because it strengthens enforcement of drug and traffic laws. Even most who believe that our marijuana laws and traffic laws are just would condemn such a cruel policy. The same logic applies to Trump's family separation policy at the border.

UPDATE: I have made some minor additions to this post.

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  • bernard11||

    Amen, Ilya.

    This policy is reprehensible, and the lies used to support it are - I started to say worse - but they are not worse, just disgusting.

    Trump and his supporters, and those who just go along, hoping for judicial appointments or whatnot, are destroying the country.

  • JesseAz||

    To be fair. You only found it reprehensible now right?

  • bernard11||

    Go ahead, Jesse. Apologize for Trump all you want.

    Neither of you has any shame.

  • Careless||

    No, bernard, he was mocking you because you're apologizing for Obama.

    You're so very bad at this

  • harpac||

    Brutal take down

  • Careless||

    you could have taken a different strategy. You could have said "How didn't I know about this when Obama was doing this? Why did the media completely ignore it for years? This is awful!"

    But no, you want to claim Jesse is apologizing for Trump when he's pointing out you're apologizing for Obama.

  • Nige||

    You could have both fucking prioritised something that happening right now rather than doing exactly the same thing every crappy morally bankrupt right-wing shit-bag is doing and putting your hands on your hips and sneering about Obama, you fucking shitbags. You certainly weren't fucking worried about it then, and you have yet another chance to be better people and do something about it now, but you'd rather be fucking edgelords, you edgy fucking shits. You're Trump's base. The one group of people he can't afford to piss off. Do the right fucking thing.

  • M.L.||

    You are only upset because of the prospect that this contrived political leverage in the vendetta against Trump may not work.

  • Nige||

    You're only not upset because you're a sociopathic asshole.

  • GeoffB1972||

    But why did no one prioritize it when it was happening then? Why did no one do "the right fucking thing" when pictures of kids in cages ran in the paper in 2014?

    It is, of course, legitimate to argue that this is wrong and evil and terrible and should be stopped. But it is not legitimate to claim that it proves something about the character of the current administration that does not attach to the prior administration as well.

    It is precisely the holding of tongues in the presence of bad or excessive actions by the Obama administration that set the precedent for Trump's action. You can only be angry that Trump is doing this if you are also angry that Obama set the stage for it.

  • ||

    to start with NO ONE were in cages. they kids were laying against a Gate that housed MANY ILLEGALS in a detention facility.

  • Nige||

    How the fuck would you know whether there were criticisms of ICE and Border Patrol practices during the Obama administration? You weren't interested, you were too busy screaming about Obama flooding the US with illegals.

  • Sevo||

    Nige|6.18.18 @ 6:33AM|#
    Stuff your fucking fucking fucking fucking left fucking up your ass fucking fucking.
    Slimy lefty not worth anything more than that.

  • Nige||

    You are literally defending child abuse. Fuck you and the Trump you fucked in on.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You are literally defending child abuse

    You are literally a special pleading moron.

  • MatthewlovesAyn||

    If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names. - Elbert Hubbard - BrainyQuote.

  • bernard11||

    No, Careless, family separation was not an Obama policy. It wasn't a Bush policy either.

    So I'd say you and Jesse are the idiots here, the suckers and fools who believe whatever Trump and Fox News tell you.

    Both of you need to STFU. This country is going to hell in a handbasket because of bigoted morons like you.

  • JesseAz||

    You really drink the ignorant soup Bernard. The policy started under Obama and only began because of a ruling by the ninth circuit. I hate to say it Bernard, not really, but your an idiot.

  • bernard11||

    Here.

    As the Trump administration argues, referring immigrants for prosecution is not new policy. But prior administrations did not enforce the practice the way Trump has.

    Before Trump came into office, families were detained together, sent back immediately or paroled into the country, said Peter Margulies, an immigration law and national security law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law. Now, prosecution is happening across the board and has become the uniform policy.....

    Also in March 2017, then-DHS Secretary John Kelly (now White House chief of staff) told CNN he was considering separating children from parents to deter illegal immigration.

    Oh, and Jesse,

    I hate to say it Bernard, not really, but your an idiot.

    My what is an idiot? Do you even know English?

  • JesseAz||

    Oh a grammar nazi, doesn't make up for your ignorance in all things politics. You sometimes get incorrect autocompletions on the phone. Oh well. Doesn't prove your point anymore than anything else.

    Here is that evil right wing WaPo reporting on the issue under Obama.

    Not all of us can live in the bliss of ignorance.

    I also find it odd that you didn't find your way into the other article on reason about CPS abuse of taking american children from families. Maybe they would have had a chance if they were illegal immigrants.

  • GeoffB1972||

    This does go to the question I have. Why don't we just send them all back together and have done with it?

  • spec24||

    You're a douche on multiple levels.

  • Locris||

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....ned-2018-5

    Take it up with the author.
    Or is the outlet not favorable?
    Or is the President at the time given the all encompassing "yeah but" defense?

  • KevinP||

    From 2015: WaPo: Mexican kids held for months as punishment for border-crossing
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  • Pa2ed||

    2015?
    HoW can that be?
    Nope, you're lying.
    FAKE NEWS!

  • Pa2ed||

  • BD57||

    I see "namecalling as argumentation" is considered "intelligent conversation" here.

    I expected better.

  • aluchko||

    So because Obama did a less egregious form of the same thing on a much smaller scale for completely different reasons we're now no longer allowed to criticize Trump?

    I suppose that's as good a defence of Trump as one can muster in this case.

  • Sevo||

    aluchko|6.19.18 @ 12:14AM|#
    "So because Obama did a less egregious form of the same thing on a much smaller scale for completely different reasons we're now no longer allowed to criticize Trump?"

    No, scumbag. Because it was Obama's policy, it is hypocritical for lefty scumbags to gripe that it is Trump's policy, lefty scumbag.

  • ||

    NO it's going to HELL because of the DEMON Rats trying to turn American into a Communist society where THEY control Everyone and take all of your possessions and turn them over to Illegals and their friends.

  • Nige||

    Hur hur separating families to pwn the libs.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    So Bernard, since this bothers you, I assume you've been fighting to keep all US citizens charged with crimes together with their children? Or is it just illegals that deserve this special treatment?

  • BambiB||

    When 12 to 20 million people illegally cross a border, it's not "immigration". It's INVASION.

    Separating children from their parents may not be "required" by law - but if it's permitted, it should be done. In fact, to stop the INVASION, every legal step should be taken to inconvenience, torment, punish and otherwise dissuade the criminal invaders. We should make criminal entry into America as inhospitable as possible. It may be that the only way to stop THIS invasion is the way most invasions are stopped - by KILLING THE INVADERS UNTIL THEY STOP COMING. If that's what it takes - we should do it.

    No amnesty. If bank robbers steal money from a bank, their kids don't get to keep the loot when they're caught. Same should apply to criminal aliens. 100% deportation of DACA criminals and their parents. No free ride.

    Add laws that fine employers and landlords $1000/day for every day they employ or rent property to criminal aliens (not vetted via E-Verify) and give the criminal aliens 6 months to get out before putting a bounty on them and the strategy is complete.

    Or just shoot them all at the border. Kids too.

    Problem solved.

  • BigT||

    Shoot em?? You animal!! Sterilize em!

  • aluchko||

    Weird,

    I can't tell if he's a Poe or auditioning to be the new Attorney General.

  • bernard11||

    Welcome to the idiot caucus, Elias.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    So you have no substantive response to my question. In fact, I'll bet Bambi is a sock of yours you used to deflect so you would weasel out of sneering me.

    Again:

    So Bernard, since this bothers you, I assume you've been fighting to keep all US citizens charged with crimes together with their children? Or is it just illegals that deserve this special treatment?

    Answer the damn questions.

  • Rockabilly||

    bernard11 -

    I just spoke to trumps. He says everyone is welcome to come to the USA.

    Just come, no paperworks is needed and you automatically become a US citizen and can vote and collect all kinds of welfares.

    OK?

  • Spookk||

    Hmmm...Well, I don't support Trump in almost everything, voted for Bernie, and I have been cheering for anything that keeps immigrants (especially poor, uneducated ones) from entering the US for 45 years (from ANYWHERE - so not racist).

    At least I'm consistent, right?

  • Devastator||

    You had me until "destroying this country". Stop it with the hyperbole. This bullshit will end in November.

  • ThomasD||

    "Trump and his supporters, and those who just go along, hoping for judicial appointments or whatnot, are destroying the country."

    You mean people who agree with the current policy? People who supported the same policy long before Trump came along?

    https://tinyurl.com/y7lxc7kg

    Those people?

    LOL.

  • ThomasD||

    Tell it to Chuck Schumer.

    He'd rather have a political issue to fund raise off of rather than pass legislation solving the problem.

    https://tinyurl.com/yc5qhuxp

    "There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense," Schumer told reporters. "Legislation is not the way to go here when it's so easy for the president to sign it."

    If it weren't for double standards you would have no standards at all.

  • JesseAz||

    21000 citizens wereseperated from their kids last year for legal matters, most of them for non violent offenses. (national review). 100k more had their kids separated for no crime from CPS calls. Some as asinine as letting kids walk home a block by themselves or trusting their doctor over a state doctor's (parents doctor only had 20 years more experience and was considered an expert in the disease, what did he know?)

    Signaling the issue around migrants is basically bullshit and you know it somin. These are parents dragging their kids through hot deserts, on dangerous journies, exposing them to a coyote system that is swamped in child trafficking. You don't think coyotes will start attaching kids as part of their package to get across the border? What the hell is with you and how you lose all sense of logic with open borders. We already have judicial cases of couples coupling kids with random migrants to get across the border. You want to encourage more of that?

  • JesseAz||

    Didn't even mention the under 15% judicial show rate. Not a flight risk at all. Just so much ignorance.

  • M.L.||

    Yeah, but why would Dems care about what happens to American families? This is about keeping the borders open and nailing Trump.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Barack Obama certainly showed how much he cared about poor black families by stepping over them to bring in more illegals to take potential jobs from them.

  • Nige||

    Barack Obama - simultaneously allowing floods of illegals in AND executing Trump's hideously cruel anti-immigration policies before Trump in such a way that forces Trump to keep executing them even though he wishes he couldn't. That Obama is some guy for one guy.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Are you completely incapable of logical thought?

  • Nige||

    AND I can tell the difference between right and wrong! Try it some time!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    AND I can tell the difference between right and wrong! when Republicans hold the White House.

    Completed the part you left out, soyboy.

  • Devastator||

    Orthogonal issues conflated to drive the rabble into a hate frenzy. Stop trollin'

  • Sarcastr0||

    New things can be outrageous even if old things are also outrageous but less talked about. In other words, 'But Obama' isn't going to get you very far these days. Though it is telling that's the first place you look when casting about for a defense.

    You aren't wrong that the whole 'we are losing track of kids' is misleading. But there are kids in camps. That's a new thing the administration is doing. It's entire motive is to maximize misery. And it can stop it at any time.

  • Jerry B.||

    Oh, come on. "But...Bush" ran all the way through Obama's term, and still makes an occasional appearance.

  • mlwjr||

    Yes but unfortunately this article is written to make it appear as if this is something that just started. There are multiple passages that imply as much. For that reason alone it seems relevant to bring up the point the past administration was doing the same thing.

  • ThomasD||

    We have to send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border - doesn't mean your child gets to stay"

    Hillary Clinton in 2014

  • JesseAz||

    Did you fucking read anything I wrote sarcastro? I didn't mention Obama in the post you replied to.

  • Nige||

    Pro separating families, got it.

  • JesseAz||

    Until you start advocating kids as a get out of jail free card for citizens i wont give two craps what you think.

  • Nige||

    Not giving two craps about what I think is the only setting on your moral compass now.

  • JoeB||

    His morals are sound, until you can actually address the point of other criminals becoming separated, why should illegal invaders be different. Also, if refugees come in with their kids at an actual point of entry, the kids will not be separated. They are choosing to avoid points of entry and make illegal border crossing because their motives are not to flee persecution, and everyone f***ing knows it!

  • Nige||

    You shouldn't do it because you don't have to do it because it achieves nothing, is cruel and inhumane and inflicts suffering on the children as well as the family and why would you be cruel and inflict suffering on children when you don't have to if you aren't an evil asshole?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Fuck you and your faux outrage, shitlib.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Ditto. We let veterans die in the streets while illegals are afforded immediate medical treatment once they cross the borders. Even for tranny bullshit.

    So fuck the illegals. Citizens first.

  • Nige||

    Trump's policies are letting vets die on the streets therefore you support Trump's policies of incredible cruelty to migrants. Get fucked.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    It has nothing to do with 'Trump's policies'. He's actually trying to fix things. Unlike his predecessor. So get your facts straight.

    Given that Trump is untangling Obama's pre existing evil policies, you should be applauding him for trying to stop illegal immigration in the first place. Since if Trump has his way, none of them will be sneaking in here to worry about.

    Also, how many years have you been an activist fighting for citizens charged with crimes being able to keep THEIR children with them? Probably zero?img

    Why are you supporting policies of incredible cruelty to US citizens?

  • Nige||

    The funny thing is if you gave a shit about prison reform in the US you might have helped reduce the hardship on families caught up in the prison system. You did not support a candidate who is in favour of prison reform. You support a president who has caused families to be broken up and sent away from each other. And he won't make anything better for the vets either.

  • JoeB||

    Blah blah blah. You make noise for the Democrats. When successfully challenged, you redirect. Failed.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Nig, you blether on but say nothing. Your observations in no way reflect reality. Trump is far better for this country than either Obama, or The Hag.

    Best you just admit you have a tiny stunted little mind and learn to obey.

  • Nige||

    Trump is enacting a policy of breaking up families and putting children in camps. You are defending that. And you do it because you 'obey?' You are obedient? To Trump? You fool.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Trump is enacting a policy of breaking up families and putting children in camps.

    Something you and the rest of the proglydyte brigade was clearly okay with when the previous occupant was doing the same thing because Democrats.

  • Devastator||

    They could keep them together and then ship them back to their home country and tighten up the border. This is just theater and it's all ridiculous and unnecessary. This is Trump loving to be piece-of-shit bully and pocket-size dictator.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Cases where parents are arrested, but the kids themselves are not in government custody are not remotely comparable.

    From what I've read, couples in ICE custody are being kept together, so they already have family housing available.

    CPS is an abomination, but it's a state/local issue, not a federal issue.

  • bernard11||

    Cases where parents are arrested, but the kids themselves are not in government custody are not remotely comparable.

    Exactly. Besides, if one parent is arrested the kid is not taken away from the other one as well.

    CPS is an abomination, but it's a state/local issue, not a federal issue.

    Not according to Jesse. It's all Obama's fault.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Bernard, the easiest way for these parents to keep their kids with them is to not cross our border illegally. Period.

  • Nige||

    The easiest way to not take children away from their families is to not take children away from their families. Period.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    The easiest way to not take children away from their families is to not take children away from their families.

    Tell that to the shitty-ass Tlaxcalan parents who sent their kids north unaccompanied.

  • JesseAz||

    The kids are released to sponsors after a service time per a ruling of the ninth. They are not kept in custody.

  • Mesoman||

    Well said, but Somin is an immigration absolutist and will use any excuse to demagogue the issue.

  • aluchko||

    It's fine to Trump to separate asylum seeking families because of.... CPS??

    As for the coyote thing, you're talking about exposing your kids to risk in an effort to protect them from another threat or give them a better life.

    That's vastly different from the practice of separating parents from kids as a tactic to discourage future families.

    If you want to defend Trump then defend that, don't try and change the subject.

  • Variant||

    Stop.

    Sigh. Prof. Somin is deep in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome. His posts are not much better than watching 30 minutes of MSNBC.

    Still following this blog, but tough when there's someone who has so obviously lost the plot when it comes to objectivity (reminds me of the fall of Paul Krugman).

  • Devastator||

    His post is on point and well supported. I don't see you giving any facts or thoughtful discourse out there.

  • ||

    I simply don't care. We're so disgusted with what has happened and is happening to our country that at this point, the ends justify the means.

  • Spookk||

    Best post in the thread. +1.

  • Nige||

    Support for fascism on the increase, I see.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    100% of the time when American parents are apprehended and their children are present, they are separated from their children. Why should illegal immigrants have protections that American citizens themselves do not have?

  • Sarcastr0||

    The very general 'apprehended' is doing a lot of work here.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    That's a pretty odd thing to take exception to. The bottom line is if children are present at the time their parents are taken into custody, they will be separated from their parents. They will not sit in the holding cell with them. This shouldn't have to require explaining.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    But in the cases you're talking about, the kids won't be sitting in a separate holding cell somewhere else, so it's not remotely the same situation.

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    So the problem isn't separating the children from their parents at all, but where the children go after being separated?

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    No. From what I have read, adult couples are being housed together, which means ICE already has family housing, so there is no reason to separate the kids at all.

  • M.L.||

    No MatthewSlyfield, that's where the Flores settlement comes in. ICE can't detain the children, they have to release them.

    So, they release them to: parents first if possible, then any other adult relatives they can find, and then, if all else fails, a licensed child care facility. This last one is what is happening.

  • JesseAz||

    The children are released from dhs to sponsors in 20 days.

  • Paloma||

    ICE doesn't release kids after 20 days, where did you get that stupid fairy tale?

  • Jeff_Kleppe||

    The same place we get most of our stupid fairytales: the Ninth Circuit

  • Paloma||

    But those kids don't go to holding cells where their parents have no idea where they are for weeks or even months. Kids visit their convicted parents in jail, they talk on the phone. The parents know exactly where their kids are. With the kids taken by the ICE Gestapo, even the immigration judges don't know where the kids are or what's happened to them.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Sounds like illegals should stay home then. And avoid the whole ordeal.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Do you see how your complete lack of empathy in this comment and your calling progressives 'often sociopaths' play together?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No. There is no equivalence. How much sympathy am I supposed to afford millions of people who swarm our borders looking for free shit, fully aware they are breaking the law by crossing said border?

    Am I to expect unlimited sympathy if I go out, drink too much, and then get arrested for DUI?

    Like every other goddamn country, we have sovereign borders and restrict access to foreigners. Like every other country, we have rules governing access.

    Progressives are sociopathic. i'm just reasonable. I'm sorry if that doesn't fit in with your unlawful, unconstitutional open borders fantasy.

  • Nige||

    You have rules. You choose to have rules that break up families as a matter of routine. You are evil assholes.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    I propose a law that would put to death anyone caught driving more than 5 MPH over the posted speed limit. In my proposed law's defense, I'd argue that if people don't want to be put to death, they shouldn't speed.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "That's a pretty odd thing to take exception to. The bottom line is if children are present at the time their parents are taken into custody, they will be separated from their parents. They will not sit in the holding cell with them. This shouldn't have to require explaining."

    Jeff, the problem is that progressives will usually make two arguments on any given subject, and the second argument almost always contradicts the first.

    They are not logical thinkers, and are often sociopaths.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Often sociopaths.
    In the thread about the GOP separating children from their parents to deter behavior.

    Way to go, chief.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You have trouble with logic, don't you.

    Way to go.

  • Jeff D||

    Serious question: Would they actually be free to go at any time (in their home country)? Or doesn't it work that way?

  • ThePublius||

    "Trump administration policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their families...."

    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

    How can Somin claim to be a libertarian when he is such a useful idiot to the progressive elite?

  • bernard11||

    That quote describes Trump's behavior pretty accurately.

  • Mark22||

    "Accurately" except for the fact that:

    (1) this isn't specifically "Trump's policy"

    (2) this doesn't target "immigrants"

  • mlwjr||

    Any 5th grader could see that. That must tell you something about Bernard11

  • bernard11||

    It's the presumably Goebbels quote that describes Trump's policy. And it does so accurately.

    Trump's policy is not to lie repeatedly and shamelessly?

    Get serious.

  • JesseAz||

    You need help Bernard.

  • bernard11||

    Go work for Arpaio's Senate campaign, Jesse.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Why don't you? Or are you too busy getting Pelosi re-elected?

  • BigT||

    " tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it"

    Um, this is decidedly NOT Trump. He makes up new things, some true, some not.

    How many times did we hear "You can keep your doctor...?" Right, millions.

  • Nige||

    Heh. That one 'lie' has to do a lot of work to become equivalent to Trump who doesn't 'lie,' just makes stuff up that isn't true.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    The criminal justice system sucks. We prosecute too many people for stupid reasons, and Trump's zero tolerance policy is a step in the wrong direction. But the media's focus on this aspect is utterly disingenuous. If they were against separating people being prosecuted from crimes from their children, they should have spoken up a long time ago. And I am sympathetic to the idea that illegal entry shouldn't be a crime, but people actually have to make that case.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Yes, change is easier to get outraged at than a bad status quo. That isn't disingenuous, that's how people work. Stories about how miserable poor petty criminals have it are not hard to find.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Yes, change is easier to get outraged at than a bad status quo. That isn't disingenuous,"

    What change? it's hard to gin up outrage against prosecuting illegal entrants, because they are, in fact, commuting crimes. So we focus on the fact that they are being treated like everybody else who gets prosecuted for crimes? Sure, they should prosecute fewer crimes. But I've been saying that for years.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    I believe the point Sarcastr0 was making is that if you sell it as change, it's easier to get people outraged than it is if you say, "Look at this terrible thing that the last administration was doing that the current administration has continued." It isn't disingenuous for the people who are newly hearing of it. It is disingenuous for those who are trying to generate the outrage, if they knew about it under the previous administration. I've seen a lot of things that the left's outrage machine has complained about in the Trump administration that were things that I was unhappy about in the Bush and Obama administrations.

  • Sarcastr0||

    This separation policy is new, though. Other policies have separated children and are ongoing - the status quo.

    This is new, however. And change has ever evoked more response than the status quo.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "This separation policy is new, though. Other policies have separated children and are ongoing - the status quo."

    What's new is that so many people are being prosecuted for this particular crime. But in general, people who are being prosecuted for crimes get treated like shit. The only reason anybody gives a crap about these particular people getting treated like shit is because it serves their political ends.

  • Nige||

    Seems to me you have a chance to make common cause and push back against something you know is wrong but you'd rather shrug and say fuck it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It isn't wrong. Open borders are wrong. People coming here illegally are wrong. Only communists seeking to pad their voting roles, and anarchistic idiots don't respect sovereign borders.

  • Nige||

    Nothing about controlling your borders necessitates the routine breaking up of families.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Nothing about controlling the borders necessitates admitting unaccompanied minors, either.

  • posmoo||

    It's like every other day with this guy. What does he think is going to happen to individual rights after absorbing hundreds of millions of immigrants from collectivist cultures?

  • ||

    Not to mention hundreds of millions of immigrants with low average IQs.

  • BigT||

    Progs don't think 70 is particularly low.

  • ReaderY||

    Some years ago, opposing the Roe v. Wade deciosion, I pointed out a flaw in it: if you take its reasoning and apply them to foreignors or immigrants at the border, application of the same textual "personhood" test would fail for them. But nobody would conclude from this that foreigners are nothing but animals, or that expressions of compassion with them should be regarded as suspect, incompatible with American values, or mere religious superstition.

    Or would they? My intention, these years, was to apply the argument in the opposite direction: since we wouldn't treat foreigners this way, and they come out he same way under the test, how could we think the test justifies treating fetuses this way?

    But now the argument has indeed gone in the opposite direction. And to the extent Roe reflects our ability to embark down a slippery slope - if we can simply declare human creatures non-human when their humanity inconveniences us, even mock those who find their humanity worth respect - all kinds of possibilities lie open.

    Present circumstances, sadly, reflect our having slid considerably down that slope.

    This I regret deeply.

  • JoeB||

    So if someone breaks into your house with their kids, they should not separated from the kids? They can stay in your house with your kids? I am asserting that citizens of the property of the USA delineated by its borders have property rights over the USA and are allowed to keep it secure.

  • fatcyst||

    OK, everyone is the same. So go immigrate to and adopt 10 people in Africa. I'm sure they'll treat you with respect.

  • cja||

    Are there any links to posts that Somin wrote about this topic when Obama was president?
    Considering Obama separated children the same as the current administration, there should be years of articles on the topic.

  • bernard11||

    Considering Obama separated children the same as the current administration,

    Evidence?

  • Goju||

    Brandon Darby"s posting of over 30 photos from 2014 would be a start. Perhaps Prof Somin could point us to his archived comments about this.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    When people, including citizens,are arrested for any crime they are separated from their children as a matter of procedure.

    Do you somehow think that illegals are due treatment and benefits in the US in equal, or in excess of what a legal citizen or resident is due?

  • Nige||

    In the case of illegal immigrants or those seeking asylum the only reason to do it automatically on such a large scale is cruelty and sadism. Trump does know his base.

  • JoeB||

    Asylum-seekers going through a point of entry are not considered criminals. They are allowed to be processed as potential refugees, hence no separation from kids. Illegal border crossers know this, but choose to enter illegally because they know they're case isn't remotely about asylum. Try again.

  • Nige||

    Try not taking children away from their families. Now try again. Now try not lying to defend the practice. Try again. There. You are no longer a bad person.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Try not taking children away from their families

    Try not sending them north unaccompanied in the first place. Try again. Now try not lying that you gave a shit about this up until about three days ago. Try again. There. You're no longer a waste of carbon molecules.

  • rferris||

    bernard 11, you need to learn that much of what you need to learn about the world will not be told to you by the folks who currently administer your mind.
    Evidence is out there, saw references to it earlier in this thread, remember it from the time and know you can find it if you try.
    If you actually care about others then you need to educate yourself better than your current level.
    The left has never been about the truth. It is the "end justifies the means" tribe that brought us Stalin. Hitler. Mao, Pol Pot, Venezuela and over 50 million needless deaths.
    You have chosen a tribe poorly and therefor will be unable to help make a better world.

  • Nige||

    Awed and humbled by the sight of a Trump supporter lecturing others about the value of truth.

  • Jason Dawes the Elder||

    A correction: the Flores settlement actually does prohibit family detention. So held a CA DC in 2017.

  • Jerry B.||

    Of course, if the government allowed family detentions, folks would protest that, as they did (but more quietly) during the Obama Administration. If the parents were fitted with ankle bracelets for monitored release, folks would protest the indignity. If families were just released with a promise to show up for their hearings, 30% or so of them wouldn't show up, and would disappear into the undocumented underground, where no one can monitor their status or possible exploitation.

    Prof. Somin might try mowing his own lawn.

  • JesseAz||

    It's close to 90% that dont show up.

  • TGoodchild||

    "In reality, the wait time for most potential immigrants who do not have very close relatives in the US is likely to be decades or even centuries."

    I know, right? I mean, how can we expect them to pragmatically express their right under the Planet Earth Constitution, Article 3, Clause 2 that they have the affirmative right to go anywhere and be accepted as a citizen with all accompanying benefits, including the ability to recursively vote (D)?

    The pseudo-altruism on display by progressives here is ghastly. Asylum seeking specifically, the application for which causes a gap in when kids and their parents and detained, plummeted right after trump was elected.

    Forget the wall - we need a canal.

  • ||

    Liberals clearly think that anyone who reaches U.S. soil is entitled to automatic U.S. citizenship, and all of the rights pertaining thereto. There are no other conclusions that can be drawn from their statements regarding this issue.

  • Mark22||

    The federal law criminalizing "improper entry" by aliens does not require family separation. The law also provides for the use of civil penalties, as well as criminal ones. While it states that the application of civil penalties does not preclude application of criminal ones, it also does not compel federal prosecutors to pursue both.

    So you are saying that adults who cross into the US with children should be exempted from criminal penalties in order to prevent separation? Have you thought through what perverse incentives that creates?

    I do think we should give illegal migrants a choice: if this is their first offense, rather than processing them and persecuting them for illegal entry, we should give them the option to return to their country of citizenship immediately, without separating them from their children.

  • ||

    Agreed, but according to the left, these people are entitled to live in the United States while their "asylum" claims are adjudicated. Even though by definition, anyone from Central America cannot claim asylum after passing through Mexico.

  • nonzenze||

    Even though by definition, anyone from Central America cannot claim asylum after passing through Mexico.

    Interested to see a citation for this claim. I'm not sure why a refugee seeking asylum in the US would not be eligible to apply for that status while in a third country. I don't see any reference to such a restriction in the law, but perhaps I've not looked right?

  • ||

    Because if you are fleeing persecution, you must apply in the first "safe" place. You can't continue on to a place you like better.

  • nonzenze||

    I understand the claim. I was asking for a citation or reference supporting the claim.

    As I said, this does not appear to be a restriction in the law that Congress passed (although I may have missed it). So even if you personally believe the "first safe place" restriction, it might not be the law of the United States.

  • swood1000||

    Under International Law refugees can be returned to the first country of asylum.

  • Ridgeway||

    I am not an expert, but I think that is based on EU-specific laws. The First Safe Country principle is recognized in international law, but bot self executing.

  • swood1000||

    Matter of Pula listed some of the factors that are considered when there is an application for asylum, including whether refugee procedures were available in any country he passed through on his way to the U.S.:

    … the totality of the circumstances and actions of an alien in his flight from the country where he fears persecution should be examined in determining whether a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted. Among those factors which should be considered are whether the alien passed through any other countries or arrived in the United States directly from his country, whether orderly refugee procedures were in fact available to help him in any country he passed through, and whether he made any attempts to seek asylum before coming to the United States In addition, the length of time the alien remained in a third country, and his living conditions, safety, and potential for long-term residency there are also relevant…

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What you are describing is Obama's so-called "catch and release" policy. Which Republicans went batshit insane over when Obama did it.

  • ||

    Because "catch and release" was to release into the U.S.

  • Mark22||

    What you are describing is Obama's so-called "catch and release" policy.

    Nope, it isn't. Catch-and-release is about releasing people into the US, not returning them to their Central/South-American countries of origin (after recording their biometrics and creating a US criminal record).

  • springjourney||

    Why don't just give those people B-2 visa and then legitimately arrest them if they overstay.

  • ||

    Except they won't be arrested if they overstay, because the same liberals decrying the policy today will talk about the "cruelty" and "inhumanity." And in the meantime, if they pop out a "citizen" child, that "citizen" will then be entitled to full welfare benefits.

  • David Bremer||

    And this is bad because....?

    It seems that a whole lot of people screaming about the idea that an immigrant have a child that is an American citizen are themselves grandchildren or great-grandchildren of people who are precisely that.

    Here's an idea - how about we do as we've always done: welcome those children to the country, educate them, and encourage them to be the best American citizens they can be?

  • ||

    Even in spite of the fact that our country is crowded and our economy no longer needs millions of unskilled workers, it's bad because these people have a genetically low average IQ and carry racial grievances that will lead to the proliferation of socialism and a Balkanized future for America.

  • David Bremer||

    First, our country is now crowded. In fact, lots of places in the middle part of the country are actually losing population. Yes, some cities are more populous and dense than they used to be, but still aren't that dense compared to other cities across the world. In short, we have plenty of space.

    Second, not every foreigner is unskilled. They can also be given job training. And that the immigrants manage to find jobs despite the challenges tells you that we do have demand for them. Besides, there are about 155 million employed people and just over 6 million unemployed ones. You could add thousands of workers without material effects on employment rates (particularly considering baby boomers are starting to retire).

    Third, your claim about IQ needs a citation at best, is flat out racist at worst.

    Fourth, the people I see with the greatest amount of racial grievances over immigration are white baby boomers. I don't see a whole lot of immigrants complaining about it. Even if they were, considering the racist overtones that permeates much of this discussion, their grievances would be fair.

    Fifth, if you want to avoid racial grievances, maybe stop using racist language.

    Sixth, there's something really ironic about complaining about socialism, but then using the power of the state to keep out potential immigrants because you don't want them competing for jobs.

    Other than that, I guess you nailed it.

  • ||

    ROTFL. To address your points:

    First, there is plenty of space, but all of the immigrants tend to congregate in a few crowded urban areas that are already taxed as far as infrastructure and housing goes.

    Second, the debate is about unskilled immigration, and job training is expensive, and should instead go to our unemployed.

    Third, the IQ deficit among certain racial groups is well established. Read the Bell Curve and the Scarr-Weinberg study.

    Fourth, no. Who is demanding quota representation in every facet of American life? Who is whining about admissions to schools in New York City?

    Fifth, blah blah racist!

    Sixth, no, I don't want to keep our potential immigrants because I don't want them competing for jobs. I want to keep them out because they're a low skill, low IQ population with high illegitimacy and crime rates and they disproportionately rely on government to provide for their needs.

    This isn't the "sink or swim" immigration regime that existed between 1880 and 1920.

  • mad_kalak||

  • ||

    DAS RAYCISS!

  • Nige||

    Yes. Yes it is.

  • mad_kalak||

    It is what it is.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Collective IQ is an awful metric, dude.

  • Jmaie||

    Because you don't agree with the concept or because it leads to uncomfortable policy discussions?

    No snark intended and am genuinely interested in your opinion.

  • mad_kalak||

    To me, it's a bad metric (even though I posted it to show David B. he was wrong) because the in-group variation is so large that you can't individually judge people by their group membership/nationality, even though the between group variation is large enough to be measurable.

    That said, it's as useful a metric as any for lumping in with the various causes of why some nations/societies are more successful than others.

  • ||

    Nobody ever claimed it was fair to judge individual people by their group membership. However, if disparate results are going to be used as prime facie evidence of racism/discrimination, it's fair to use collective IQ as a rebuttal.

  • mad_kalak||

    Fair? Maybe. But not practical, because the whole basis of our judicial and constitutional system is predicated upon individual rights/responsibility. If you're going to use collective IQ as a rebuttal to disparate impact of a policy (i.e. saying XYZ is not racist), you end up having to delineate who belongs to what group, and at that point we all sound like SJW. It also leads to a handwaving away the problem with the fact that a meritocracy isn't so much a meritocracy as we'd like to believe because the winners in a system orientate the system/rules so they and their group keep all the gains.

    Better that we just not take people from shithole countries and leave it at that.

  • Sarcastr0||

    It's a bad metric because

    1) It's collective - average IQ from a country tells us nothing about an individual
    2) IQ is correlative with outcomes; it's not at all clear it's causal. Especially since there are a bunch of recent tests showing how easy it is to jink with the scores with simple psychological tricks.
    3) Switching race for nation doesn't make this any less eugenics.
    4) We are talking about a policy that is needlessly cruel to children and parents and you're screwing around with how to keep our country's demographics pure?! That's not the truth, that's a failure of humanity.

  • Jmaie||

    1) Agreed, and wasn't suggesting that it did.
    2) I think it's more causal than you'd like to admit, but that's not relevant to why I asked
    3) I mentioned neither race nor nationality. And for what it's worth, I view eugenics as a descriptor - it's not controversial to say that intelligent parents tend to produce smart children.
    4) I am not worried in the least about the country's demographics, there is more than one hapa kid carrying my DNA. And you'll note I've expressed no support for the policy.

    So, on to the meat...

    I'm skeptical that population IQ's are accurate, differing metrics and all. So to say that Mexico has an average IQ of 85 is unpersuasive - I know individuals in that range and a nation of such would not function very well. (And to head off the expected responses, there are a lot of far worse places around the globe.)

    Having said that, it seems likely that a majority of border crossers come from the lower half of the cognitive scale - Mexican doctors and lawyers are probably happy where they are. Is it fair to exclude groups for this reason? Maybe not on an individual level but from a policy perspective I think it's a valid topic of discussion. Given the current need for manual laborers it hardly makes sense to add to the existing pool.

    Cheers.

  • ||

    Truth hurt?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    David, I endorse your plan to exchange white baby boomer progressives for young illegals. Given the progressives whining about 'white privilege' they should be fighting to be first in line for deportation in favor of Latino foreigners.

  • JoeB||

    You cannot create a special class. Most of those you let in this way will congregate in large crowded cities with dense public benefits, and there is no way you can forcefully distribute them to underpopulated areas. More generally, these are not asylum-seekers. They seek benefits provided by taxpayers. You fantasize about a society with endless benefits and no cost. The accusation of socialism directed at you is valid, and your pathetic attempt to equate that with border security is hogwash.

  • fatcyst||

    Cool it with the facts bro. You cant expect Bremer to argue honestly anyway.

  • ||

    Exactly.

  • David Bremer||

    Oh please you two. All your claimed "facts" are just baseless opinions of crotchety old racists.

    The claim about cities being too crowded is bogus. Most cities actually had greater populations in the 50s and 60s. And infrastructure can be improved. Cities have plenty of room for more development.

    The link to IQ showed what it was by country. But it's a leap to say that those totals are driven by genetics (versus, say, pre-natal care, early childhood education, urban versus villages or nomadic lifestyles). And an additional step to impute national average IQ to people leaving an area. For example, a story today reported that Mississippi has an average IQ of 94 (versus 104 for Massachusetts). Should we prohibit Mississippians from moving to Boston to preserve the gene pool?

    Look, you guys want to feel good sitting around in MAGA hats feeling superior because you hit a birth lottery and were born in the U.S., fine. But it doesn't give you the right to punish families (and particularly children) because you look down on anyone not smart enough to choose to be born to American parents.

  • ||

    First, Mississippi's average IQ is lower because 40% of its population is black (American blacks have an average IQ of 85). Second, you're right, we don't have the right to punish people who are not born to American parents. That said, not allowing them entry into America is not "punishing" them, any more than you are "punishing" some random stranger on the street by not giving him money. Third, our cities absolutely are too crowded. They might have had more in the 50s and 60s, but they didn't have a huge suburban population commuting in at the same time. We have way more total people in each metro area.

  • mad_kalak||

    Everyone born into the developed word, black, white or asian, hit the genetic lottery. As did anyone who was born recently instead of during the Black Death, or for that matter, anyone born into an intact family with all four limbs. The point you're trying to make that we OWE other people access to America isn't really a point, but rather a just an observation about human existence. If anything, the people in other counties owe it to themselves and their ancestors to make their countries as wonderful as ours.

    Moreover, your ignorance of IQ research is about as large and broad as can be. You can't take a baby from the lowest average IQ country in the world and raise them in Japan, the highest IQ country in the world, and see anything more than perhaps a one standard deviation change (and you'd be lucky at that). It takes decades to raise, or lower, the average. What you may be referring to is the Flynn Effect. Look it up.

    90 seems to be about the number that correlates with a functioning society, but above 130 the individuals do not socialize well with others, and the tests break down in their ability to measure intelligence at about 140 anyway. So yea, I'd be happy with Mississippians moving to Massachusetts, they would make the place better!

  • Mark22||

    Intent to comply with US immigration laws is a prerequisite for being granted US visas. People who have entered the US illegally (and that's who we are talking about here) have already demonstrated that they are ineligible for B-2 or similar visas.

  • m1shu||

    " ...almost 2000 children were torn from their parents..."

    Torn, ripped, etc. I'm growing weary of the violent imagery of the phrasing. Are there reported cases of missing limbs, blood loss? No. Now the arguments against policy based on the law is fine. Just don't try to manipulate me. Democrats who are against this policy love using the this violent phrasing support abortion where children are literally ripped from the mother.

  • David Bremer||

    Yes, yes, I'm sure most parents just hand their kids over in a friendly and voluntary manner. As if Uncle Sam is the friendly neighborhood babysitter. A babysitter that places the kids in detention centers or with foster parents that the birth parents don't know and can't freely reach.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Then they probably shouldn't come here illegally if they find those outcomes distasteful. It's like that old Groucho Marx joke.

  • David Bremer||

    Wait, now I'm confused. Above, it wasn't happening. They weren't being ripped; they were being politely relocated to everyone's pleasure. Now, I'm told that, yes, we are ripping kids away to teach those evil foreigners a lesson.

  • Nige||

    You were going to think this policy was bad but then someone used a word.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    I saw one last week where it was claimed that they pulled a breastfeeding infant off his mother's breast while she was feeding him.

  • Nige||

    I saw one this morning that claimed Democrats were responsible for this policy that was enacted by Trump with Republicans in control of both Houses can you believe that shit?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're confused Nig. This all stems from Obama. In a sea of Obama's failures, it will take Trump some time to make all of America great again.

    You're probably too stupid to understand that.

  • Nige||

    You sound like a religious zealot.

  • wreckinball||

    First of all they are illegal aliens not "migrants". So the problem is that catch and release which keeps the family together is pointless. They never come back for a hearing. I mean ASTONISHING right? Duhhh

    So Ilya or whatever the dumbass Reason writer of the day is, come up with something that works and is just not a way to continue to ignore the law.

    An idea, would be 24/7 courts distributed along the border. You come in illegally then you AND the kids go starlight to court and then back on the boat back to Mexico.

  • Mark22||

    An idea, would be 24/7 courts distributed along the border. You come in illegally then you AND the kids go starlight to court and then back on the boat back to Mexico.

    Asylum decisions on the border are made fairly quickly; the only way people get separated for a long time from their kids is they you are charged with a felony or if they contest a negative asylum decision.

  • WJack||

    In any event, parents who expose a child to being "torn away" probably are not great parents. Who can say the "torn away" child's situation in life has not been improved?.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    Yes, you are right, big governments know what is best for people.

  • M.L.||

    Right -- the law doesn't require prosecution of illegal border crossing, just like it doesn't require prosecution of murder, or Manafort, or some fevered delusion of criminal collusion with Russia. Because prosecutorial discretion.

    That's Somin's brilliant insight here. What a joke.

    Of course, Obama separated and detained children too. We didn't hear a peep, because Democrats and Somin don't actually care. They just want something to decry Trump over.

    Of course, many of these opportunistic law breakers only bring children with them because they thought it would give them an edge in our broken and weak system, and the children aren't even necessarily their own.

    If Democrats really wanted to solve this issue, they would entertain the grand compromise reforms that Trump has supported and the family separation issue could be easily solved. But they don't want that. They literally want to hold children and DACA recipients hostage for political leverage.

    But Somin suggests the country should just dissolve the borders, as he thinks this is moral. No, it is immoral and self-interested. If Somin were a construction worker raising a family in El Paso surrounded by rape trees and mass cartel murders, then maybe he could be taken seriously.

  • Nige||

    'We didn't hear a peep'

    You spent Obama's presidency screeching that he was letting floods of illegal immigrants into the US and triggering white genocide. If you paused screeching long enough to hear anyone's criticisms of what he was actually doing, and of the rise and increasing awfulness of ICE, you just started screeching louder because it had nothing to do with what you wanted. I say this knowing you know this, and knowing these Trumpian lies are what you tell because you are basically sadists who enjoy the cruelty of breaking up families and the horrified responses such activities provoke.

  • M.L.||

    Not at all. I would change the law so that these "families" or purported families are not separated.

    But since this is just one tiny aspect of a broadly broken immigration system with many more such issues, I would do this as part of a comprehensive immigration reform, similar to that Trump has supported.

    What do you think?

  • Nige||

    I would say that any linking of 'reform' with 'Trump' is de facto bad faith since this is his policy and he's the one that's doing it and escalating it so mildly supporting this not happening while supporting Trump is utter lying cowardice.

  • Sarcastr0||

    This isn't a law, it's a new Trump policy. Sessions says as much.

    This is as unfactual as you've ever been.

  • M.L.||

    You both seem confused. Here is the issue:

    By court order, ICE cannot detain the children with their families. Instead, they are released to a licensed child care facility (assuming no family available).

    But, we cannot enforce the border without detaining the adults.

    Congress can easily fix this dilemma along with the many others posed by our dysfunctional and detrimental immigration system.

  • Nige||

    There's no confusion. This is a policy, deliberately pursued by Trump, supported by you.

  • M.L.||

    His only policy is to enforce the law on illegal border crossing.

    However, because of lawsuits by left-wing activists and rulings by left wing judges, there is a legal requirement that if you are going to detain adults as necessary to enforce the law, you will have to place some of the children in child care facilities. This has been exacerbated by the efforts of human traffickers seeking to exploit the system.

    So, no, Trump did not create a policy to separate children from their purported parents.

  • Sarcastr0||

    This is not mandated by law. It is an administrative policy. A new one. There was no one saying the old way was illegal except Sessions decided it was. That's not law, that's executive policy.

    One that John Kelley talked about in 2017 as a deterrent.
    ----------
    Plus, read the comments of your fellows, slavering that this makes illegals yet more miserable. This is a policy, and one Trump's people approve of.

    Good luck with that.

  • M.L.||

    Sarc, You're more unhinged from fact and logic than usual.

    Have you reviewed the details of the 2015 ruling which greatly expanded the Flores settlement, and which requires children to be released after 20 days? As an aside, in reviewing these matters it is really striking how hard and how long the open borders zealots have been working on their underhanded schemes.

    Anyway, there is indeed a new Trump policy. That policy is to end the practice of "catch and release" and to prosecute illegal border crossers, rather than releasing them into the country in what amounts to a de facto open borders policy.

    The problem is, they can't detain the kids. So they either have to "release" them to the child care facilities while detaining the adults, or they have to release the whole gang and go back to de facto open borders. This part isn't a new Trump policy, but it is something they will be glad to change legislatively.

    Here's a fairly helpful article, since you don't know what you're talking about and the media coverage has been horrendously biased.

  • Nige||

    It's a policy. Not a law. Own it, you fucking coward.

  • gimmedatribeye||

    Your phony moral posturing and outrage is laughable, fake internet tough guy. Dropping F bombs doesn't make you smart nor does it make your point any more valid. It just makes you sound like classless, mongoloid, trash...which you are. Your zeal and fervor when discussing these issues comes not from compassion for children and families but from a desire to harp on anything you can that this administration does in order to "resist". Your claims have been refuted over and over by other posters yet you continue to double down with your rhetoric.

  • M.L.||

    If the migrants are are really fleeing circumstances of extreme poverty, starvation and brutal violence, then the child care facilities will be like a nice vacation and reprieve, regardless of the temporary separation from the random adult who accompanied them who probably isn't their parent.

  • M.L.||

    So, first, left-wing activists protested against children being detained in immigration centers, and they won in court.

    Now, left-wing activists are protesting the separation of families that resulted from their previous efforts.

    Next we will be back at the beginning?

  • JonFrum||

    Don't separate families - just deport the lot on the spot. There, fixed.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    That would be best.

  • Kevin47||

    No, separating kids isn't new. The hoops non-Libertarians have to jump through to label this as the new Holocaust without acknowledging they tacitly supported the new Holocaust 18 months ago are absurd. This didn't bother you until Trump did it, and that says something about you.

  • tkamenick||

    I don't agree with current immigration policy (on either the law side or the enforcement side), but despite that... we separate criminals from their children literally all the time. It's not fair to the innocent kids, no, but that doesn't mean we make things convenient for their law-breaking parents.

  • Glennn||

    I wish you wouldn't conflate Asylum seekers from plain old economic migration. In this paragraph

    Most of the undocumented migrants entering the United States with their minor children are fleeing violence, abuse, oppression, dire poverty, or other terrible conditions. The laws that bar their entry are largely based on immutable conditions similar to race: who their parents were, or where they were born. The US may not be responsible for the awful conditions these people are fleeing. But if we forcibly deport them back to places where they are likely to face oppression, privation, and often even death, we become complicit in the wrongs they suffer.

    You make it sound that the laws against illegal migration uniformly force people back to places where the may face persecution. While most are obviously leaving poor conditions of poverty and lack of education and opportunity for greener pastures in the U.S. not all, nor even most illegal entrants would qualify for asylum. I think you cheapen your argument when you do this.

  • M.L.||

    To Somin they are all asylum cases.

    If they can improve their economic condition by coming here, that's a human right in Somin's mind, regardless of detriment to Americans. Come here, take a landscaping job that would have gone to your high school student. Suppress working class wages by flooding the market, overwhelm public services and take some welfare out of your paycheck. All human rights.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    "The US may not be responsible for the awful conditions these people are fleeing. But if we forcibly deport them back to places where they are likely to face oppression, privation, and often even death, we become complicit in the wrongs they suffer."

    No, we're not. And we send aid to most of these countries where these illegals cone from. So we already pay to help them. Maybe they should start helping themselves and fix their own damn countries.

  • vaadu||

    Reason's argument doesn't hold water. Every adult coming across the border illegally knows, KNOWS this is the consequence if they get caught. This is no different than if the parent(s) get caught sticking up a liquor store, criminals don't get to take their kids to jail.

    If the parents don't want their kids taken away while the case is adjudicated then don't come here illegally. Maybe this will be an incentive for them to use the legal process instead.

  • ||

    The liberal position on this issue is disgusting.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Unfortunately, we also have fake republicans like Paul Ryan that want a big amnesty. What this country really needs is an AG that will start putting all these corrupt demcorats in prison, and become the tip of the spear for McCarthyism 2.0. Problems like immigration all stem from the millions of free range marxists (the hardcore progressives) within our borders. They're still shredding this country from the inside, even though they lost the last election big.

    We also need to start charging Althea's sanctuary city officials with federal crimes, and surely many of these so called 'reporters' are legitimately guilty of sedition.

    All should be destroyed for their actions.

  • ||

    Basically. White liberal Marxists use immigration as a means to an end, which is their electoral control. The tree of liberty is very thirsty right now.

  • Nige||

    Pair of fucking fascists right here.

  • ||

    I assume you were looking in the mirror?

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Yes, Nig, you are.is your groggy boyfriend standing next to you while you look in the mirror.

  • Nige||

    Hey, I'm not the one advocating the criminilsation of opposing political viewpoints and gleefully anticipating a nice juicy bit of mass murder of people with different political views!

    'Are you looking int he mirror with your boyfriend' Jesus, you're infantilised.

  • kramartini||

    Iyla Somin's by-line long ago became a trigger warning. We always know what he is going to say, which is that he cares a lot and therefore is morally superior to those who take opposing positions to his.

    His writings would be better suited to a journal entitled Emotion, rather than Reason....

  • swood1000||

    According to the, Dept. of Homeland Security, people who attempt to enter the country illegally are committing a federal crime under 8 U.S. Code § 1325, illegal entry, and are referred to the DOJ for criminal proceedings. After conviction if they indicate a wish to leave the country then the family is reunited and it leaves.

    If, instead, the parents claim a right to immigrate, they are detained by ICE during immigration proceedings. If minor children accompanied them HHS locates a sponsor to care for the children. In Fiscal Year 2017, 90 percent of the children were released to a sponsor who was either a parent or close relative. Is this barbarous?

    What is the best alternative? Should we release illegal immigrants and their families and hope that they show up at their immigration hearing? Apparently, the government is not allowed to hold unaccompanied children for more than 20 days and a ruling by the 9th Circuit extends this to children who come as part of a family unit, so the children under current law can't be detained with the parents. Presumably Congress could change this. What should we do with the kids?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Just kick them all out.

  • Echospinner||

    I had thought that a libertarian based argument along economic and legal lines would work. I was wrong about that.

    What is happening is morally indefensible. Using children as hostages cannot be defended in any way. That is what is happening.

    Time for action on this. Enough bullshit.

    I am a libertarian. I stand against current government policy and law on immigration.

  • ImanAzol||

    Illegals are criminals. Traditionally, children are separated from their criminal parents, and from the other criminals who may be incarcerated with their criminal parents.

    This article is crap.

  • rferris||

    So you are against the parents using their children as hostages in order to game the immigration system??

  • fatcyst||

    David Hogg, is that you?

  • ImanAzol||

    Illegals are criminals. Traditionally, children are separated from their criminal parents, and from the other criminals who may be incarcerated with their criminal parents.

    This article is crap.

  • Lee Moore||

    As philosopher Michael Huemer explains the situation the situation is akin to one where we use force to prevent starving people from buying food they need to survive.

    Michael Huemer and his sophistry put in their traditional cameo appearances in Prof Somin's own more extensive sophistry. Huemer's hypothetical is not analogous to illegal immigration for numerous reasons. The most obvious, of course, is that immigrants from Central America are not in imminent danger of death (even if they were in danger of death in the country they started from, which they usually weren't) and are not attempting to engage in a private voluntary commercial transaction with anybody. They are trying to get into the US illegally. A better analogy would be – preventing someone (lots of someones) marching through your yard to get to the movie theatre. When there's a perfectly good road around your yard, and plenty of other movie theatres to boot.

  • XM||

    According to the article, the Flores settlement only mandates that

    (1) the kids have to be placed in the least restrictive manner and treated with respect.

    (2) the have to released to the family as soon as possible.

    If I reading this correctly, the court decision still mandates that families have to be separated if the administration chooses to charge undocumented aliens (caught near the border) in a certain way. Whether you believe these kids are held in "harsh detention center" depends on your perspective. We're giving them 3 square meals a day, reasonable accommodation, and even an education. But if you've been separated from your parent, even Disneyland might feel gloomy.

    The linked NY article says the Flores settlement allows 3 options, and Trump took the third one. This isn't old policy. Families were almost certainly "broken up" in this way under other administrations. It just wasn't the default policy.

  • M.L.||

    The old policy was to "catch and release" them into the US, never to be seen again. De facto open borders.

    The new policy is to prosecute and not release, and the Flores settlement was greatly expanded by a 2015 ruling, which creates a situation where they either have to go back to de facto open borders or they have to "release" the children to a licensed child care facility.

  • rferris||

    incentives matter! If you can cut the number of illegal immigrants with this policy, then why is it bad? As long as the illegals know this is the price you pay, it is their choice. All the moral hand-wringing is misplaced as no other criminal activity do you get to stay with your family.
    This policy was put in place and used during Obama's term only the media did not inform us of the horrible policy because it was their guy's policy. Now with Trump the outrage can begin...................amazing how none of the lefties mind being manipulated in this way.
    It is like selling peace symbol jewelry, stickers and the like. It does not matter what wars are going on, peace stuff only sells well when we have a Republican president. and the media is all up in arms demonizing the administration. Surprising since all USA wars in the last 100 years except Iraq and Afghanistan were started by Democrats.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    But, are we separating these children from their actual parents, or faux-parents who are using the children for camouflage?
    Perhaps it would me more fair, and humane, to just put these "family units" onto buses bound for Mexico City, and let "Los Pinos" deal with it.

  • XM||

    I'm hearing that most of these kids have come with complete strangers who were paid by their parents to accompany them.

  • Thor||

    I for one enjoy seeing these pictures everyday. I know that the word will spread. The would be criminal aliens back home might see these images and think twice about coming here. After a lengthy separation, the children and parents can be reunited back in their home countries and tell everyone the fate the met at the hands of the good people they would have victimized with their criminal acts. We are not the worlds door mat.

  • ||

    The next step is to retroactively strip of citizenship everyone who attained it after 1965 who would not have qualified under the National Origins Act regime that existed from 1924-1965.

  • Thor||

    I have a dream...

  • ||

    Seriously.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Anyone with marxist associations should also be stripped of citizenship.

  • ||

    Absolutely. McCarthy was a hero, and the left's smearing of him today is just more subterfuge.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Thoughtcrime enforcement can only end in awesome.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Marxists generally engage in marxist activity. Which is treason.

  • Jmaie||

    I think we're past the "what if" stage and well into the "I guess we'll find out" phase.

  • mad_kalak||

    Dude, that's just plain-ass dumb. I get that you're a race realist, but think through the application of such a plan, let alone the backlash.

  • ||

    You see, I see a backlash as a good thing. I want to break America into two countries. Anything that foments racial tension speeds that up, and is therefore a good thing.

  • mad_kalak||

    Thing is, there is a broad range of people who got citizenship under the 1965 Act, even if most were from the 3rd world. There is no real connection between what you advocate as a policy, and what your intended result is, racial tension, because you assume that one race will disproportionately be affected and blame the other. You have to demonstrate that latter bit.

    Let's continue that thought experiment though. Is your proposed policy to make break America apart to create two ethnostates, one white and one black?

  • ||

    But as you said, most were from the 3rd world, so there is a connection between my policy and what the result it.

    Anyway, no, I don't want an ethnostate. However, a conservative America will quickly become unappealing to all non-East Asian non-whites, and they will move to the liberal America with its generous "benefits" and unearned racial preferences.

  • mad_kalak||

    "3rd world" is not a 1 to 1 exchange for "non-white." And after the fall of the Soviet Union, lots and lots of Eastern Europeans came into the U.S. under the current immigration policies.

    So if you want to create a conservative America that is unappealing to liberal America, you could keep the nation intact and merely reform the welfare state. No needless fermenting of racial tension needed. Roll back the Great Society to a safety net as opposed to a hammock and you already get 80% your preferred policy outcome. You're needlessly disruptive in your thinking and writing.

  • ||

    Of course it's not an exchange for non-white, but in no way were nations like Georgia and Poland nearly as bad as Somalia and El Salvador are. The former still had functioning societies.

    Anyway, HOW do you reform the welfare state, when you have tens of millions of takers (many of whom are third world immigrants or the descendants thereof) voting for free stuff?

    We either split America into two nations, hopefully peacefully, or we have to severely restrict the franchise. Otherwise, America is done.

  • mad_kalak||

    The welfare state was somewhat restricted in the 1990s, even with a Democrat president, due to strong GOP majorities in the House and Senate who wanted it restricted because the GOP base wanted it restricted. The restriction process would be even further along today had not neo-con hawks got us involved in two wars simultaneously in the Middle East, thereby destroying the growing Republican balance of power for at least a decade.

    Moreover, I am not as pessimistic as you with regards to your take on human nature. Yes, people want "free" stuff. It's human nature. But it's also human nature to get pissed off when you see other people taking advantage of such as system. People are self-interested both ways.

    Enough with the needlessly apocalyptic pronouncements without any real evidence. The American house is not divided against itself. Moreover, since the ideological split that is there (depending on how you measure) is the city/rural & suburban divide. How the hell you going to split the country apart when the divide is not along state lines, force people to move?

    You really need to work through some of the issues.

  • ||

    The 90s electorate was much more conservative (and much whiter) than it is today. People don't like seeing people taking advantage, but since third worlders, with their low IQs, will never be paying into the system and will always depend on largesse, they don't see themselves as being "taken advantage of." Further, they are a much more "communal" culture. Look at the way they focus on their hundreds of aunts, uncles, and cousins, whereas Americans and other Westerners prioritize their immediate family.

    And yes, forced moving will be necessary.

  • mad_kalak||

    The man who will shoot at the feds when the come for the guns is all ready to get people forcibly relocated by the feds (I assume you won't be doing it, heh). Whoo-kay. Like that won't cause a shooting war.

    You're as bad as a SJW, who out of one side of his mouth says "America is racist and horrible" and out of the other side says "we need more people to come to this land of opportunity."

    As for the 90s electorate being more conservative...perhaps, depends on the issue. The electorate is on board with the 2nd Amendment in 2018 for example, but for gay rights now. But public opinion has hardly moved on the big questions.

    Lastly, I think you underestimate the effects of abortion in keeping racial minorities as minorities.

    2017, % black 13.3%
    1990, % black 12.1%
    1980, % black 11.7%

    2017, % white 76.9%
    1990, % white 80.3%
    1980, % white 83.1%

  • mad_kalak||

    2017, % Asian 5.7%
    1990, % Asian 2.9%
    1980, % Asian, 1.5%

    Basically, according to census trends "white only" is being replaced by Asians and mixed race kids, but not to the effect you think they are.

  • ||

    First, I don't mean "forced" meaning the feds will start shooting. I mean that people will have to move or be disenfranchised, which is ultimately what will happen.

    Second, those Census numbers are bunk, because they include mestizos from Latin Ameica as "white." Someone who is 5% of European descent and 95% of Aztec or Mayan descent is classified as "white." They're not.

  • mad_kalak||

    Who exactly are you intending to disenfranchise, if you had a magic wand that affected voting laws?

    Considering how difficult it is to amend the Constitution, this nation is not going to disenfranchise anyone. Furthermore, you re-defined your argument from "forced moved" to mean 'incentivized moving' based on the incentive of losing the vote causing the moving. That's a huge difference, and moreover, what makes you think people will move just because they lost the vote?

    Do a 5 minutes of internet research, the Census keeps track of non-hispanic whites:
    White alone % (not hispanic) 2017 - 61.3%
    White alone % (non hispanic) 1990 - 75.6%

    The "browning of America"...perhaps, depends on if you define hispanics as white or not. Historically, they have been. Like I said before, even in segregated and ante-bellum Texas hispanics had full rights and were considered white.

  • ||

    What will happen is both the left and right split up Americas will make it unpleasant enough for the remaining people that they will leave on their own. I concede that it won't be easy though.

    As for Hispanics being white, some are. However, most of those in America are not. We're not generally getting Spaniards. We're getting Aztecs and Mayans.

  • mad_kalak||

    You've not thought through even the simplest problems with your approach. And when asked how you would deal with them, you dodge or demure or handwave. I'm taking you more seriously than anyone else on this board too.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    That trend needs to be reversed.

  • mad_kalak||

    It will when we limit illegal immigration, but as a byproduct of ending lawlessness and the impoverishment of the American worker. WASP demographics is not a winning issue, nor are immigrants responsible for WASPs not having kids at replacement level.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    even in segregated and ante-bellum Texas hispanics had full rights

    Yeah, that's not accurate. Nor was it accurate in a lot of other places with significant Hispanic populations.

  • billdeserthills||

    These immigrants are welcome to take their kids and leave the US anytime they like--They aren't complaining so why is anyone else?

  • D_rwc||

    YES 10/10

  • Kenrm||

    The parents knew this when they crossed the USA southern border illegally. Why didn't those seeking refuge from South American countries just stop in Mexico? Mexico let them into their country..

  • Voize of Reazon||

    When Clinton criticized Trump for claiming massive personal tax losses after losing other people's money in his failed real estate business, his response was "If you don't like what I did, you should've changed the laws."

    In search of advantage Trump's limit is whatever he can get away with. I wish it surprised me that this philosophy includes holding children hostage for his immigration agenda. At least he can't waterboard them.

  • fatcyst||

    Wow, so deep.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Voice, it's funny to hear some broke dick like you dish about Trump's business acumen. You don't even understand his business hostelry, outside of MSNBC soundbites and Media Matters talking points.

  • Jmaie||

    "At least he can't waterboard them."

    Says who???

  • D_rwc||

    The basic fallacy in the 'separation' argument is that these children belong to these people. We have NO idea if these invaders are truly the parents of these children. Many years ago coyotes learned that if you have a kid with you it's 'catch and release' and they told their customers as much.

    Why don't we know if these are truly parents, or simply kidnappers? THEY ARE UNDOCUMENTED.

    It's pretty simple; if you are going to invade a foreign country don't bring your kids.

  • D_rwc||

    Sarge: OK boys this is it... D-Day. We are invading Normandy. SMITH! Is that your child?!?

    Smith: Yes sergeant! I don't think the Germans will mind if I bring her along. It's not like they'll shoot at her... Right?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Another spirited meeting of Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted Immigration Policies and Practices.

    Ride the immorality all the way to political irrelevance, clingers. Then you'll have even more of this damned progress, reason, science, and tolerance to mutter bitterly about.

  • ||

    Yeah, I see a lot of progress, reason, science and tolerance in Guatemala, Brazil, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico and the other failed Latin American sh*tholes.

  • fatcyst||

    Hopefully we'll get voter ids to ensure you never win another election.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Arty, when McCarthyism returns it will not go well for you and your fellow travelers.

  • BrotherMovesOn||

    Betting a case of soon-to-be-unexportable bourbon that Last of the Shitlords ain't an attorney.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Do I need to be? Either way, i'm at least semi-brilliant. I'm also big as life and twice as cute.

  • Reverend Draco||

    Children are separated from their criminal parents or guardians every single day.

    Shoplifters, carjackers, armed robbers, illegal aliens, tax evaders, unlicensed contractors, drunk drivers, identity thieves, et alii. . .

    How interesting that the outrage is so great when it comes to the children of one - and only one - criminal class! Almost like it's all fake outrage. . . just a bunch of lackwits vomiting nonsense because 'Drumpf iz literly Hitler!'

    Spare me your drivel.

  • fatcyst||

    CPS does it all the time and I have never seen the media + (globalist) twitter coordinate so timely against that.

    They're getting better at spreading their memos.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Oooh, parenthesis! Rare to see anti-Semitism on this vaunted Conspiracy.

  • jdd6y||

    This. The exact actions taken here would cost these "parents" their children in the US. Let me get this straight, you dragged your kid out of Honduras because your cousin texted you a script and said if you say this then you can stay in the US. Notwithstanding that you voted for the current government of Honduras, you're a refugee seeking asylum.

    Then you dragged your tiny children through Mexico, and into the desert between ports of entry, in the hopes that your scheme would work.

    People lose their kids in the USA for a shitload less egregious conduct than this.

    And, btw, where is the sympathy for all the homeless children in downtown LA, SF, and Seattle? Fuck them, right? Because they're not foreign.

  • buybuydandavis||

    "You can't detain me, I have children!"

    Still waiting for the masthead to be changed to "Feelz"

  • NicholasStix||

    For Ilya Somin, it ain't over, 'til the illegal human being wins.

  • Greg Q||

    You are completely and entirely wrong

    1: Let's be clear here: we are talking about criminal, people who attempted to illegally invade the US, and when caught, made up a BS asylum claim

    If we let them in, they will not come to their hearings, they will simply laugh and continue their criminal way

    So no, the "civil approach" is about ignoring the law

    I realize you don't like the law. i don't care. You want the law changed, get a new law passed. The playing of the "prosecutorial discretion" game is an assault on the rule of law

    2: If these parents down't want to be separated from their children, they are free not to claim asylum. Then they will be be quickly expelled with their kids

    3; The people who elected Trump, and the people like me who didn't vote for him, but now support him, are done with the games. We have immigration laws, it's time to enforce them

    You want to come to America? Come legally. It's our country, we owe you nothing, we get to decide who comes in and who doesn't

    Three cheers for Trump for doing the right thing here. Here's hoping he continues to hold firm, and reject everything that comes from people whose actual agenda is open borders

  • Duelles||

    Bummer for immigrants crossing the border illegally. . . With children. When all the facts are sorted out there are different treatments of these "refuge seekers". The rhetoric from both parties for the past dozen or so years seem to be what Trumps admin is doing now or continuing to do on an increased basis. The emotions run very high on this issue and might better be discarded for some truth from the news people. Cover the whole story morons! Immigrants are being used for PR and that is the repulsive thing happening.

  • Duelles||

    Bummer for immigrants crossing the border illegally. . . With children. When all the facts are sorted out there are different treatments of these "refuge seekers". The rhetoric from both parties for the past dozen or so years seem to be what Trumps admin is doing now or continuing to do on an increased basis. The emotions run very high on this issue and might better be discarded for some truth from the news people. Cover the whole story morons! Immigrants are being used for PR and that is the repulsive thing happening.

  • Duelles||

    Bummer for immigrants crossing the border illegally. . . With children. When all the facts are sorted out there are different treatments of these "refuge seekers". The rhetoric from both parties for the past dozen or so years seem to be what Trumps admin is doing now or continuing to do on an increased basis. The emotions run very high on this issue and might better be discarded for some truth from the news people. Cover the whole story morons! Immigrants are being used for PR and that is the repulsive thing happening.

  • Michael D Baker||

    I have been a student of immigration and naturalization law for over 30 years and applaud your balanced and well reasoned articles on controversial issues. I find that your historical synthesis is fair and accurate and your posts should be required reading in immigration law classrooms throughout the country.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    You win the prize for Wokest Comment today.
    Huzzah.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm not one to question, but I was expecting a link to buy hats online or something.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    "MAO: MORE THAN EVER!!"...?
    Something like that?

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    I'm pretty sure Arthur is V-P in charge of merch.

  • Tionico||

    I have read that a signficant number of minor children apprehended in the attempt to invade the US are not related to any of the adults whom they accompany. Can you locate any reliable statistics on THAT?

    How about the number of individuals claiming to be minor children who are NOT, but are, in far too many cases, adults in their late teens or well into their twenties? Nimbers, please?

    WHY is it that over these past few years (uhmm, if memory serves aright, since about the time that kinyun chap was somehow made our president) it is suddenly necessary for us to freely allow anyone to enter and stay as long as they please....... with NO attempt to vet these individuals, verify age, identity, mission... HOW is it that of a sudden we MUST remove the gate from the hinges and let in anyone who wishes to enter? WHAT other nation on this planet does that, other than possibly Germany, France, Somalia, oh and maybe Sweden still does that?
    And WHY IS IT that reports of physical violence against normal people continue to increase, to the point where in a town in Maine families will not allow their children to go to a certain park, one man has been shot and killed, numerous families refuse to allow their children to roam freely as they had done not so long ago, for fear that their children would become

  • ||

    This is the world liberals desire for us. I recommend anyone living in a free state to be armed all the time. I personally always carry a Glock 19 with an extra mag, so I have 31 rounds to deal with these violent third world suppliers of diversity.

  • The_Hoser||

    Two women were rescued from the middle of the Rio Grande this weekend. One of them had two children with her, ages 1 and 3. The other had three children, ages 11, 12 and 14, and none of them were related to her,

    I am not sure which is worse - the woman apparently trying to sneak in three teenagers, or the mother who put two toddlers in the middle of a swift current.

  • Tionico||

    I have read that a signficant number of minor children apprehended in the attempt to invade the US are not related to any of the adults whom they accompany. Can you locate any reliable statistics on THAT?

    How about the number of individuals claiming to be minor children who are NOT, but are, in far too many cases, adults in their late teens or well into their twenties? Nimbers, please?

    WHY is it that over these past few years (uhmm, if memory serves aright, since about the time that kinyun chap was somehow made our president) it is suddenly necessary for us to freely allow anyone to enter and stay as long as they please....... with NO attempt to vet these individuals, verify age, identity, mission... HOW is it that of a sudden we MUST remove the gate from the hinges and let in anyone who wishes to enter? WHAT other nation on this planet does that, other than possibly Germany, France, Somalia, oh and maybe Sweden still does that?
    And WHY IS IT that reports of physical violence against normal people continue to increase, to the point where in a town in Maine families will not allow their children to go to a certain park, one man has been shot and killed, numerous families refuse to allow their children to roam freely as they had done not so long ago, for fear that their children would become

  • Sarcastr0||

    It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate about age and numbers and accompaniment and hoaxes!
    Because if we don't separate families, it's basically an open border!

    No other post shows more how these aren't arguments, this is people wanting what they want and rationalizing it however they can.

  • Jmaie||

    Hmmm, your second sentence could easily be used as an argument in favor of the separation policy. Or at least a rebuttal of a rebuttal...

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate about age and numbers and accompaniment and hoaxes!

    So, progressives are no longer in favor of vetting people who enter the country, is that your hot take now?

  • vek||

    Sorry, I have no feelz left to give these people. If we'd been properly enforcing the law for the last few decades it never would have turned into a massive problem like it has... But since it is a big shit show now, we have to step things up and do whatever we can to discourage it. I am part beaner myself on my moms side, and I say fuck all these people and send them all back home. Maybe if they all worked on fixing their own countries they wouldn't have to leave by the millions to come to mine.

  • Anarchist||

    Have your child accompany you into the bank that you rob at gunpoint then complain about your child being separated from you once the authorities arrive. That's the whole premise of this ridiculous article.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    But....but...: TRUMP!

  • Sarcastr0||

    Don't be facile; this isn't a but Trump situation. Illegal immigrant advocates are angry at Obama too, and if they had a story like this, it'd be pushed just as much.

    Also, not sure what your comment has to do with an analogy between illegal immigration and robbing a bank.

    I would hope you admit that there's something of a moral gulf between the two acts.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Ok
    Change robbing a bank to driving drunk.
    It doesn't matter to the child or to Child Services: either mommy is in jail or she isn't.
    Again, if you are saying "catch and release", then say it proudly.

  • Nige||

    Change it to a misdemeanour.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    Question for all the commenters here supporting these separations. Forget about immigration for a bit. If a small child were suffering, and it was within your power to help that child, would you do it? If you became aware that the child's parent broke a law, would you conclude that small child deserves to suffer?

  • ||

    There are billions of children suffering all over the world at any given time, and if my "help" hurt my own children, then, no, i would not do it.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    I was actually talking about your children.

  • ||

    No, your post said "a small child." Not "your small child."

  • Nige||

    You carry a 20 Mumblemeter Glokky Butteretta with .67565676567765 pointy rounds to shoot small children you suspect might be suffering because their suffering might hurt your trillion dollar economy.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Nig, its progressives like you that cause children to die.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Did this get linked somewhere? There were some enthusiastic usual suspects trying to spin, but fewer than usual (albeit more enthusiastic)

    But holy crap, the comments today. No more spin. Just dehumanization on parade.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    God it's hard to imagine the burden of being Sarcastro, forced to walk down the street supporting that halo on his head.

    This is precisely why Trump will be easily re-elected in 2020.
    No attempt at intellectual engagement, no alternate policy proposals; no attempt to say why an illegal immigrant should be given better treatment than a citizen parent who gets arrested with a child in his care.
    Just preening.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Not much to engage with when people are saying 'concentrating illegal children into camps is a good thing.'

    Surprised at you, though, Smooth - this isn't just a bad policy, it's actively mean and doesn't do much except act as a tonic to the troops.
    =================================================
    I'm also seeing some anti-Semitism and thoughtcrime comments nosing their way under the tent.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    I was a Child Services attorney for 7 years.
    I am conversant with the circumstances pursuant to which children get detained.
    Unless you are suggesting, along with Somin, that we repeal the immigration laws, I fail to see what you and Laura Bush are preening about.
    "actively mean", compared to what? Sticking a needle in someone's arm (...someone who might have a little kid at home!) and pumping poison in it?
    Is the application of the law actively "meaner" than it was 2 yrs ago?
    Were the illegal immigrant parents aware of the risks when they crossed the border?
    What PRECISELY would you have the government DO?

  • Sarcastr0||

    So you're saying there has been no change of policy?
    Or that the previous policy was contrary to the law?

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    I think administrations pick and choose at the margins, at least, which laws get enforced.
    I am nauseated by the faux outrage by people like you and Laura Bush.
    If you have a law that you think is better: propose it.
    Otherwise, as has been pointed out a dozen times on this thread, I hope the law is--more or less--that kids of illegal immigrants who get arrested are treated just like kids of a citizen who gets arrested.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I assure you, I'm actually outraged. Not as much as if I were a parent; I'm more amazed at the posters here who are performatively without empathy for these people.

    Policy proposals? What about the status quo ante?

    Our immigration system under Obama (and Trump until recently) was still a pretty inhumane system, but it has the virtues of not being this.

    The policy issue here kind of reminds me of the death penalty. Even people that are in favor of it broadly get squeamish about exactly how it's executed.
    And those that aren't are either performing or are troubling.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    This is not that hard.
    Do you object to people who are here illegally being detained?
    If so, then, if they have minor children in their care, the children have to be seen to.
    If you are advocating "catch and release" (but only (?) if kids are present), then you are effectively asking that the law not be enforced, because what is the penalty for failure to appear at the hearing?

  • Sarcastr0||

    This sure seems harder than you think, since the previous administration, numerous courts, and this administration for at least a couple of years seem to disagree with you. Plus this administration admits it has agendas beyond following the written law.

    Past performance is proof this is not a legal inevitability, and that your concern with a failure to appear scenario is largely speculative.

    As has been argued and upheld in court many times, the executive has broad discretion on how to follow and prioritize immigration laws.
    This is entirely on Trump and Sessions.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Yes: vigorously enforcing the immigration laws--which is something Trump specifically promised to do--is a policy choice.
    If you don't like it run a better candidate in 2020.
    If the administration is violating the law, file a lawsuit and get an injunction.

  • Sarcastr0||

    This is a lame fallback, Smooth. 'OK, it's not a legal requirement, but you lost the election so you have no standing to be unhappy.'

    What the hell?!

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    'OK, it's not a legal requirement, but you lost the election so you have no standing to be unhappy.'

    So, in your opinion, elections should only have consequences when a Democrat wins?

  • Sarcastr0||

    And none of those consequences are or should be the end of criticism of bad policies.

    Did you all stop criticizing Obama when he won but did stuff you didn't like?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    And none of those consequences are or should be the end of criticism of bad policies

    That didn't seem to be Obama's take at the time.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I dont want them put into camps. I want them sent home with their family.

  • Nige||

    The alternative to breaking up families like this is to not break up families like this. I don't know what sort of intellectual engagement is possible with people who think Trump doesn't lie, he just makes up new stuff that isn't true.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    So you, along with Somin, are arguing for open borders.
    Ok.
    But you are a long way from getting a majority of Congress to agree with you.

  • Nige||

    Don't be a fucking idiot. 'Intellectual engagement' my arse. I'm old enough to remember when you would never have used such a bad-faith excluded-middle gambit. Mediocre.

  • Jmaie||

    I must, ask, this being a blog devoted to legal matters and populated (mostly) by those capable of quality debate, what exactly are you expecting to accomplish here? Insult and moral preening are unlikely to change minds. Personally I do find the (occasional) use of profanity to be cathartic - but only in person as your opposite's reaction is necessary to the experience. Written profanity lacks the same punch...

    Cheers.

  • ||

    It appears that the Code of the United States has defined "Unaccompanied alien child" and the law required action for such since 1997 and 2002.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/6/279

  • ||

    Ilya Somin of Reason.com lies. Reason.com is party to that lie. They both 'bear false witness against the neighbors' that being us, the USA republic and its citizens.

    Ilya Somin of Reason.com, just who do you think that can work out for you?

  • ||

    Reason.com's reason to be has become a lie.
    I will only read your lies know when I want to know what the domestic enemies of our US republic are doing so as to fight them more effectively.

  • Sarcastr0||

    You sure do seem a badass holy warrior, with your invoking the Bible and calling people who disagree with you domestic enemies.

  • BILKER||

    I agree. reason has become a huffpost wanna be. It wants to be a main stream media outlet so badly it is now corrupting itself.
    BTW; F*CK DENIRO

  • M.L.||

    Democrats just want to replace Americans with newcomers that will vote for their socialist and globalist agendas. They've been working on these schemes for a long time - the rule here dates back to their litigation in the 90s and is a ruse to facilitate open borders.

    Here's the Washington Post's resident "conservative" Jennifer Rubin and the Washington Post's newly minted columnist, the foaming at the mouth neocon globalist Max Boot:

    "If only we could keep the hard-working Latin American newcomers and deport the contemptible Republican cowards — that would truly enhance America's greatness." Link

  • ||

    And that's why they want us disarmed and silenced. Anything that gets in the way of their one-world government needs to be suppressed.

  • M.L.||

    It's quite a revelation to see the breadth and intensity of their efforts, and the willingness to be patient and play the long game. Their ferocity, cunning and commitment must be matched and exceeded by patriots. I don't know if the tide can be turned against them, but the truth is they are weak right now, lashing out like a wounded animal.

  • ||

    I think it can. We have all of the arms and all of the training. Most of the "progressives" in the city have no idea how to fix anything, grow their own food, or do anything for their own survival. Yes, they can go to work moving money around by day and having gay sex and abortions by night. But that's about it.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    It's just so amusing how powerful and important the progressives think they are. When the simple fact is that once we have had enough of them they will be wiped off the map in short order.

    They only exist because we generously allow it.

  • ||

    Exactly. Within 3 or 4 days, they'd be starving and without clean water or energy.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And considering it takes six of them to beat up an old woman, I'm guessing they have little capacity for a real fight.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Do not go down this crazy path. There is no long game. There is no ferocity and cunning in the Democratic Party.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    I disagree to the extent that I believe the left and the legacy media BELIEVE that they are cunning.
    Otherwise, yes, nothing special...Republican in the White House...Economy doing ok...let's talk about homelessness or The Children.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The media doesn't think they are cunning; they don't have a long game or agenda to be cunning about.
    Similarly, politicians don't have that kind of time horizon. Though they do all think they're the second coming of Lyndon Johnson. Until they get into office. Let me tell you - the vast majority are miserable on the Hill. At least in the House.

    ML is weaving some paranoid secret war narrative that ends in alienation at best.

  • M.L.||

    See below. I'm not referring to Democrats or Republicans or politicians or the media generally, though all of those groups include some useful idiots from time to time as well as some who are more interested in the long term success of their worldviews.

  • M.L.||

    I'm not talking about Democrats generally, a lot of them are my friends. I'm just stating the obvious about influential fringe elements that doggedly pursue their agendas of open borders, globalist governance, disarmament of the populace, tightly managed economies and crony capitalism, expansion of socialist programs, and so on.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Nope. Still crazy. Even limiting it to a shadowy subset, there is no evidence of a secret agenda. Instead, there are a bunch of disparate policy proposals of varying levels of popularity that you're painting as some unified scheme.

    Most of this is deja-vu of anti-Semitic theories with Jews replaced with Globalists. Doesn't matter what the policy I don't like is - the Globalists are why some people seem to like it!!

  • M.L.||

    Cute. But I am not talking about any kind of secret agenda, just a well established and openly stated one.

  • Nige||

    Actually since the right has turned rabidly anti-immigrant and openly white nationalist, it's merely stating the obvious truth that no immigrant, descendant of a recent immigrants or person of colour is likely to vote for Republicans. The obvious way to win them over would be to stop being rabidly anti-immigrant and openly white nationalist, but you'd prefer to accuse them of being devious and crooked.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Stupid progtard is stupid. Puking out the progtarded pablum its progtarded masters puke into it's mouth.

    Not capable of the lightest bit of independent thought, are you Nig?

  • miketol||

    When all else fails: make it about the kidz.

    This is like when local politicians want to pass a new property tax levy. A person who is already paying 2 to 3 grand a year on a 3 bedroom house isn't thrilled about their taxes going up another hundred a year. So it gets sold as "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"

    Main street America isn't too thrilled about open borders. So now the open borders crowd is going to make it about the children.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Well, the Mrs Lovejoy act does divert attention away from the IG report that just got released.
    Funny, is it not, how these news stories tend to cycle.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The inciting act was the Trump Admin's though.

  • Sarcastr0||

  • Nige||

    Except you've turned it into NO-ONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

  • Tony||

    Maybe dehumanizing a specific type of human and putting them in concentration camps will work this time!

    It's for the... uh, jerbs? Uh... welfare? Whatever, it's probably something we need to do for some reason!

  • ||

    Oh did the Germans only lock up people who were trying to sneak into Germany?

  • Nige||

    They were sneaky and a threat to the economy and took jobs from real Germans and bred like rabbits and they infested like vermin and they stuck together in cities and acted like animals and it was okay because it was all within the law so it isn't as if we can't see where you're going with this.

  • vek||

    Nice try. We're just deporting them back to where they belong, their actual countries of citizenship.

    There will be no Mexi-caust anytime soon. People who say stupid shit like that are just being idiots.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony, that sort of thing has worked very well for you and your fellow travelers, haven't it?

  • GeoClarke||

    Each and every child should be reunited with their parents..........on the other side of the border in Mexico

  • CA_is_doomed||

    Amen to that

  • MikeP2||

    1) This is only a topic in the news because the Dems are pushing propaganda through whatever replaced 'JournoList' in coordination of political talking points. No one wants to look at the facts or history here.
    2) The US routinely forceably removes children from the custody of citizen parents. Whether during incarceration or child-safety BS. This happens significantly more frequently then with migrants. Where is the outrage over that? oh, yeh, see #1
    3) Congress makes the laws. If they wish a different law, then it is their job to do so. An expectation of Executive selective enforcement is asinine, and the exact opposite of what a fair and just government should aspire to. Why isn't Congress being held to task on this instead of Trump. oh, yeh, see #1

  • Agnes||

    This isn't a chicken or the egg scenario - this is a chicken, then the egg scenario. No one tricked the adults into illegally crossing our borders. I do feel for the children, because regardless, they were put in a shitty situation, which no matter wrong or right, is traumatic and they don't deserve that.

    From what I'm hearing, the whole argument is that families shouldn't be torn apart. But do you know why they are torn apart? Because legally, the parents who did something illegal, are responsible for those crimes, and not the children.

    The parents are 'in jail' because they committed a crime. A crime like driving drunk, a crime like selling drugs. A crime like drunk and disorderly. A crime like resisting arrest. In all of those scenarios, if the parents were with children, the parents would go to jail and the kids would be taken by CPS until a responsible guardian claimed them. Only this time, it's a hell of a lot harder on these kids, because their relatives or a guardian have to be searched for in order to claim them. I can't imagine this information is easy to find out, or is a quick phone call. So it is traumatic. And it does suck for the kids. And it's really sad.

    But America can't save every country from itself. Americans shouldn't pay to save every country from itself. All the goddamn resources in central America and Mexico, and so many people are suffering. Why?

  • Sarcastr0||

    This is not an inevitable policy based on current law - family separation has not been the legal consequence of illegal crossing until recently.

    And illegal immigration isn't a criminal offense, is it? It's an immigration law.

  • swood1000||

    And illegal immigration isn't a criminal offense, is it? It's an immigration law.

    People who attempt to enter the country illegally are committing a federal crime under 8 U.S. Code § 1325. See this page.

    Normally, when people with children are arrested and charged with crimes the state will take custody of the children for the duration. According to the Dept. of Homeland Security, in Fiscal Year 2017, 90 percent of the children were released to a sponsor who was either a parent or close relative. Should people with children be exempt from jail?

    What's your solution? To release illegal immigrants into the country as long as they bring children with them?

  • Sarcastr0||

    The solution is what we were doing before we instituted this policy. To keep families together while they were being processed.

    The inevitability narrative isn't very true, but it's better than 'This human misery is actually a good thing because illegals are vermin.'

  • swood1000||

    The solution is what we were doing before we instituted this policy. To keep families together while they were being processed.

    Ted Cruz has proposed a bill that would:

    • Double the number of federal immigration judges, from roughly 375 to 750.
    • Authorize new temporary shelters, with accommodations to keep families together.
    • Mandate that illegal immigrant families must be kept together, absent aggravated criminal conduct or threat of harm to the children.
    • Provide for expedited processing and review of asylum cases, so that—within 14 days—those who meet the legal standards will be granted asylum, and those who do not will be immediately returned to their home countries.

    The key part of this is that Congress needs to act to allow children to be detained along with parents. Do you support this? Do you think the Democrats will?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I don't think GOP leadership will let it get to the floor, actually.

  • Sarcastr0||

    1) Fear of Trump if the vote on a 'weak' bill
    2) Concerns this will look like backing down to those who like this policy
    3) They're going gangbusters on passing a budget before the midterms, not a lot of time especially in the Senate.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    I don't see how "fear of Trump"...whatever that means in this context, is a factor.
    This Cruz proposal seems extremely reasonable.
    Not sure what incentive McConnell would have to keep this issue on the front page.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Trump's tweets have proven to have very little power, except when he attacks GOP representatives. Just ask Jeff Flake.

    And there's an election coming up.

    Were I them, I wouldn't test him.

  • Sarcastr0||

    As someone who just saw this proposal as written above, I'm quite happy with it.

    I'm just a bit cynical about political machinations these days.

  • swood1000||

    As someone who just saw this proposal as written above, I'm quite happy with it.

    If it comes to a vote, do you think the Democrats will support it?

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    Any evidence that Trump has attacked this Cruz proposal?

  • swood1000||

    Any evidence that Trump has attacked this Cruz proposal?

    His current bargaining position seems to be that he is only going for a full resolution of the immigration issues. The Cruz proposal would establish a refugee holding facility and Trump has spoken out against that:

    "The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility. Won't be. You look at what's happening in Europe, you look at what's happening in other places; we can't allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch."

    Whether he would sign the Cruz bill if that were his only option is another question. I can't imagine that he would conclude that a continuation of the current outrage would be a better approach politically.

  • swood1000||

    I can't imagine that he would conclude that a continuation of the current outrage would be a better approach politically.

    The Cruz approach might receive support from Democrats who hope that Trump will veto it. Maybe Trump's opposition is him begging not to be thrown into the briar patch.

  • Sarcastr0||

    If it comes to a vote, do you think the Democrats will support it?

    I'm afraid I don't. They should, were they good statesmen. But that's a vanishing breed.

    Assuming it is as written above, there are no concessions to the Wall or any other anti-immigrant notions. More judges means less people in limbo. Expedited asylum claims are good as well.

    But with the election coming up, I'd guess the political calculous is that that Trump could spin this into a win or at least less of a loss than the current perma-stalled legislature. And that would probably win out, alas.

    Certainly I expect that's how the leadership will see it. Small comfort, but the drama of who might break ranks could provide some insight/entertainment.

  • swood1000||

    I'm afraid I don't.

    Those voting against it will probably characterize any potential detention facility as the Black Hole of Calcutta, and demand to know who could be so barbaric as to suggest that this would be suitable for children.

    If there is no change in the law are you in favor of detaining illegal immigrants without children (pending their immigration proceedings) but releasing those who bring at least one child? If so, do you think that the result of this will be to increase the number of people who try to immigrate illegally and to cause them all to drag a child along with them (rented or stolen if necessary)?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I am not enough of a spinmonger to have any sense of the excuse they'll come up with.

    They're pro's, and will balance the melodrama a bit better than yours. It'll probably feel pretty convincing to one such as myself; we shall have to see.

    What was wrong with what they did before this, where they didn't release anyone they just kept families together? There wasn't an infrastructure problem as of like a few weeks ago.

    In general, I'm not for coming with a family to become a special classification meriting special treatment. In the midst of what has become a Byzantine system, that was one area that didn't require some special protocol until now.

  • swood1000||

    What was wrong with what they did before this, where they didn't release anyone they just kept families together? There wasn't an infrastructure problem as of like a few weeks ago.

    The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Flores v. Sessions that alien children can no longer be held with parents but must be released if they have not committed a crime. 8 U.S. Code § 1232 declares that such children should be placed in the "least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child" but this cannot be in a "secure facility." Since the parents are being held in a secure facility this means that the children can no longer be placed with the parents during the immigration process.

    Assuming that this is true, would you be in favor of detaining illegal immigrants without children (pending their immigration proceedings) but releasing those who bring at least one child? If so, do you think that the result of this will be to increase the number of people who try to immigrate illegally and to cause them all to drag a child along with them (rented or stolen if necessary)?

    If you don't favor a special category for families with children does that mean you are in favor of releasing all illegal immigrants (with or without children) after getting a promise from them to show up at their immigration hearings?

  • BILKER||

    Do what Mexico does. Keep them ALL in chain link fenced open air prisons till their families can buy them food and then bail them out to go back to where they had fled.
    BTW; F*CK DENIRO

  • NicholasStix||

    How do we determine which of these groupings are actual families?

    We would first have to separate children from adults, and extensively interrogate each separately, in order to determine who belongs to whom.

  • TW||

    Family separation is happening because we don't have facilities or the resources to offer separate detention centers for each "family" that tries to sneak into the country. If you put adults and minors together, then you increase the chances that the minors will be victimized by some of the other adults in the center (it's what happens in refugee camps all the time) so separating the children out may not be an ideal option but it's safer for them than putting them in with the adults.

  • swood1000||

    Family separation is happening because we don't have facilities or the resources to offer separate detention centers for each "family" that tries to sneak into the country.

    However, if the number of federal immigration judges were increased dramatically, so that most cases could be adjudicated within 14 days, the resources might be there to offer separate detention centers for each family.

  • M.L.||

    The inevitable policy based on current law is EITHER:

    Family separation in some cases, OR

    Catch and release in the US, i.e. de facto open borders.

    Two bad options. Need Congress to fix.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Catch and release was the Obama policy?

    And yet border apprehensions (i.e. influx of illegals) did not change from Bush to Obama.

    Doesn't sound like open borders to me.

  • swood1000||

    The problem seems to be 8 U.S. Code § 1232(c)(2)(A), which says "A child shall not be placed in a secure facility absent a determination that the child poses a danger to self or others or has been charged with having committed a criminal offense." What were they thinking? This prevents them from letting the kids stay with detained parents.

    …an unaccompanied alien child in the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall be promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child. In making such placements, the Secretary may consider danger to self, danger to the community, and risk of flight. Placement of child trafficking victims may include placement in an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program, pursuant to section 412(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1522(d)), if a suitable family member is not available to provide care. A child shall not be placed in a secure facility absent a determination that the child poses a danger to self or others or has been charged with having committed a criminal offense. The placement of a child in a secure facility shall be reviewed, at a minimum, on a monthly basis, in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary, to determine if such placement remains warranted.
  • TW||

    The idealist in me thinks that this was because they didn't want the optics of children behind bars or a chain link fence. The cynic in me thinks that this was because they thought that no one would ramp up enforcement by prosecuting those who enter the country illegally which would result in "parents" being detained and something having to be done with the minors that they claim were their "children."

  • RPGuy16||

    Sorry kiddos, when mommy or daddy do the crime they have to go away for a while and do some time. We "forcibly separate" children from their criminal parents all the time.

  • TW||

    We could reduce the backlog by automatically denying requests for asylum from anyone who enters our country from Mexico or Canada who is not in fact a Mexican or Canadian on the grounds that per the relevant treaties they need to apply for asylum in the "first safe harbor" (which would probably be Mexico or Canada).

  • Lucius Junius Brutus||

    They are not immigrants, they are invaders. Immigrants are invited in, invaders cross the border uninvited. Invaders may be repelled with impunity. Stop conflating immigration with invasion.

    Ignore border control the next time you re-enter the US from abroad and see what happens. Yet non-citizens get to disregard our borders with impunity and you approve. That is not Rule of Law.

    Libertarian principles for US citizens, yes. These invaders are not citizens.

    Guard the border like the Romans guarded the limes.

    Entry to Galt's Gulch is by invitation only.

  • ||

    We could solve this problem really fast by deploying land mines and other weapons along the border.

  • CA_is_doomed||

    The only thing that is reprehensible is the lack of enforcement for the last 50 years.

  • The Metonymy||

    No more Marxists want to abolish the family, huh?

  • jdd6y||

    I think the most amusing part of this ridiculous hysteria is that had the actions of these illegals been taken in the USA, i.e., dragging their children through the wilderness in order to commit a misdemeanor, that the big government that guys like Shapiro love would yank those kids away and the parents be thrown in jail for child endangerment.

    The second most ridiculous thing is that Shapiro glosses over the fact that you would need to just release these bogus asylum seekers (help, we need protection from the socialist governments we fucking voted for!) and hope they show up for their hearing. That's just open borders and that is so amazingly irresponsible. Get rid of the welfare state then cool.

    There is nothing seriously wrong with how this is being handled. Foreigners seeking to evade our laws deserve no quarter. Using a child as a shield? Shame of you, asshole.

    Politically, this is bad and Trump should do a speech, blame the left for trying to destroy American sovereignty and refusing to negotiate in good faith to solve the problem, and then say he's allocating military funds, regardless of the legality, and seeking Fortune 500 donations to build shelters for families to be detained together until such time as Congress passes something. The Democrats don't give two shits about these kids -- they want to keep this alive forever.

    Then Trump should offer to build Mexico a wall at its southern border because Central America is the problem, not Mexico.

  • RoninX||

    This debate is tiresome because it's always the collectivist left vs. the collectivist right.

    Countries don't have rights. Races don't have rights. Individuals have rights.

    If an individual wants to voluntarily travel across the border and work for someone who voluntarily pays him or her a wage, the state should not use force to prevent this.

    From a libertarian point-of-view, at least, individuals have the right to work for whomever wants to hire them and to rent or buy housing from whoever wants to sell it to them. They have the right to engage in free market trade for goods and services.

    If you don't agree with that, then you're not a libertarian.

    To be clear, they don't have the right to welfare or other freebies from the government. They also don't automatically have the right to citizenship, though they should be free to apply for citizenship through normal channels like anyone else, while they work in this country as guests.

  • ||

    As long as we have birthright citizenship, this doesn't work.

  • MatthewlovesAyn||

    There is nothing in your comment I disagree with philosophically. Unfortunately, there are no libertarian countries for me to move to. If there was, I would trade every dollar and asset I have for gold, and move there tomorrow. As it is, we must protect our borders from people who don't believe in the ideals you and I stand for and work toward the implementation of said ideals.

  • ||

    Right. And people with a low average IQ will always vote for more government. Amend the Constitution to limit voting to those with IQs above 100 (on the current scale), and I'll be on board

  • swood1000||

    To be clear, they don't have the right to welfare or other freebies from the government.

    This would probably require a constitutional amendment, since these people would be "persons" under the 14th amendment and thus entitled to the same benefits as all other persons. Furthermore, it would never fly. The reason we have welfare, food stamps, etc., is that people in this country don't want to have to look the other way when a family is starving. People will not support creating a new category of persons who are to be allowed to starve, children included.

    Also, would you say that the person's children must be accepted into the public schools but if the person loses his job the kids get kicked out of the schools? And children born in this country are citizens, entitled to the same benefits as other citizens, unless we are to create a new second-class citizenship for them. If the parent loses his job does he have to leave? Who can find him? Won't there be people claiming that he should be allowed to stay if his children are citizens, just like we have today?

    Finally, won't there be organizations who advertise and claim to make available enough manual labor jobs for every person who wants to take advantage of this? Is there any limit to the millions who would apply? Does that concern you?

  • ||

    Exactly. You can't support open borders while also having universal franchise and birthright citizenship.

  • vek||

    In my opinion we should do away with those, and create new "classes" of residency. It would resolve MOST, but not all, of my problems with massive low skill immigration.

    But it'll never happen because people are idiots... The same reason all the other good things never happen either :(

  • Azathoth!!||

    Individuals have rights

    Yes they do.

    For example, individuals can band together and attach all their properties into one large property. They can keep doing this for as long as they want.

    Individuals last attached a property here in 1959.

    Individuals did that. People. This weird insistence by leftists attempting to masquerade as libertarians that there is some kind of upper limit to the size a property can be is just stupid.

    The United States grew as people voted to allow other people to add their property to the already existing property. There is a good chance that, if you are American, your parents or grandparents actually got to take part in this. But, just because you personally haven't had this privilege does not mean that it does not exist--or that the US is just random lines on a map decided by bureaucrats.

    If you don't accept property rights--ALL property rights, then you're not a libertarian.

  • ||

    Again, as long as we have a robust welfare state, your bizarre open borders theory does not work.

  • RoninX||

    Are you really arguing that the entire United States the collective property of its citizens?

    Because that's the same argument leftists make to tell property owners that they can't build in "our" city without the collective permission granted by government approval.

    Tell me why an individual apartment owner shouldn't be able to rent to someone from a different country without government approval. That's the same reasoning that says landlords shouldn't be allowed to raise rent without the government's approval.

  • MatthewlovesAyn||

    The "Let them all in" crowd at Reason is getting pretty tiresome.

  • Alpheus W Drinkwater||

    Not as tiresome as the sociopathic "Mistreat small children at the border as a matter of policy" crowd.

  • BILKER||

    i'm all in favor of keeping families together at all times. Since the parents are committing a crime by illegally coming here that also makes their offspring illegal. keep them together, load em on a boat and ship them all back to wherever they claim to be fleeing. problem solved. keeping families together is what these misguided boneheads want, you got it! Now STFU!!
    BTW F*CK DENIRO

  • buybuydandavis||

    " 'Enforcing the Law' Doesn't Justify Separating Migrant Children from their Parents "

    Why only migrant children?

    Let's send the children of all federal prisoners to join their parents in federal prisons. Next, all state prisons and jails.

    No child left behind their criminal parents! Where the criminal parent goes, their children go! This includes the gas chamber! Children should never be separated from their parents! You monsters!

  • librich||

    I see the influence of America's imperialist mentality in this public policy question. Because we're the rulers of the world, if bad things happen to people in Latin America, it's our responsibility. And if bad things happen when people attempt to enter our country illegally, that's our problem as well.

    An essential part of the spirit of liberty, I believe, is allowing others to determine their own destiny. If El Salvador is a rotten place, the people who live there should make changes. It is not our job to intervene on their behalf using our military. And it's not our responsibility to make a home for people who want to leave.

  • Dr. David Ward||

    The US Government should put the kids with their family and then send them back to their country where they were together to start. This would solve the problems with the illegal people attempting to come here against the laws of another country.

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