Don't Use Children

There's an element to this that people really need to get.

The suffering of these children isn't an unfortunate accident. It's not a temporary bump in the road because something didn't get funded, it's not a weird outcome of some other idea that nobody saw coming. It's not one of those weird things you hear about where nobody is really in charge, and is just taking a strangely long time to get fixed. It's not even like those horrifying things you'd hear about governments of old doing, where they'd take kids away from natives to re-educate them. At least back them, the government was merely indifferent to the suffering of those children.

But we're in a whole different moral ballgame now.

The suffering of these children isn't a byproduct, it's the point.

The Trump administration has been trying to pin this on the Democrats, claiming that it's something nobody wanted and making sad, sad noises over the whole thing. This is horseshit, because leaked notes show that this is something they were planning right after Trump got sworn in as a "deterrent."

Everybody needs to pause and let every implication of that sink in, and I mean really sink in. The wails of these frightened children aren't because of some unfortunate oversight or some unexpected externality, it's the desired outcome of a deliberate policy choice. Remember, it's a "deterrent." They want to scare families away. The policy completely fails if children are not shaking, terrified and screaming.

What's all the more flabbergasting is that none of this was even remotely necessary. There's no crisis that necessitates such a draconian policy - illegal immigration has fallen since 2009. Not only that, but a lot of these kids aren't even one of those scary "illegal immigrants" at all. Families are willingly presenting themselves to border authorities to freely announce that they're seeking asylum, only to have their children stripped away from them:

So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you.

The little girl wailing in this picture isn't from some skeezy band of gangsters trying to tunnel under and steal all the glorious fruit-picking jobs, she's with a family fleeing horrific violence, seeking asylum and protection from what one presumes is a great nation.

This is an important point, and one that bears repeating - this is a policy of deterrence which is being directed at asylum seekers. Okay, sure, let's say that there's a lot of people to process, and that can be difficult. If they government worried about the number of people they have to process, the Trump administration could simply throw up a few more shelters or hire a few more bureaucrats to work through the paperwork. Hell, the country ain't even close to broke - Trump is always talking about the "booming economy" and just recently proposed a militarized "space force" whose price tag is sure to be unfathomable.

But instead of doing this, they instead decided that it would be cheaper to make little children suffer, in the hopes that the sound of their screams might be broadcast into lawless lands and act as a deterrent upon people considering whether to flee to safety. And even this, the presumption that it's all about money, is the charitable interpretation of their actions, given the President and his staff's noted distaste for the nonwhite world.

But regardless of their exact motivation, they are the government which represents all Americans, and that's a country which now gets to wake up, look in the mirror and say "Today, our choice was to make children suffer."

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