News & Politics

Our Immigration Policy Is Endangering Children

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Let me come right out and say it as bluntly as I can: our immigration policy is endangering children.

No, I haven’t lost my mind. No, I’m not talking about “children in cages” — which appear to have been a feature of the Obama administration — or the fact that the same Obama administration lost a lot of those children in the system.

I’m talking about our lax enforcement of immigration laws, and the fact that no matter where you come from or why, or even what your record is, if you show up at the U.S. border with children you have a good chance of staying.  (Or if you show up at the border saying you’re a child, even if the claim is unlikely.)

This is endangering children in all the usual ways.

There have been rumors of children kidnapped (or bought) throughout the world to facilitate someone’s entrance into the U.S.  (Yes, formal and informal slave markets still exist in many parts of the world, and yes, children and women are cheap.)

At any rate, children, whether they are the legal progeny of the people dragging them or not, are endangered in myriad ways when dragged across the better part of a continent to the border of the U.S.

Let’s be frank, shall we? There is no amount of economic hardship or even “danger” that can cause a human being to run — bringing his child across several other countries where he’s not endangered and facing the dangers of human traffickers and rapists, not to mention the more mundane thieves and murderers — simply to get to the U.S.  Not if he or she is a decent parent and human being.  The solution to economic hardship is to leave the child.  If you must come to the U.S. illegally, or if you believe tales about the streets being paved in gold, you’re not alone.  But decent people leave their child with relatives or friends or even paid caretakers — that is, safe — while they send money back home.  I come from a country of emigrants, and I can tell you that’s how it’s usually done. The answer to “drug gangs were bullying me” is to move and change your name.

Running to the U.S. with a child is not a resort of last despair.  It’s an attempt to get in on the basis of “will no one think of the children?” — which the custard heads in the U.S. (mostly the childless ones) fall for over and over again.

We’re also making it really easy for white slavers to bring children (kidnapped or bought) to satisfy the depraved appetites of pedophiles. If we don’t separate children from adults at the border – even if the adult has come by before with other children, or if the adult looks nothing like the child/is of an age that he couldn’t be the child’s parent — we can’t find out if the child really is the child of the adult or wants to stay with him or her.  And if you think that doesn’t happen, such child trafficking has been going on for decades, but probably got worse since Obama signed the Dream Act, thereby encouraging people to bring multitudes of minors.  (Or send them through unaccompanied.)

But there’s another, more mundane endangerment that most Americans should understand at a visceral level.

This weekend when I was trying to work (I have a conference next weekend which takes up two days on either side, so I need to work ahead), my phone kept erupting with a very annoying alarm. Some child, hours of driving away from me, had been kidnapped by a non-custodial parent.  There wasn’t even a slight chance I could do anything about it, but the Amber Alert kept coming at five-minute intervals, giving me the license plate and make of the car the kid’s mother was driving and a description of the two.

I didn’t opt out of the system — annoying as it was (and with me sitting at home not within sight of any major road)– because in the future, the next Amber Alert might catch me when I’m on the road and see a car with the right color and license plate.

Yes, most abductions in the U.S. are by a non-custodial parent – Amber Hagerman, after whom the system of alerts is named, was (probably — her abductor and killer was never found) an exception – but that doesn’t mean the children are safe.

I have enough friends who are divorced for good and sufficient reason and with whom I’ve sat when the non-custodial parent tries to keep or runs off with the kid to be aware of the many dangers that can strike.  Yes, many of the times the non-custodial parent is just the kid’s father, who got shorted by the courts.  But in my experience with friends, there have been drug-addicted mothers and schizophrenic fathers off their meds, as well as suicidal parents of both sexes, who threaten to kill the child and themselves.  And that last story is too common to discount easily.  Someone feeling their life falling apart can easily turn to murder-suicide.

So, what does this have to do with our immigration policy of just letting anyone, carrying any child, come through without checking if the child is theirs or if they’re in fact the custodial parent?

Think about it.  If you think that other countries don’t have the same parental and marital turmoil we have, you’re indulging in dreams of Noble Savages.

Take the little Honduran girl Time chose as the iconic face of immigration (as an aside, is this a manifestation of the perverse nature of the left? Almost everything they choose as an icon turns out not to be what they thought).

It turns out she was never separated from her mother.

She and her mother are in Texas and not in any danger.

But there’s more.  There’s always more.

And the more is not what the left expected.  The full story, as much as reported, rang all my alarm bells.

See this stuff:

The Washington Post reported that the mother, Sandra Sanchez, had previously been deported in 2013 to Honduras. Her husband told the Post that she left without telling him she was taking Yanela with her and couldn’t contact her. But then he saw the picture on the news.

“You can imagine how I felt when I saw that photo of my daughter. It broke my heart. It’s difficult as a father to see that, but I know now that they are not in danger. They are safer now than when they were making that journey to the border,” Denis Javier Varela Hernandez told The Daily Mail.

And then there’s this:

He also said he did not support his wife’s decision to make the perilous trek to the U.S. and that they have three other children together.

“I didn’t support it. I asked her, why? Why would she want to put our little girl through that? But it was her decision at the end of the day.”

Somewhere else, not on the Fox News page (I read this two days ago and could only write about it now), there were reports that the pair have three other children, all older than little Yanella.

So, what we’re looking at is an unstable parent — no? Who else does this, taking her youngest child, paying a reported six thousand dollars to a coyote  — taking the youngest and most vulnerable of her children, and cleaning out the family’s money to do it?  And the father is left not knowing what happened to his daughter, or where she went.

At best — best — this is a marital separation by brute force and not giving the father the right to contest little Yanella’s custody. At worse, the mother is mentally ill or has other known problems (particularly since she’s been deported before).

Put yourself in the place of that father: his daughter and wife disappear in the night, and there’s no Amber Alert system that will follow them to the U.S. and no way to recover his child.

How would you feel about it?

Meanwhile, Time stands by their story (of course they do!) in the most brazen way possible.

“The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason: Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents,” TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said. “Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”

Which is true but not in the way they think.

Time and everyone else stupidly bleating about the “right” of illegal immigrants to violate our laws and drag their minor children on a dangerous journey to do it should be co-conspirators on what are probably hundreds of child abductions.

These people who pretend to be kind-hearted and concerned for the children are in fact encouraging a climate of turmoil in families south of the border.  They’re also encouraging the kidnapping and trafficking of children by non-custodial parents and, yes, total strangers.

And apparently, they’d do it all again, if it allows them to score points against Trump.