So it was a ruse. The hysteria over the separation of illegal-alien asylum-seekers from their children (or their purported children) was in large part pretextual. The real target of rage was the Trump administration’s policy of prosecuting all illegal border-crossers for the federal misdemeanor of illegal entry.
In April, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy for illegal entry. Henceforth, virtually all aliens caught entering the country illegally would be held for prosecution, rather than being released on their own recognizance for a later noncriminal deportation proceeding, to which few ever showed up. (This new enforcement policy would have come as a surprise to anyone who had fallen for the advocates’ decades-long lie that illegal entry is not a crime.) Under the new policy, even if the adult had brought a child with him across the border—the usual accoutrement of an asylum-seeker, for reasons explained below—the adult would still be prosecuted. The adult would be held in a U.S. marshal’s facility pending trial, while the child would be placed in a dormitory run by the U.S. Health and Human Services department, since children cannot be held in criminal lockups.
Images of child border-crossers, separated from their adult companion and crying or looking upset—and the experience would undoubtedly be traumatic for most young children—triggered nonstop coverage of Trump administration cruelty. MSNBC and CNN set up border encampments from which reporters and pundits pontificated on the child-separation crisis. Nazi and Holocaust analogies flew around the Internet; faculty petitions invoked the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Mexico and four other Latin American countries filed a human rights complaint against the U.S. Politicians and religious leaders lined up to denounce White House racism and anti-immigrant hatred.
On Wednesday, Trump called their bluff. He signed an executive order that would house illegal-alien adults with minors in Department of Homeland Security or other government facilities. The zero-tolerance policy, however, would continue. Democratic politicians and illegal alien advocates immediately cried foul. “Make no mistake: the President is doubling down on his ‘zero tolerance’ policy,” Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, said in a statement Wednesday. “His new Executive Order criminalizes asylum-seekers . . . . Locking up whole families is no solution at all—the Trump Administration must reverse its policy of prosecuting vulnerable people fleeing three of the most dangerous countries on earth.” …