As I read about sentencing of David and Louise Turpin in California, I don’t see a lot of difference between the way federal officials treat immigrant children at the border, and the way the Turpins treated their children. Yes, I know the two cases are different, but the actual experience for children is pretty similar. You are removed from your family and placed in a large wire cage. Later you might wind up in a tent in a large camp. Then a temporary home far away from the border, where you cannot contact your family. No one knows who you are, yet you are totally dependent on strangers. Yes, the two cases differ, but the treatment is similar.
No bureaucrat has yet taken responsibility for treatment that, in some ways, is worse than that Louise and David Turpin visited on their sons and daughters.
If the federal government sentences the Turpins to life in prison, why does it praise its officials for their humane treatment of families when they seek asylum? For those who say, “Well look, government officials have stopped the harshest policies,” have you heard anyone but a government official make that claim? Have government agencies even allowed the ACLU, or any other independent organization, to enter federal facilities near the border?
The Turpins say they feel sorry for the way they treated their children. I have heard nothing of the kind from federal officials who took children from their families, and shipped them off to unknown destinations, with no plans to reunite them with their parents and siblings. On the contrary, if you go to agency websites, public relations people pour out praise and compliments for government officials’ good work. Moreover, no bureaucrat has yet taken responsibility for treatment that, in some ways, is worse than that Louise and David Turpin visited on their sons and daughters.
People say our immigration policy is broken. I have some simple suggestions to fix it. You won’t see any of the presidential candidates make proposals like these.
First, turn immigration matters at the southern border over to the states at the border: Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Remove all federal officials concerned with border patrol from these states.
Welcome every family, group, or individual who comes to the United States for asylum. Offer every traveller plenty of water, a snack, and a place to rest. Smile and congratulate everyone for having made the trip safely.
Give a quick physical to check for dehydration, communicable diseases, any problems that could cause individuals trouble as they continue their travels. Give special attention to women, children, and the elderly.
No one likes paperwork, but the states will want to have a record. Scan documents, enter names in an electronic database, gather basic information.
Send all newcomers on their way. Tell them, “Welcome to the United States of America! You are on your own here. Come back to see us when you want a driver’s license, or anything else you may need to live and work here. We value the contributions we know you’ll make to your new community.”
That’s not a broken policy anymore. You can welcome thousands of people every day with a policy like that. Moreover, word will get back to families in Central America, where the need to find a safe place to live is most acute. People will text back to their relatives and friends, “You know what? U. S. has virtually open borders! They let us in, helped us out, gave us food. Please come to see for yourself.”
The result would be thousands more immigrants from Central America, mostly young people who want to be Americans. Can you imagine that? So many people who want to help make our country richer than it already is. And they come for free! Criminals down south drive out their neighbors, and we benefit from their stupidity. We all benefit, including our new neighbors.
We’ve seen what happens when we try to close our borders. Could the results be worse? Let’s see what happens when we open them.