Every day it seems some Democrat with a quivering finger points accusingly at Republicans and Trump’s immigration strategy, and accuses their policies of killing children and other monstrosities on the border. Most recently Representative Lauren Underwood, a Democrat from Illinois, told the acting Homeland Security secretary that “with five children dead and thousands separated, it’s an inhuman policy choice that has resulted in five deaths.
She was referring to the children who die shortly after being in custody, but this complaint often comes from the middle of the story to spew outrage for partisan gain. As I said in the answer to fake news, an important step is looking at the whole story: “[Agitators] omit to suggest the causes which give rise to [the catastrophes], or the course of events which led up to them; and without knowing these it is impossible to feel the due indignation or pity at anything which occurs…[I]n everything our final judgment does not depend upon the mere things done, but upon their causes” (Polybius ii. 56).
This is incredibly important as many of the outrages we debate happen in the middle of the story. Looking at the whole story reveals why I’m not angry —Trump and Republicans shouldn’t be cast as moral monsters— and why Democrats are incredibly cynical in exploiting this story.
The immigrant story begins long before they reach the border. They often live in a country with corrupt rulers that live a life of luxury at the expense of the people. The aid that America offers to improve the lives of the average person is often squandered through corruption as well.
The immigrants and refugees often avoid safe Central American countries where the immigrants would already speak the language. These countries are so safe that older Americans are advised to live out their retirements there. Instead, the immigrants take advantage of lax immigration laws in America and a general welfare system to come to America. They are often fed this information by leftist organizers. American politicians have done little to take away these magnets, and in the case of identity and big business politicians, they actually encourage them.
Upon arriving at the border they are often dehydrated and exhausted on top of a lifetime of poor medical care and a long journey. Border patrol agents are then supposed to locate, apprehend, and transport them to their free, world- class medical coverage within hours. (I’m a hard-working citizen and don’t get free coverage!) And when a child inevitably dies after being put through the gauntlet, border patrol officials are attacked as inhumane by American politicians and pundits who do nothing to fix the crisis and a great deal to create the crisis in the first place.
I instead look at the whole story and question the choices of parents that ignore safer options closer to home yet nevertheless force their children on a death-defying trek exposing them to human trafficking or riots. I question even more the cynical politicians, like Representative Underwood, who are quick to attack the Trump administration over these deaths, but not the many choices that led to it. The whole story suggests that the parents make questionable choices that put their own children in danger for the allure of the American dream which is only partially accurate and often inflated by snake-oil salesmen around the world who benefit from having so many ready “victims” to use as props for their political attacks. That whole story is why I’m disgusted with so many sides in the immigration crisis, but not so much with the Trump administration.