I’ve seen a number of good articles come across my feeds today that explain this whole child separation kerfuffle quite well:
- What is Happening: Vox had a great visual explainer of what is happening, and what is different. Basically, in the past families seeing asylum who entered illegally had the asylum addressed first, keeping the families together. Trump hasn’t changed the law; what he has done is place prosecution of the illegal entry misdemeanor above the asylum request. As kids can’t go to jail with their parents, separation then occurs, and there are no mechanisms to get the kids back with their parents. Combine this with the belief that many of the families are not real families, just taking advantage of the family loophole in the law, and you get what we’ve got.
- Why It Is Viewed as Acceptable By The Administration. The simple answer is race. Trump believes that people who look different from him don’t have the same capacity for pain and emotion. This is all part of the dehumanization that I’ve written about before, where people who are different are viewed as something lower that can’t feel pain and are somehow less than human, and can be treated as less than human. It’s clearly a wrong belief, for if that same person were raised in a country where they had access to the same privileges as you and I, they would be no different. Hell, even where they were raised, there is no difference.
- How Did We Get Here. The Revisionist History podcast just had an episode on General Chapman, and the belief that strong fences make good neighbors. It is well worth listening to. It points out how, before Chapman, our more “open door” immigration policy meant that people could come in easier, but they could also leave easier. This meant that there was a regular ebb and flow of seasonal workers. Under the tightened policy, that broke. People would come in illegally, and then not flow back for fear they couldn’t get back in next season. This led to a net flow inward. Essentially, building the fence made the problem worse. Quite a good listen.
Hopefully, these articles will prove useful in your discussions.