For those of you who pay attention to world events, the people of Nigeria are quite upset at an Islamofascist terrorist group by the name of Boko Haram. This group kidnapped over 250 girls from the Chibok school, forcing some to marry their captors. Many of the girls are ill and suffering from other forms of abuse. A worldwide Twitter campaign has tried to draw attention to the situation, but nothing tangible and effective has been done. (You can Twitter in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets full first.)
We face a similar situation in this country, but from the reverse perspective. We have engaged in policy-making that resulted in busload after busload of unaccompanied children streaming into our country. Our government ought to be making efforts to reunify these children with their families in their native lands. Instead, they are being relocated across the country with strangers.
It is not mercy to steal a generation of children from impoverished nations. Yes, many of the countries from which these children come are terrible places to live. Many are nations in which there is an ever-present danger of violence. As many have commented before me, we have such areas in our own country. There are neighborhoods in Chicago with the same dangers.
The parents of these children are lacking the same commitment and attachment to their offspring that the parents in Nigeria have. To send a child off all alone with known criminals is a crime of the deepest neglect. Every American feels instant empathy for these children, but to keep them here is abduction. The president, in approving the dispersal across the country of these children, is making the statement that he intends the separation to be permanent.
While this may seem to the less family-oriented out there as the right thing to do, we must always judge an idea or policy by the results it gets and not by the intentions of those who came up with it. That's called living in reality, something liberals don't do very often. So, what is the reality of our policy towards these children?
Children are living in cramped quarters, housed in close proximity to children sent because of disease and contagious illness. Can anyone honestly say that this is a better life than the one they left behind?
I recommend a few simple policy changes to help these (and future) children while simultaneously stemming the tide of illegal immigration into the country. Here is my plan:
1. The children who have already arrived will be treated, fed, and sent home with new shoes and clean clothing.
2. The immigration loophole the parents are abusing will be closed.
3. The U.S. Border Patrol will be granted the status it deserves as a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. After all, its function closely parallels that of the Coast Guard.
4. A twenty-foot wall will be built along the border in every area in which it is geologically feasible. I'm tired of people saying this can't be done; we've got thousands of miles of this along our freeways just so people can sleep without hearing traffic noise. A stronger wall using a similar construction style could be built within a few months if multiple contracts were awarded at intervals along the border.
5. Congress will pass a law clarifying the Constitution to make it clear that only children of citizens acquire automatic citizenship by birth. This law will contain a clause exempting it from the jurisdiction of any of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. (Congress has the authority to define the limits of the federal courts' jurisdiction.)
6. An law will be passed stating that only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens will be granted immigration preferences. Siblings, parents, adult children, and extended family will no longer receive exceptions.
7. A law will be passed mandating every employer to use the E-Verify system to ensure that they are hiring workers legally. This will remove much of the incentive for illegal entry into the U.S.
8. Economic advisors will be sent to these children's home countries to guide them with regard to economic policy. These advisors will be chosen from the business schools of U.S. universities.
Will this be kindness? Yes, if we take the long view of things. Too often we seek only immediate relief and forget that leaving the illness untreated is worse than momentary pain. For too long our nation's borders have served as a pressure-release valve for the corrupt and despotic, a way to rid themselves of those who would otherwise seek reform. We are doing the people of these nations no favor by obliging.