Sunday, July 21, 2019 -
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What? Separate children from parents?

Three hours before we went to press, and after the following editorial was written, President Trump signed an executive order apparently banning the separation of migrant families. We leave the editorial in place for two reasons: First, all those who conceived, implemented and defended this policy need to hear the burning ire over their radical departure from humane and American values; second, and more important, they need to know that we will be monitoring how quickly and efficiently the separated families will be reunited.

As much sympathy as we can muster for the Trump administration’s attempt to impose, finally, some order and legality on the uncontrolled flow of migrants into this country, we cannot think of a worse way to do so than by separating children from parents.

What kind of a country separates children from parents?

As much sympathy as we can muster for the need for this country to obey the law, we cannot think of a better argument for not doing so than by extending respect to a law that uproots compassion, common sense and the common good.

Jim Crow was also a law in the South all the way through the 1960s. It took an open rebellion across the country, but especially in the South, to highlight the evil in the enforcement of the law of Jim Crow. Today, the law says that illegal immigrants are criminals, and that children cannot be held together with criminals. Ergo, separate the innocent, the children, from the criminals, their parents. The enforcement of this law makes as much moral sense as did the enforcement of Jim Crow.

Should we not remember that freedom for Soviet Jewry was fought for largely on the basis of the reunification of families? Do we even need to devise a rationale not to separate children from parents?

Is there a better way to divert the country’s attention from the critical problem of an uncontrolled southern border than by separating children from parents? Does the fact that, in rare cases, a given child might be better off separated from a certain parent justify the sledgehammer approach of cruelly separating all children from parents who cross the border illegally?

If we take the border authorities at their word that the separated children are fed well and treated well, does this make the slightest difference? Does this mitigate the humanitarian issue? Should blue ribbons be handed out for not mistreating children after abusing them by separating them from parents?

Does prior moral ambiguity on the issue — some parents separating their children by sending them across the border alone, unaccompanied —justify the current governmental practice? Does the fact that some people, with blunt ignorance, compare the current practice to the mass murder in the Holocaust justify the current practice?

Does not the separation of children from parents summon, at least in tone, the repugnance of the Soviet regime?

Change the family separation law. Meantime:  civil disobedience! Stop the separations. Reunite the families. Compassion, common sense, now. Humaneness, now!

Copyright © 2018 by the Intermountain Jewish News

5 thoughts on “What? Separate children from parents?

  1. Yaakov Watkins

    Right now if someone steals a car in Denver, they go to jail. We don’t send their children to Canyon City with them. Why does Colorado rip small children from their parent’s arms?

    1. Aaron Ainbinder

      It is quite possible, if not plausible, that The Left’s politicians want to release all inmates with children, or not incarcerate them at all. Those politicians were, of course, eerily silent in 2014 when their Obama had his cages full of illegal alien children.

      Right now, the Democrats do not want a solution, since fixing the immigration problems and securing our border would eliminate those whom they value as pawns. Think of the enemies of Israel, Hamas and Fatah. They are using the same tactics in order to keep their citizens as the valuable political pawns that they are.

      I am neither cynical nor totally partisan in my assessment. I merely post what I see as the truth.

    2. Aaron Ainbinder

      Your point is obviously reasonable and worthy of comparison to the current issue being protested. Unfortunately, reasonable discussion – solution-oriented discussion – is not only completely missing, but those protesting do not allow reasonable solution-oriented discussion. Some individuals on that side no doubt do engage in thoughtful dialogue, but their public mouthpieces do not.

      When shouting, intimidation and slogans are all that is offered up, those doing so generally have nothing of substance to offer, let alone reasonable and realistic solutions to the issue at hand.

      Sadly missed in all of this is that the idea of standing by the laws of our land is all too often dismissed out of hand. When we pick and choose which laws to live by, we no longer are a land of laws.

      “Dina d’malchuta dina,” the law of the land is the law [and must be obeyed], is a phrase repeated numerous times in the Talmud and always attributed to the sage Samuel. According to Samuel, there is no question that a Jew must obey the laws of the land in which he/she resides… unless that law directly contradicts halacha (for instance a law ordering everyone to worship idols).

  2. Rob Alexander

    What a stunning heart-felt editorial on a difficult, indeed intolerable situation, only partly mitigated by Pres. Trump’s executive order! As an newspaper with a long and stellar history I assume that you have been familiar with the circumstances of the illegal refugees including the separation of children from their parents for some time. After all this law has been on the books for more than 20 years. Could you please enlighten me whether and when you published an article rightfully criticizing this policy before the current editorial? Perhaps when the law was first promulgated by serial sexual predator Bill Clinton? Or maybe when spineless Georgie Bush and then the sainted Barack Hussein Obama, erudite salon Communist and crypto-anti-Semite, occupied the White House and did absolutely nothing to change the law and its implementation?
    Because if I am mistaken and no such write-up exists I can only conclude that you are in the politically correct line with all the other fake news, i.e. trying to lay blame for everything possible on Pres. Trump regardless of facts.
    In summary, I sense a stench of sanctimonious hypocrisy emanating from your high-falutin’ editorial offices which I find offensive. Therefore I will be cancelling my subscription to your opportunistic PC rag.

  3. Aaron Ainbinder

    “…need to hear the burning ire over their radical departure from humane and American values;…”

    I cannot remember reading anything like this in 2014, when Obama was president. Can you?
    That said, and politics aside, what is the IJN’s solution to this situation? When adults bring children across our border in an illegal manner, what should be done? Issuing a summons to appear in court has proven ineffective, as roughly 97% of those who cross the border illegally ever show up for the date in court.
    So, IJN, I ask you again – what solution, other than open borders, do you suggest? And what should former president Obama have done?


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