Determined to derail the Trump presidency, the liberal media’s latest hobby horse is the treatment of immigrant children who have come here illegally.
CNN recently released the “excruciating audio clip of children howling for their parents,” criticizing the Trump administration’s treatment of “undocumented immigrant children.” The New York Times, Washington Post, CBS News, and others have also highlighted the “sounds of crying children separated from parents at the border.”
Establishment Republicans are right there with them, defending illegal immigrants to tout their #NeverTrump bona fides.
Let me be clear: As a mom and family physician, I understand that no American wants to see children separated from their parents. But we need to secure our borders and protect American families. Because it’s inseparable from violent crime, drug trafficking, and the opioid epidemic, illegal immigration is the No. 1 crisis facing our country.
Ignoring the facts and ginning up emotional outrage does nothing to solve the problem. Despite the media indignation, the Trump administration isn’t changing the rules to separate children from their parents. Separation only happens if the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, poses a threat to the child, or enters criminal proceedings.
Under President Trump, all adults who come here illegally are now subject to prosecution — for obvious reasons. By showing that America is serious about securing its borders, the prosecution of illegal immigrants creates a deterrent against the felony of illegal re-entry.
As Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen argues, that deterrent is long overdue. In the last three months, we’ve seen our southern border flooded with more than 50,000 illegal immigrants each month. Since May of last year, we've seen a 329 percent increase in unaccompanied children and a 435 percent increase in family units entering the country illegally. This shows an utter disregard for America’s borders and our right to enforce our immigration laws.
Moreover, adults who come here illegally often use children as “chits” to encourage federal authorities to release them from custody sooner. Roughly 10,000 of the 12,000 children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services were not accompanied by their parents — a number the liberal media routinely fail to mention.
Open-border advocates can demagogue the issue all they want, but the overwhelming majority of children here illegally were sent by their parents with strangers who exploited them for personal gain. Even the Times acknowledges that many illegal immigrants “have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own,” and that “instances of fraud are increasing.”
Not only do these children face a dangerous journey to America, but they’re also especially vulnerable to child abuse, sexual assault, and other crimes at the hands of their handlers.
The problem is a lot more nuanced than you’re led to believe. Amnesty is not the solution to it. Amnesty is never the solution.
Democrats and Republicans are to blame here. House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed to legalize at least 1.8 million illegal immigrants who are here under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The proposal, which may go down as the most sweeping amnesty bill in U.S. history, is supported by the likes of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and my opponent, Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who have long forsaken their conservative values in favor of illegal immigrants.
Blanket amnesty only encourages more illegal immigration at the expense of American citizens. Since 2012, nearly 60,000 previously screened DACA recipients have been arrested while in the United States. Almost 95 percent of foreign-born inmates in our prisons are in the U.S. illegally. Thousands of illegal immigrants were arrested on allegations of assault and battery, rape, human trafficking, and even murder, yet they are allowed to stay here.
Where is Flake’s concern for America’s angel moms and dads, whose children have died at the hands of illegal immigrants? Where is Rep. McSally’s outrage about young girls who are sexually abused by the adults bringing them here illegally? Why does the Republican establishment continue to turn a blind eye to violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants?
That’s exactly why I’m running for the U.S. Senate. As elected representatives, our first priority is to serve our constituents, not the citizens of foreign countries. President Trump understands that priority, which is why I support a border wall.
When even Republicans refuse to secure our borders, it’s time for new leadership in Washington.