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Separation Anxiety: Dems Blame Trump for Ancient Family-splitting Practice

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

“Family separation” is the latest anvil that the Trump-hating Left drops on Donald J. Trump’s head, day after day.

President Trump, the charge goes, has found a new hobby: ripping little boys and girls away from their illegal-alien parents, just for the joy of being cruel to other human beings.

“I’m extremely concerned about the administration’s repeated attacks on some of the most vulnerable communities, and in particular, children and pregnant women as it relates to the world of DHS,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D - CA) said at a May 15 hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Separating children from their parents contradicts everything we stand for as pediatricians,” American Academy of Pediatrics president Colleen Kraft, MD, said in an official AAP statement. “In fact, highly stressful experiences, like family separation, can cause irreparable harm, disrupting a child’s brain architecture and affecting his or her short- and long-term health.”

Even the United Nations joined the Trump-bashing.

“The US should immediately halt this practice,” U.N. spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told journalists June 5 in Geneva. “The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.”

The Left, at last, has given President Trump more credit than he deserves. He did not invent family separation. This concept is as old as law enforcement itself. Since at least the Roman Empire, whenever magistrates throw criminals behind bars, they separate them from their families — including children, siblings, parents, or all of the above. This is as true now as it was under Nero.

“Children and parents get separated every day across this country when a parent is charged with a criminal offense,” Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told journalists June 5 at the National Press Club. “It’s sad to see children cry when you take a parent out of a home, but because it’s sad, doesn’t mean that we ignore the law.”

And the Trump Administration does not ignore the law.

“My decision has been that anyone who breaks the law will be prosecuted,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified May 15 on Capitol Hill. “If you’re a parent or you’re a single person or you happen to have a family, if you cross between the ports of entry, we will refer you for prosecution.You’ve broken U.S. law.”

This brand new, phony outrage could be avoided by locking the children of illegal aliens in their parents’ ICE detention cells, rather than placing them in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, arguably the most generous and matronly federal agency. But this understandably would make the Left’s shrieks even more shrill. So would keeping families intact by deporting them immediately to their home countries. What the Left truly craves is a steady flow of what they assume will be future Democrat voters.

If the Left really wants to stop separating families, they should demand a total shutdown of the entire justice system, lest more parents get cleaved from their children. Better yet, why not re-unify families by emptying every American prison, so that all criminals — not just those who have violated the law by breaching America’s borders — can run home to their loved ones? If liberals oppose this “Mr. Trump, tear down this jail!” proposal, then they finally will confirm what many already suspect: Democrats care more about illegal aliens than they do about American citizens.

Despite their rhetoric to the contrary, Democrats and their beliefs actually tear families apart.

“Democrat policies lead to the temporary separation of illegal-alien families, because they refuse to close border loopholes that prevent those families from being swiftly returned home,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley. “Democrat policies also result in the permanent separation of American families — who have to bury loved ones because of the criminals whom Democrat policies allow into this country.”

The Left’s fugitive-cities policy prohibited cops from warning ICE before springing five-time deportee Jose Ines Garcia Zarate onto the streets of San Francisco. That’s where, in 2015, he shot Kate Steinle, 32, while her horrified father helplessly watched. Kate Steinle is now permanently separated from her parents. (While a San Francisco jury convicted Garcia Zarate of felonious firearms possession, they acquitted him of murder. Jurors bought his defense that Steinle accidentally died when a bullet fatally ricocheted as Garcia Zarate shot at seals near a pier. And let’s face it: who doesn’t gun down seals every now and then?)

A 15-year-old girl in Houston, known as Genesis, no longer will see her parents, either. Her alleged killers are illegal alien members of MS-13. Hundreds of their deadly gang brethren broke into this country, largely thanks to Democrats’ insistence on keeping America’s southern frontier as secure as a screen door flapping in the breeze.

When my grandparents came to the USA from Costa Rica in the mid-1960s — to join yours truly, my parents, and my uncle — they had no desire to separate themselves from their two minor children. So, my grandparents did something no longer mentioned in polite company: They went to the U.S. Embassy and completed immigration applications. Once their visas were in their passports, my Aguelo and Aguela (as we called them) and their youngest son and daughter flew into LAX and began their new lives in America. No human trafficking, no drug mules, no Gila monsters, no fence jumping, and — most important — no family separation.

So, here’s an important safety tip: If you don’t want to be separated from your children, don’t drag them across the U.S./Mexican border.

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