It certainly sounds awful. The Trump administration is rousing children in middle of the night, loading them “onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new home: a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas.”
That is the lede of a recent New York Times article, “Migrant Children Moved Under Cover of Darkness to a Texas Tent City.”
Sadly, the Times’ report contains an ounce of truth buried in pounds of distortions. Let’s start, as the Times should have done, with the facts.
Yes, the administration is relocating migrants to Tomillo, Texas. But they are unaccompanied minors (not children who illegally crossed the border with their parents) being housed at a temporary shelter and have been since June.
Yes, they are being moved at night. But, as the Times notes in a piece published a day later, the reason for transporting them in the dark in order “to avoid escape attempts” since the facilities are “unsecured.” Note: That means they are not “prison camps.”
Yes, they are children. But, most attempted an illegal crossing alone, not with their parents or family members.
It is not the Trump administration’s “cruelty” that is behind the relocations, but a response to the surge of those unaccompanied minors (UAMs) that is pushing shelters beyond capacity. The number of illegal alien minors apprehended by border officers has doubled from 3,100 in October 2017 to 6,400 in May, according to Customs and Border Protection (CPB) figures.
A day later, the Times editors weighed in on their paper’s report with a stinging rebuke of the Trump administration’s policies. (No surprise there).
They claim, the overflow is a result of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) establishing “strict requirements for the relatives and friends who might care for these children” until their deportation hearings are held.
They decry tougher standards on sponsors that require fingerprinting and more stringent background checks. In other words, the Times and other advocates are objecting to the same vetting procedures that we all demand of people . The imposition of strict vetting is a result of criticisms from lawmakers and the media alike that the background checks of sponsors were not thorough enough. The desire by the administration is to protect the safety of migrant children from human traffickers or sexual abusers, not create roadblocks to finding homes for children.
Yet the Times questions the motives of administration officials.
“Proponents of the current system insist that the restrictions on sponsors were put into place for the children’s protection. But it’s hard to see how any of the new policies could possibly do more good than harm,” the editorial reads.
It is hard to see, because many in the media do not want to see. The surges of illegal aliens (and the policies that create them) are what overwhelm the system and the people caught in it. Policies that create incentives for people to abuse our laws and place minors in the hands of human smugglers are at the root of the problem. Perpetuating these policies will only lead to more pain for all.