Separating Families At The Border: The Hysteria Overlooks Some Key Facts
As with so many other things involving Trump, there's plenty of emotion but precious little
in the way of facts.
So what's going on here?
First, it's important to note that many of the "separations" don't last long at all.
As Rich Lowry explains in a detailed article in National Review, "when a migrant is prosecuted
for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals," in which case, as when
other adults are incarcerated in the U.S., they are separated from their children.
Lowry notes that "The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravatingfactor such as a prior illegal entry or another crime. Migrants generally plead guilty,
and they are sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day."
The Los Angeles Times reports that Rio Grande Valley border agents prosecuted 568 adults and separated 1,174 children since the administration announced its "zero tolerance" policy in early April. However, it only took a matter of hours to reunite more than a third of these childrenwith their parents.
The administration is right to point out, however, that there is a legal process for seeking asylum
— just show up at a port of entry to make the asylum claim.
"As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry," Homeland Security Secretary
Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted over the weekend.