Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
Subscribe   Subscribe   MI on Facebook Find us on Twitter Find us on Instagram      

The Press Enterprise


They're Only Children, But They Can't Stay

July 10, 2014

By Ben Boychuk

By now you've seen the pictures of hundreds of angry Murrieta residents blocking the route of those Department of Homeland Security buses carrying hundreds of illegal immigrant children from Central America.

And you've seen the footage of the angry counter-protesters trying to block the path of the protesters blocking the path of the buses.

Everyone is so angry these days. Maybe everyone has a right to be. And maybe everyone should take a breath.

Fact is, the Border and Customs Enforcement people have nowhere to put these kids. They're thronging the border in Texas with little more than the shirts on their backs, the infections ravaging their skin and the rumors of amnesty and asylum they heard from thousands of miles away.

The rumors weren't true, but that hasn't stopped more than 52,000 from arriving since October. They're coming from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala — not Mexico, which is showing signs of prosperity even amid the chaos of warring drug lords. The DHS estimates as many as 150,000 more Central American children may arrive by next year.

Where will they go? We're running out of space. Over the weekend, photographs emerged purporting to show what it looks like inside one holding facility in Texas. The conditions are disgusting — unsanitary and unsafe. Young children are crammed into large holding cells with adolescents. God only knows what sort of abuse they're facing.

Again, the question: If not Texas, then where? Not to Murrieta, if people there can help it. Maybe they can. The protestors turned back the buses once. Then a second time. Then a third time on Monday. It's become a national sensation. Each time, immigration authorities rerouted the buses far south, to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility at San Ysidro, on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The protests are embarrassing for Murietta city officials, who don't want to be seen as inhospitable.

“This was not victory,” said Murrieta City Manager Rick Dudley, after protesters turned the first bus caravan away last week. “It was a loss for the city of Murrieta, for the community that we live in and love. It made this extremely compassionate community look heartless and uncaring.”

But American compassion goes only so far.

Charitably, we say these young people are flooding the border in search of opportunities they simply do not possess in their godforsaken home countries.

More candidly, we might say the current border crisis is a case study and an object lesson in never giving a sucker an even break. The sucker here isn't just the Murrieta resident, but the U.S. taxpayer, who will be on the hook for those children — for their transportation, their medical care, their food, their housing, and eventually, their education.

This is a crisis easily foreseen. It is a crisis entirely of President Barack Obama's making.

Cast your mind back to 2012, when then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a memo claiming “prosecutorial discretion” in exempting nearly 1 million illegal immigrants from U.S. immigration law. It was all done in the name of fairness to children who may have had no choice when they entered the United States illegally with their parents.

Fair or not, the president's policy shift was brazenly unconstitutional. Congress, not the president, has the power to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization.” That includes rules about who gets visas or reprieves from deportation proceedings. It was tantamount to rewriting the law.

The president overreached in a way that will be difficult but not impossible to undo. The free market economist Milton Friedman made the simple, if obvious, point decades ago: You can't have open borders and a welfare state. We're seeing the results now. It doesn't work.

Our options aren't great, but the choice is clear: The newcomers may just be kids, but they can't stay here.

Original Source:



America's Legal Order Begins to Fray
Heather Mac Donald, 09-14-15

Ray Kelly, Gotham's Guardian
Stephen Eide, 09-14-15

Time to Trade in the 'Cadillac Tax' on Health Insurance
Paul Howard, 09-14-15

Hillary Charts the Wrong Path on Wage Inequality
Scott Winship, 09-11-15

Women Would Be Helped the Most By an End to the 'Marriage Penalty'
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, 09-11-15

A Smarter Way to Raise Paychecks
Oren Cass, 09-10-15

Gambling with New York's Pension Funds
E. J. McMahon, 09-10-15

Vets Who Still Serve: After Disasters, Team Rubicon Picks Up the Pieces
Howard Husock, 09-10-15


The Manhattan Institute, a 501(c)(3), is a think tank whose mission is to develop and disseminate new ideas
that foster greater economic choice and individual responsibility.

Copyright © 2015 Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
phone (212) 599-7000 / fax (212) 599-3494