On Saturday, people took to the streets in more than 700 cities in every state to voice their opposition to separating children of undocumented immigrants indefinitely and perhaps forever from their parents. They carried signs and, in Atlanta, dog crates containing baby dolls to signify the cages in which the children have been held.
Saturday’s protest was the culmination of a week of civil disobedience that has drawn the usual backlash: Oh, these are just abortion-loving feminists protesting in support of illegal children they would never carry to term. Honestly, the Whataboutism of the Trumpettes – deflecting the plank in your own eye, to use a biblical turn of phrase, by pointing out the cinder in the eye of your opponent – would be irredeemably galling if it weren’t that it inspired a brilliant installment of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.”
But the Trumpettes can’t win this argument, either intellectually or morally. If Trump wants to deny undocumented immigrants access to America, then he needs to do so as a whole – en famille, as the French would say – and send the families back to their countries of origin. There is no intellectual excuse for kidnapping kids who then end up wards of the taxpayers, ultimately to be declared emancipated minors and perhaps become the terrorists, gang members and garden variety criminals that Trumpet and the Trumpettes so greatly fear. (They could wind up productive citizens like the Dreamers but hey, I’m just taking Trumpet’s argument to its logical illogical conclusion.) You don’t fend off “illegals” by adding pint-sized “illegals” to the welfare rolls. You just can’t make an argument out of this, unless you admit your purpose is to hold children hostage as a deterrent, which is morally, socially, ethically, culturally and psychological unconscionable.
You can be for secure borders all you want. Nothing – nothing – will ever make using children as leverage to achieve this anything less than evil.