The Progressive Call for Compassion at the Border Is a Political Prop | Opinion

As a storm of a crisis continues to roil on our southern border, with hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring into the U.S., progressives are once again demanding "basic humanity" from the immigration system. 24 House Democrats signed a letter demanding the Biden administration end contracts between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the local jails and detention centers where they are housing migrants. And more than 60 House Democrats sent a letter urging Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to repeal Title 42, a Trump administration public health order that allowed for the rapid removal of certain border crossers during the pandemic.

But though progressives drape their appeals for unrestricted migration in the cloak of compassion, the reality of what they are enabling is far more hideous than they care to admit. In encouraging migrants to come to the U.S. illegally, they are effectively incentivizing behavior that leads to the rampant abuse of children, all disguised with cheap pieties of racial and social justice.

It defies belief that Democrats could truly be unaware of the consequences of their messaging in favor of mass migration. Between October and February, 30,000 people under the age of 18 presented themselves at the border without a parent. As many as 120,000 could arrive this year, the Economist reported. Some 86 percent are between the ages of 13 and 17, and 14 percent are even younger, between the ages of six and 12.

In other words, they are children. But the crew that brayed "Kids in cages!" as President Trump sought to staunch this flow seems insensate to the horrors these same children face when they are encouraged to come to the U.S. by the so-called humane approach that would let them in. One investigation found that 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. And the horrors continue when the news cycle leaves them behind.

In early 2016, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published a report about children released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In the 13 documented cases, children were handed over to human traffickers masquerading as sponsors. The report noted more than a dozen other cases possibly linked to human trafficking. Among the most prominent incidents, eight minors were trafficked and forced to work 12-hour days for little pay under substandard living and working conditions at an Ohio egg farm.

This is slavery begotten by cries for "compassionate" immigration policy. And it's guaranteed to occur again because there is no easy way to stop it or even monitor the children once they're in the country. "According to ORR officials," a Government Accountability Office report found, "the agency is generally not required by law to track or monitor the well-being of these children once they are released to sponsors."

The horrified progressive rallying cry against "kids in cages" serves mainly as a political prop for the media and Democratic Party. Once these children are released, nobody seems to care what happens to them, an indifference and unseriousness with a terrible social cost for citizens and foreign nationals alike.

In the absence of a family—of social, cultural, and familial bonds—criminality fills the vacuum; the areas in the United States most afflicted by MS-13 gang violence correspond with locations that received the bulk of the 130,027 children from Central America that the government resettled in the U.S. between October 2014 and December 2017.

Children migrants
Deportees walk across a U.S.-Mexico border bridge from Texas into Mexico on February 25, 2021 in Matamoros, Mexico. John Moore/Getty Images

Where is the compassion? How is it humane to allow children into a country where they are likely to encounter the very gangs they fled? As researcher Heather MacDonald has pointed out, participation in gangs and drug culture is rising in the second and third generation of Latino immigrants.

The United States immigration system is essentially creating a social bomb by inviting masses of people we cannot properly care for, feed, or educate. Nearly 2 million Latino households in California alone cannot afford the cost of basic needs such as housing, food, health care, childcare, and transportation.

What have we gained by allowing children into this country if they are going to live in poverty here, too? How is this humane or compassionate? And how is it fair to the millions of Americans who are struggling in a cage of destitution, yet are instructed to care about even more desperate people?

And it's not just Democrats and Biden who are the problem. Amid a border crisis they're blaming Biden for, nine House Republicans just joined Democrats voting in favor of a massive amnesty bill that would include a path to citizenship for approximately 4 million illegal aliens. And thirty Republicans voted in favor of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which amounts to legalized indentured servitude.

Democrats get their political props; Republicans get their cheap labor. In other words, if there's one thing Republican and Democratic elites can agree on, it's that there's something in unlimited immigration for all of them.

Biden and the Democratic Party may have triggered the catastrophe at hand, but the bomb set by an irresponsible American ruling class has been a long time ticking. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of a responsible ruling class, nothing good will fill the void.

Pedro L. Gonzalez is assistant editor of American Greatness and a contributor at Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.