Month: June 2018

Following The Law

If we were only all law abiding people, then the concept of lawmaking would eliminate all undesired behavior.

That opening sentence could apply to numerous issues but what prompted me to write today was the separation of kids from their parents at our border with Mexico.

Apparently,  under the Trump administration, adults who are entering the United States illegally by crossing over from Mexico without following the legal procedures are being arrested and any minor children are being sent somewhere else, (other than where the parents are sent).

This is because the parents are breaking the law by entering the country illegally.  While the kids are also entering illegally, they are not adults and are not charged as adults for doing the same thing.

This is the what happens if you break the law in our country.  Depending on the severity of the crime, you risk being locked up waiting for the next step in the judicial system.

If you drive drunk and are pulled over, you can get arrested and spend the night in jail.  If your kids are with you in the car, the police do not lock them up too.  That is not the way the laws are written in this country.  Your kids will need to be picked up by a responsible adult or they will go into the system that is there to take care of them since you have been placed in jail for breaking the law.

This is what is going on at the Mexican/U.S. border.  Enforcement of this law that has been on the books for a long time.  It is not a new law that the Trump administration  is now enforcing.  It’s just that they are now enforcing it.

Previous administrations did other things.  They decided to not enforce these laws or to have more leniency.

Donald Trump campaigned on being a law and order President and he is fulfilling that promise in this manner.  Critics are right, it seems heartless to separate families like this.

But let me ask you, should kids who are riding with their drunk parents when mom or dad get arrested be put in the same jail cell as their parents?  Of course not, you say.

Why now? Why are we enforcing this law of arresting people who enter our country illegally?  The real question is why were we not enforcing this law before?

I see this as Tough Love in action.  As a parent, I had to do some things that broke my heart because my kids were stubbornly refusing to obey.  As an adult, I kicked one of my grown kids out of my house when they continued to break rules and lie about it.

That wasn’t the final event that helped that kid of mine change their life around, but they knew that Dad wasn’t going to be played anymore.   And as a result, I have great loving relationships with all my kids, based on mutual respect.

Before we started enforcing this law and arresting adults who came here illegally, we attempted to be kind by setting up temporary shelters for them and their kids.  It didn’t stop them from breaking the law, it actually created an incentive for them to risk their lives to cross into the United States.

There is a solution.  Don’t come to the United States illegally.  Do it legally.  It’s not easy. But people do it legally and don’t have to hide in the shadows fearing the consequences of being here illegally.

If Mexico is willing to have people travel from other Central American countries, thru Mexico to seek refuge in the U.S. , then they can set up refuge camps on the Mexican side of the border where people can live until they can enter legally.  Why is this not one of the solutions being offered?

Just like the drunk person getting behind the wheel is held responsible for their actions, so are the adults who are choosing to illegally gain entry into the United States.

I happen to have family who right now are living in a foreign country.  They took the steps to gain entry lawfully and they are only allowed to stay for a certain time period under the program they are under.  If they overstay or violate the rules that they agreed to follow, they can be arrested.  Kids could be separated from the parents.  I would have to get a passport and incur a bunch of expenses to bring the innocent grandkids home.

But they are not going to overstay their visa and all will be fine (Lord willing, as we say).

Yes, I have a heart for the innocents, but this time I side with the Tough Love approach the Trump Administration is using by enforcing current law.

Laws can be changed, but that is the role of Congress, not the President.