In his column, talkRADIO presenter Michael Graham gives the US conservative viewpoint on current issues.
The chaos surrounding children of immigrants at America’s southern border is a reminder that, in the digital age, pictures are worth more than a thousand words.
Imagine the story without the photos: Illegal immigrants flood to the border and bring their children because during the Obama years, immigrants with children were often ‘refrained from prosecution’.
Donald Trump gets elected, ends the game, and arrests the illegal immigrants. Their children stay in a facility until their parents get through with their asylum case.
Not a great story, but not a crisis. Now add photos that show the walls in that child detention facility are made out of fencing, not sheetrock. Show the kids sleeping rough with mylar blankets. Play the tape of a frightened child crying.
Boom. You just blew the entire story up.
This is the power of seeing. It’s visceral, it chases away perspective and clear reason. But it’s not all powerful.
The takeaway from the classic quote misattributed to Otto von Bismarck - “Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made” - is that we still eat sausages. Because they’re good.
Unpleasant things are going to keep happening at America’s southern border, because the situation is bad. Just like Europe’s southern border is bad.
Long before people started comparing Trump’s border policy to concentration camps, families were flocking to the border.
The Pew Research Centre estimates that 11.3 million unauthorised immigrants were living in the US in 2016.
Should they all just get to stay? Or should they be arrested, detained and then sent away? Well, the former means you have no borders. But according to the media coverage this week, the latter means you means you wear jackboots and a red armband.
The Wall Street Journal reports that between October 1 of 2017 and June 17 of this year, the Border Patrol arrested 272,591 people crossing the border illegally. And those are just the ones who’ve been caught.
If there are over 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, then that 272,591 may not have been the entire number crossing in that eight-and-a-half-month period. We’re not catching them all.
The Trump administration’s mishandling of the border situation is unforgivable. The scenes of those crying moms and desperate kids should never have happened.
But the real problem we’re facing here is mass migration.
Michael's show is on every Saturday between 10pm-1am.