All reasonable participants in the often angry national debate about American immigration policy surely agree that the deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody and the killing of a police officer at the hands of an illegal alien are comparably tragic. Why, then, have the Open Borders supporters treated them like night and day, focusing intently on the former and literally ignoring the latter? And why has President Trump so needlessly fed his own critics’ charges of cruelty, racism, and xenophobia on immigration policy with some double standards-setting of his own on these matters?
The discrepancy on the part of Open Borders advocates has been especially dramatic when it comes to Congress’ leading Democrats – who will assume control of the House of Representatives in January. House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, and other major figures in the party (including its likely presidential candidates) have uniformly expressed outrage at the deaths this month of two Guatemalan children held by the U.S. immigration authorities after being brought to the border by parents on long, arduous trips from their home country. (See, e.g., here and here.)
But the early morning December 26 killing of a Newman, California police officer (and an immigrant himself) by a suspect identified as an illegal alien by local law enforcement officials has elicited no response at all – even from Pelosi, who represents a California district.
The same pattern marks the coverage of these incidents by the Mainstream Media, which has made its Open Borders sympathies abundantly clear in recent years. For example, the Washington Post this morning was still highlighting on its front page the controversy over the children’s deaths. But the police officer’s death didn’t even make the print edition. The killing was mentioned on the paper’s website three times yesterday and today. But all three items were taken from the wire services, meaning that the Post hasn’t as of now assigned one of its own reporters to investigate. (See, e.g., here.)
The New York Times did cover the policeman’s killing with one of its own correspondents – and ran the story on page 15 of the news section today. But an article on the children’s deaths, which are no longer breaking news, received front page coverage.
Visit the website of the Associated Press, the world’s largest bona fide news agency, and you’ll see an article on the most recent Guatemalan child’s death right near the top of the home page. But you need to scroll way down to find a piece on the police officer’s killing.
CNN also featured a follow up on the most recent child death prominently on its home page. But its coverage of the police killing doesn’t appear anywhere. You need to look for it with the search engine.
In my view, President Trump has dropped the ball here as well. It’s true that his administration has expressed regret over both migrant children’s deaths, is investigating these events, and seeking ways to handle the new flood of migrants more effectively. It’s also true that the administration has blamed the children’s parents in part for putting them in dangerous situations to begin with – and I agree. I also fully support the administration’s insistence that the U.S. government’s responsibilities to its own citizens are qualititatively different – meaning greater – than to citizens of other countries.
But although Mr. Trump has tweeted about the shooting (without condolences for his family or his colleagues) he’s made no comment at all about the children’s deaths. And just as the Open Borders folks exhibited a major blind spot in failing to acknowledge the special shame surrounding the death of a public official who risked his life every day on behalf of others by an individual who commonsense immigration policies likely would have kept out of this country, the President has exhibited a blind spot in failing to acknowledge the special sorrow surrounding the death of a minor who bore no responsibility for his circumstances. And he could so easily have done expressed such sentiments without conceding a single inch of ground in his campaign for the most stringent border security regime.