As is the pattern lately, the country is worked up into a froth about an issue that’s been going on for years. In a week or two, it will likely be forgotten. Honestly, can you remember what the two-minutes-of-hate was about a few weeks ago? What about a month or two ago?
The unfortunate reality is that we have entered into an emotive era, a time when reason is used merely to justify the emotions we feel. As such, we are at the mercy of whoever can best fan the flames of emotions. We get blown from one outrage to the next, rarely accomplishing much of anything.
And when it comes to fanning the flames, kids being separated from families along the border makes great fodder. Lost in the emotional social media posts and virtue-signaling are serious questions that should be asked:
- Why are families being separated?
- Why is this issue hot now and not when it was being reported years ago under the Obama administration?
- Cui bono? Who benefits?
Regarding families being broken up, did you ever wonder why ICE might be doing that? I grew up in rural San Diego and spent plenty of time at the border as well as working with Hispanic immigrants in the fields and kitchens. Have you been to the border for an extended stay or gone into the real Mexico – not the vacation destinations? It’s a brutal, lawless, violent place.
Imagine that you’re an ICE agent on the border and a man or woman with some children emerge from the desert. They’re malnourished and dehydrated, and they have no government IDs. How do you know they’re actually a family? Are you sure the kids aren't being trafficked? Might it actually be wise to separate the children from the adults until you can figure out the truth?
For the most part, it seems that the media and many Americans are assuming that everyone coming to the American border just wants a better life, that their motivations are pure. But how do we know? While I’m not one to carte blanche support government policies, it seems that we might want to cool our emotions and actually find out why the policy was put into place.
Naturally, we should also seek to preserve the dignity of the illegal immigrants and to treat them with justice. But what is justice? It is the duty to treat someone as they are due. And what is a man due when he enters our country illegally with children in tow? We provide food and shelter, hopefully protection from the predators, and so on. We did not choose the events that are happening to us, they were thrust upon us by the failing nation-states south of our border and the people fleeing them.
Furthermore, we should also question the timing of the media outrage. How many of the photos of Hispanics in cages and wrapped in foil blankets going viral are from 2014? Oh, a lot.
And what might the media outrage on this issue be distracting us from? Could it be an Inspector General report that reveals that much of the leadership of the FBI and DOJ were actively working to prevent the election of Donald Trump and when that failed, they worked to take him out of office? Shouldn't we be alarmed and outraged by the revelation that our own government officials, with enormous powers, attempted to subvert a democratic election and the will of the people?
The ugly reality is that everything in media is done for clicks and political ends. The era of mass communication is an era of mass propaganda. When the media tells you to look over there, you might want to look the other way as they are neither neutral, unbiased, nor objective.
Finally, as I wrote previously, we should question the altruism of enormous charities receiving billions of federal dollars to settle refugees and illegal immigrants. Of course, for stating that, I was informed this morning that my credibility is in tatters via e-mail. But is it?
As a devout Catholic, I’m well aware of the seeming unfairness of questioning the motivations of Catholic bishops and other religious leaders for their unbending support of refugees and illegal immigrants as well as their opposition to building a wall on our southern border. But shouldn't we ask the questions no one wants asked when looking at billions of government largesse?
The $1.2 billion already granted this year for resettlement work doesn't include what is also happening via government payments for food, housing, health care, education, jobs training, etc. We have a cap of 50,000 refugees entering into the U.S. annually. How much are we spending per refugee on all the government programs combined? And how much of that money actually ends up directly benefiting the refugee?
In 2014, The Daily Caller reported that the feds paid Baptist Child & Family Services $76,000 per child. That’s significantly more than most Americans make. Indeed, there is an entire industry built around refugees and illegal immigrants, and the money the government provides for them. FAIR estimates that $80,000 is spent annually on each refugee. That means a family of four refugees could have a household cost of $320,000. From what I’ve seen of the Somali refugees here in Minneapolis, they’re not living the 1% lifestyle.
So again, cui bono? Who benefits from this week’s outrage?
Devin is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and the Alcuin Internship. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College where he studied history and political science. Prior to co-founding Charlemagne Institute, he served as the Director of Development at the Center of the American Experiment, a state-based think tank in Minnesota.
Devin is a contributor to local and national newspapers, a frequent guest on a variety of talk shows, such as Minneapolis' KTLK and NPR's Talk of the Nation, and regularly shares culture and education insights presenting to civic groups, schools, and other organizations. In 2011, he was named a Young Leader by the American Swiss Foundation.
Devin and his wife have been married for eighteen years and have six children. When he's not working, Devin enjoys time with family while also relaxing through reading, horticulture, home projects, and skiing and snowboarding.