“If you’re … pathetically weak, the country is going to be overrun with millions of people, and if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart, that’s a tough dilemma. … I’d rather be strong.”
So said President Donald Trump, on issuing his order halting the separation of children from parents caught breaking into the country. Trump’s enemies are celebrating a victory. Yet the issue remains.
Under U.S. law, teenagers and tots cannot be detained for more than 20 days and must be held in the least-restrictive facilities. But if the children cannot be separated from the parents as they await trial, both will have to be released to keep families together.
We are back to “catch and release.”
When that welcome news hits Central America, the migrant stream moving north will become a river that never ceases to flow.
The questions America and the West face might thus be framed:
Is there a liberal, progressive, Christian way to seal a 2,000-mile border, halt millions of migrants from crossing it illegally, and send intruders back whence they came?
Or does the preservation of Western nations and peoples require measures from which liberal societies today reflexively recoil?
Does the survival of the West as a civilization require a ruthlessness the West no longer possess?
Consider what our fathers did to build this country.
The English settlers brought in 600,000 slaves, ethnically cleansed the Indians, joined their cousins in a war to expel the French, then revolted and threw out those cousins to claim all the land to the Mississippi for ourselves.
Jefferson grabbed the vast Louisiana Territory for $15 million from Napoleon, who had no right to sell it. Andrew Jackson drove the Spanish out of Florida, sent the Cherokee packing on the Trail of Tears, and told a dissenting Chief Justice John Marshall where he could go.
Sam Houston tore Texas away from Mexico. “Jimmy” Polk took the Southwest and California in a war Ulysses Grant called “the most unjust ever fought.” When the South declared independence, Lincoln sent a million-man army to march them back in a war that cost 600,000 lives.