A must-read Eugene Robinson column in the Washington Post, titled “Biden needs to do the right thing for migrants, so the GOP can’t lie about them” calls out the transparent Republican effort to stoke fear about the border crisis and dehumanize vulnerable kids. He urges the Biden administration to keep the focus on helping children in need. The piece, excerpted below, concludes:
[A]s a matter of policy, Biden must keep his eye on one guiding star: We are talking about the lives and well-being of children. It is nothing less than our duty to love and care for them as if they were our own.
Below are excerpts from Robinson’s piece:
Both for humanitarian and political reasons, the Biden administration needs to get ahead of the developing situation at the southern border. The surge of would-be migrants is predictable, and the solution is clear: Just do the right things, and get children out of detention as soon as possible. And do it right now.
…President Biden and his team need to neutralize this political ploy before it gains traction. That means the administration must act swiftly and decisively to get these children to people who love them — while remaining true to its stated values of compassion and respect for all who seek to come to the United States in search of safety and opportunity.
…Just as Biden and his aides decided to err on the side of doing too much rather than too little on covid-19 relief, they should go big on the border. When the pandemic does end, existing shelter space should be enough to handle the kind of surge we’re seeing now — but that day could be many months away. The system is overloaded this minute.
As a matter of politics, it is unwise for Biden to give Republicans fodder for demagoguery about a supposed border “crisis.” It is equally unwise to give progressive Democrats any reason to complain that his border policy is less than a complete departure from Trump’s.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
What’s wrong with helping kids? Do Republicans really think children seeking safety is the greatest threat to society? Helping children in need is the most basic act of decency.
Democrats must blow past Republican obstruction, division and disinformation and go big, now. It’s time to transition from a Trump administration that stomped on the rule of law, trampled American ideals and spent four years demonizing, detaining and deporting children without an ounce of sympathy.
We need a fair, humane and orderly system that values children, protects refugees and reunites families.