Las Vegas Sun

June 20, 2019

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Brian Greenspun:

Where I Stand: It’s 2018, do you know where your kids are?


Gregory Bull / AP

In this June 13, 2018 file photo, Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. he separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border caught the attention of the world and prompted mass outrage, but it only tells a small part of the story surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration policy.

It is 10 p.m.; do you know where your children are?

That question, broadcast decades ago on television screens from sea to shining sea, scared an entire generation of parents and woke them up to the real prospect that as the world turned, it changed.

No more could families leave doors unlocked and open across America. No more could parents send their kids outside to play until they came home at dark for dinner without the slightest concern for their safety. No more could Mom and Dad trust those they always trusted to make sure their kids were safe and out of harm’s way.

The world has changed. People have changed. And as that has happened, the scrutiny and consciousness of parents has changed, to the point that security and safety have become job one. And two!

Through the decades, though, as the nature of human interaction and the darker human instincts overruled decency and neighborliness, there has never been the slightest concern about the role of government in the fight to protect children from harm.

Until Donald Trump.

Today, there are hundreds of parents — in varying degrees of immigration status — who have no idea where their children are at any time of day. And, despite court orders to the contrary, that problem doesn’t seem like it will be resolved anytime soon.

Who could have thought in the 1950s, as a new generation was growing up with “Father Knows Best,” or in the 1970s when the next generation grew up with “All in the Family,” or in the 1990s when the latest generation was growing up thinking and dreaming about tomorrow, that just a few years later the government of the United States was not only challenged beyond reason to tell parents where their kids were but was also the culprit in the great American kidnap caper?

That’s right. Parents don’t need the bad guys roaming our streets to threaten the health and safety of our children in our own neighborhoods in our own cities and towns across America. Not when we have the government acting in our names to separate parents from their children and refusing — because they can’t, don’t want to or are unable to — reunite the children with their families.

It is not a requirement for a do-nothing Congress to act in a moral way to reunify parent with child. Congress knows what the government has done is just plain wrong, but it long ago ceded any moral or lawful authority to a trumped-up excuse bordering on political incompetence. People and their small children — the most vulnerable among us — are being mistreated in large numbers, and the executive branch (the president) is responsible. Failing to act makes Congress irresponsible.

All that those children, their parents and the collective moral consciousness of the United States of America have on their side is a federal district judge in San Diego.

And all that judge has is a bunch of excuses from bureaucrats working for a president who couldn’t care less.

If we ask today if parents know where their children are, most of us can answer in the affirmative. But, if we ask our government where the children they have taken from their parents are, the answers will not be as forthcoming.

A changing and more dangerous environment in the United States caused parents to make sure they knew where their kids were at night. A changing attitude in our government has now caused some parents to wonder where their kids are all the time.

Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.