Child protection

Back in September the US government announced new detention rules that would radically scale back the protections for child migrants in America. Under the existing Flores agreement, undocumented children must be held in the “least restrictive settings” and released as soon as possible, ideally within 20 days. The agreement also entitles lawyers to monitor their detention. But the new rules scrap these provisions. Trump described it as a “humanitarian” move to counter the “illegal flow” of children to the US, but critics say it will effectively mean that migrant children can be held in detention centres indefinitely.  (The Week 2 Sept 2019).

As far as I am concerned this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one (although it is also that).  Those who fear immigration and feel the country is being swamped and  increasingly Spanish-speaking should recall the huge numbers, the waves, of Irish, German and Italian people who migrated to the US in the 19th Century.  There was a brief moment when, so huge were the numbers that it was suggested in Congress that German be the official language of the country; but it came to nothing.  Most migrants want to settle and work in the US, to become citizens. They  are no long-term threat.  Their children will be speaking English.  This is nothing new.  Release them.  Let them have secure and happy childhoods that will help them become good Americans.  This is the Epicurean way of dealing with the matter.

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