I’ve come across the argument — yeah it’s sad to take kids from their parents and put them in cages giving them life-long psychological trauma, but ultimately — so what? Our responsibility is to our own citizens.
I think about the following story. A man has a big mansion on a several-acre property. One day while he is patrolling the grounds with his son in a golf-cart he comes across a terrified teenage woman with a baby. He decides to give them a room for the night and feed them before figuring out what the situation is and how to help her. The son is puzzled. Why are we spending money on food for them? Why not put the baby in a cage and the mother in a separate cage, perhaps with a live video feed that says “This is what happens to trespassers?” Why don’t we take care of our own family? Why not save the money that you are spending on these two for my education?
The father answer: I am spending that money on your education.
And I am taking care of you.
Because my chief duty to you as a father is for you to grow up in a family that cares about love and compassion. I give you food and a roof over your head, but more importantly I teach you what is important about life. The most important thing I can teach you is that all human beings are part of one family. If I teach you anything different I am robbing you of something much more valuable than this fancy mansion, these grounds, and this golf cart.
If we raise our children in a country in which the government inflicts deliberate, irreversible psychological trauma on children who are not citizens we are stealing from them and impoverishing them.