Contrasting opinions on whether Trudeau should condemn Trump separation of children policy (in end, he did)

David Moscrop arguing he should:

…In his 1961 inaugural address, John F. Kennedy warned, in a different context, that “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger, ended up inside.” More than 50 years later, here is Canada—beacon of hope, moral exemplar to the world, shiny liberal Valhalla—mounted squarely on the raging cat, trying to manage a relationship with an addled and unpredictable authoritarian south of the border while human rights abuses occur right in front of our faces.

There are countless grim moments throughout human history that we subject our after-the-fact moral certainty and judgment upon today, adding for good measure that “We would never have let that happen.” We’re better than our barbarous forebears, naturally. We’ve learned our lessons. We’re cosmopolitan. Forward-thinking. Smarter. Kinder. Better.

And yet today, we are silently staring down a morally outrageous and unacceptable policy, hedging toward protecting our “interests” on the backs of helpless children and their terrified families while the American president echoes poet W.H. Auden’s Epitaph on a Tyrant: “When he laughed, respected senators burst with laughter/And when he cried the little children died in the streets.”

Like it or not, we’re living history right now. We’re in the midst of a moment that future generations will look back and judge us on, scrutinizing what we did or didn’t do at the pivotal moment when our moral mettle was put to the test. If we fail to do the right thing—to call out abuses, to demand better, to require decency as a basic term of doing business—then we will rightly be condemned just as we condemn our own antecedents for their failures.

There’s still time for Canada to do the right thing. There’s still time for us to criticize human rights abuses abroad and then to turn our gaze back on ourselves and our shortcomings at home. Today, standing up for human rights is not only the right thing to do, but the necessary thing to do if we wish for a future in which a stable, just, and inclusive democracy is possible.

Source: Trudeau won’t condemn Trump’s migrant policy. That’s duplicitous and irresponsible.

L. Ian MacDonald argues the reverse (more persuasive in my view):

…From a Canadian perspective, the U.S. illegal migrant crisis offers an opportunity to assess where we have come since Trudeau posted his famous #“WelcomeToCanada” tweet in January 2017, on the heels of Trump’s order banning travel from seven majority-Islamic countries, including Syria, from which Canada had recently welcomed 25,000 refugees.

It can take over a year for asylum claims to be ruled upon by Ottawa. And admission is by no means a given. Of the 20,000 people who entered Canada illegally last year, 8,200 has since been deported, more than half of them involuntarily, with the government footing the bill for their flights home.

Another 30,000 asylum claimants crossed the border at regular points of entry, though under the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S., most of them were apparently sent back.

The question some are asking is whether the U.S., under Trump, is still a safe third country. But don’t expect Trudeau to make such a case. He’s got quite enough to do with the NAFTA renegotiation, without trying to score political points on the U.S. border migrant crisis.

Source: Trudeau wisely chooses high road in Trump’s immigration debacle

 

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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