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[–] feral-toes 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

His first example is a huge stretch. He starts with family separation in cases of illegal immigration. He could have contrasted that with other law breaking. If a mother takes her child with her on a shop lifting spree, does that get her out of jail? Err, probably it does, because she is not a flight risk. But in the comparable case, in which the cops arrest a mother and young daughter and think that the mother will just disappear, they will hold her, separating her from her daughter. (Who will cry very loudly.) And rather obviously, if you are not willing to do that, you are giving up on enforcing the law. So the cognitive dissonance here is that we are willing to enforce some laws and unwilling to enforce other laws. We don't actually care about the children, we just use "think of the children" against the laws we disapprove of, and refuse to use "think of the children" against the laws that we do approve of.

He could also have talked about "at will" marriage. Wife gets bored. Leaves. Husband is separated from his children, without even breaking the law. That seems much worse than the separations involved in enforcing the law against adults who break it.

But he goes with his foreign policy agenda. Bleh!