America’s raging debate over the Trump’s administration’s policy of separating children from parents caught illegally entering the U.S. has been met with a wide range of global opinion, from outrage to sober reminders of harsh immigration regulations of the past.
Mr. Trump reversed a recent “zero tolerance” border policy that cracked down on illegal entries this week after images circulated of immigrant children inside holding facility along Texas’ border with Mexico ignited outrage. Opinion and editorial pages of papers around the world were quick to judge on Friday.
The top editorial in the United Arab Emirates lead English-language paper, The Gulf News, was headlined: “White House was wrong in separating families”.
“Fortunately,” its authors argue, “President Trump has ended a misguided decision to lock up children of illegal immigrants.”
Addressing the “heart-rendering images of children in cages” Gulf News editorial writers call the policy “barbaric and inhumane” and praise the White House for stopping the practice.
They also note that first lady Melania Trump and the president’s daughter Ivanka opposed it.
The paper also revives past prison photos that it says damaged America’s standing abroad.
“Indeed, the images of caged children have been likened to the photographs of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, or orange jump-suited prisoners held in cages in the Guantanamo Bay,” it says.
The Japan Times saw another angle, as its lead Friday Op-Ed proclaimed: “The America before Trump wasn’t so fantastic either.”
Author Pankaj Mishra, a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, argues some of Mr. Trump’s “critics have fallen prey to illusions of their own about the United States and the world before Trump” and that “the U.S. was, from the late 19th century onward, the international pioneer of restrictive immigration policies.”
Mr. Mishra contends that more recently, “Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also pursued hardline policies on immigration while in the White House. Following a surge of immigration from Central America in 2014, the Obama administration opened ‘family detention centers’ and even held unaccompanied immigrant children at a military base in San Antonio, Texas.”
The London-based weekly magazine, The Economist, weighed in with a book review prominently displayed on its website.
“Love thy neighbour: Why America and Mexico are destined to grow even closer,” said the headline to the joint review, which adds that “Two books show that the forces driving the countries together are too strong to resist.”
The first book, “Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together,” is by Andrew Selee and explores the fusing of culture along the border of the sister cities of Tijuana and San Diego.
“As Mr. Selee reports, the two cities plan their futures together; their mayors talk of governing a single urban region,” the review states.
A second book, “Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration,” is by Alfredo Corchado, a journalist at the Dallas Morning News who recounts his experiences and those of three friends.
The review notes that “the decades-long wave of migration that Mr. Corchado documents has now largely abated. But it has made Mexican-American relations more intimate. Family ties improved Mexicans’ views of their neighbor (though attitudes have been damaged by Mr. Trump). One American in nine is now of Mexican origin, and companies from Netflix to NASCAR are courting them.”