Judge Who Ordered Free Mental Health Services for Migrants Should Have His Head Examined



Should the government provide treatment to illegal aliens who suffered “severe mental trauma,” allegedly from family separations at the border? U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt thinks so, and directed that mental health services be made available to some 1,000 parents and 3,000 children, free of charge.

Kronstadt, appointed by Barack Obama, issued the order after a group of migrants sued the federal government, claiming that “enormous emotional trauma” was inflicted on separated families. They said the separations violated their Fifth Amendment rights to due process and equal protection. 

U.S. Justice Department attorney Michael Heyse called the lawsuit “creative lawyering,” noting, “No court has ruled that a detention or custodial agency must provide any such care after release from detention or custody. The government does not owe a free-standing duty to provide medical care to former detainees.” 

The New York Times acknowledged that any therapeutic process “could be cumbersome and expensive because thousands of migrants who were affected by the policy are spread across the country and are in various stages of immigration court proceedings.”

That’s not the half of it.

As FAIR observed recently: “Actions have consequences.” Why should U.S. taxpayers be held liable if immigration lawbreakers are traumatized by efforts to enforce U.S. immigration law?

The problem here is that Kronstadt and migrant advocates are presuming that the aliens have an affirmative right to enter the U.S. based solely on the fact that they said the magic word “asylum.” That is not remotely true.

Without minimizing the impact of separation from a parent, many of the kids that the judge seems so concerned about were probably traumatized by the long, dangerous trek their parents – or others — took them on.

In fact, America has an alarming shortage of mental-health assistance to veterans who served this country. Now a district judge sitting in Los Angeles demands that the federal government provide already-scarce services to individuals who put children in dangerous situations?

Kronstadt’s ill-conceived decision is ripe for appeal.

About Author

avatar

Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.