Because he, John McCain, says so

NEW YORK – No matter what the topic may be, we journalists can always count on John McCain, the Republican senator from Arizona and defeated candidate to the presidency, to issue some quotable opinion.

Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that the opinions of the man who inflicted on this country the comic opera character named Sarah Palin are so admirable or intelligent; no, all the opposite. Generally, what makes the elderly legislator quotable is his rare ability to be apocalyptic and superficial, all in the same breath.

Naturally, McCain, a fervent believer in bombing first and asking questions later, could not keep from opining on how to “solve” the crisis of the Central American children who arrive unaccompanied at the southern border.

According to him, we need to send “planeloads of these young people” right back to their homelands. And, without hesitation, he adds that those children have to be “immediately returned.”

Just like that. To return them to the misery, violence and death from which they managed to escape by sheer miracle. Because he, John McCain, says so.

What’s interesting is that, although he is one of those Republicans who pride in the fact that the United States is “a country of laws” (unlike those pitiful Third World nations), on this occasion the lawmaker is most willing to immediately abolish those laws that don’t satisfy his wishes, without any concern for the consequences.

The ill-humored senator believes that “the source of the problem” is a law signed in 2008 by President George W. Bush, a Republican like him, that makes it easier to deport children from Mexico and Canada than children from the countries with which the U.S. does not share a common border.

Therefore, he demands (McCain always demands) that the law be repealed, so that all the children, from wherever they come, may be expelled without much paperwork and without delay.

“That means repealing the existing law that creates this void,” the legislator demanded, scowling.

The object, of course, is to try to get rid quickly of as many border children as possible, and if that means to strip them of the rights that our laws guarantee to refugees and political asylum seekers, well, so what? That, if I’m not mistaken, is called hypocrisy.

To be fair, it should be said the McCain is not the only politician desperate to expel the Central American innocents. The list is long, shameful and bipartisan. So much so that it includes a Hispanic member of Congress, a Texas Democrat named Henry Cuéllar. Go figure.

With all respect for hierarchy, the list is headed by President Obama himself, who, to some people’s surprise, has said that he has no “philosophical objections” to amending the laws to speed up the expulsion of Central American boys and girls.

To amend the law and rush the expulsion of the small Central Americans “to solve the problem,” as McCain proposes, is not going to be a whistle-while-you-work endeavor.

“The Republicans will have to face the Congressional Hispanic caucus” if they attempt to repeal the law, said Representative Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, speaking for the 27 Latino Democrats who are caucus members — with the exception of Cuéllar.

And he added that the Hispanic Congress members will not remain silent while “the children are demonized and their legal rights are questioned.”

“In the faces of those children we see our children,” said an emotion-filled Gutiérrez.