Immigration: Separation anxiety
When immigration policies clash with values, the values usually win.
In Texas an infant is separated from his mother by the federal government to deter others from coming.
In the Mediterranean a boat with some 630 migrants on board is prevented from docking at an Italian port,
and Italy's deputy prime minister seeks to boost his popularity by threatening to expel Roma people.
In Berlin a coalition government may fall over how to handle immigration.
These things might looks eparate; in fact they are connected.
The failure to gain political consent for immigration has been implicated in the biggest upheavals in the West:
Brexit, Donald Trump's victory, the grip Viktor Orban has over Hungary, the rise of the Northern League in Italy.
All these events have pushed politics in a direction that is worrying for those who prefer their markets free and their societies open.
This creates a painful trade-off.
Resist the demands for more brutal immigration enforcement,
and electorates may keep voting for candidates who thrive on blaming foreigners for everything.
Accept the solutions proposed by the likes of Mr Trump or Mr Orban,
and Western societies will offend against their fundamental values.
Take the White House's approach, which resulted in 2,342 children being separated from their families last month.
To use children's suffering as a deterrent was wrong.
It is the sort of thing that will one day be taught in history classes alongside the internment of Japanese-Americans during the second world war.
To argue that the administration had to act in this way to uphold the law is false.
Neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama, who deported many more people annually than Mr Trump, resorted to separations.
To claim it was necessary to control immigration is dubious.
In 2000 the government stopped 1.6m people crossing the southern border;
in 2016, when Mr Trump was elected, the numbers had fallen by 75%.
Deterrence no doubt played its part, but prosperity and a lower birth rate in Mexico almost certainly mattered more.
No wonder, after a publicoutcry, Mr Trump abandoned the policy.