Every week some new Trump controversy sucks the oxygen out of the news cycle, and humanity. Even TIME magazine can’t keep up. This week’s cover story on the Kim-Trump summit… sorry TIME, old news!
Every time we think Trump hits a low point, he invents a new one. Remember last summer’s Charlottesville?
“You had a group on one side that was bad. You had a group on the other side that was also very violent. Nobody wants to say that. I’ll say it right now.” – Trump, Aug. 15, 2017
Remember Trump’s account of immigrants from Haiti and African nations?
“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” – Trump, Jan. 11, 2018
Remember the Margery Stoneman Douglas High School shooting?
At a White House “listening” session with parents, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed, said, “It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it… Because my daughter, I’m not going to see again. King David Cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now.”
Promising action, Trump said, “We don’t want others to go through the kind of pain you’ve been through.”
Just like he promised action after the Las Vegas concert shooting, congressional baseball practice shooting, Texas church shooting and the Waffle House shooting.
Trump’s and/or Congress’ action to date: zero.
Trump’s latest chaos du jour came about from his “zero tolerance policy” on immigrant families illegally entering the U.S. by way of Mexico. The policy, not a law, calls for the separation of parents from children. The children are placed in a detention facility awaiting action by the courts.
Despite calls from Democrats and many Republicans, Trump continues to stick to his guns. Even with a majority in the Senate and House, Trump’s default defense on the issue is to blame somebody.
As noted by Politifact (May 29), “Trump recently told Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, ‘I know what you’re going through right now with families is very tough, but those are the bad laws that the Democrats gave us. We have to break up families.’
“But there is no law that mandates separating children from their parents. Trump’s own administration devised a policy to that effect. …
“Whenever parents are charged with a federal misdemeanor (entry without inspection in this case), or awaiting trial, they are placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Children cannot go to jail, so they are transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. They are then placed with relatives, juvenile detention centers or foster care. That’s a longstanding Homeland Security policy, DHS told us.
“Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on April 6 the Homeland Security Department would now be referring all illegal border crossings to the Justice Department for prosecution. Facing criminal charges, parents would go to detention centers, leaving their children unaccompanied.
“It’s the decision to prosecute parents that is causing the separations.”
Several members of Congress have visited the detention centers and are shocked by what clearly amounts to unnecessary cruelty.
Last March, Trump went to the U.S. Mexican border to check out prototypes for his “big, beautiful wall,” but won’t visit detention centers his policy created. He signs dozens of executive orders on all kinds of issues but refuses to make a simple phone call to stop “zero tolerance,” a policy he put in place.
What does retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan have to say? Well, as he has on most other Trump imperatives, the speaker is using the Schultz Defense. That’s Schultz, as in Hogan’s Heroes Sgt. Schultz, who hears plenty, sees everything, except when it puts him at risk of being sent to the Russian Front. His response: “I see No-Thing. I hear No-Thing!”
FOX News’ Laura Ingraham took an unbelievable approach. “As more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents, and temporarily housed at what are essentially summer camps.”
Summer Camps? Really, Laura? How about sending your three kids to that “summer camp”?
Who are we becoming when we see children separated from their families and installed in a detention camp?
This is not a political question. It’s a moral one.
Franklin Roosevelt was pilloried by historians for creating Japanese internment camps after Pearl Harbor where more than 100,000 were placed. Even Eleanor couldn’t budge him on the issue. But that was 77 years ago! We’re supposed to be better than that.
At a meeting with Republican lawmakers looking at legislative options, Trump reportedly told them: “crying babies doesn’t look good politically.”
The only thing Trump’s “zero tolerance policy” proves is that he has zero moral sense.
Update: In the face of mounting social and political criticism, this morning, President Trump announced that he will sign an executive order, possibly later today, ending the separation of families who have illegally entered the United States.
Update 2: Trump’s executive order does not address the more than 2,300 children already in detention camps. Further, despite Trump’s Executive Order, the practice of separating immigrant children from their families could resume after 20 days. However, much of the order remains unclear.