Following Saturday’s public charge announcement, the New York Times editorial board eviscerates the Trump administration for its calculated decision to “cultivat[e] xenophobia” and attack immigrants in a transparent attempt to motivate the Republican base.
As the editorial board argues:
…Scaring vulnerable populations off public assistance is likely to cost much more in the long run, in part because neglecting preventive health care and basic medical problems makes patients only more expensive to treat down the road. What’s more, Kaiser estimates that more than eight million children who are citizens but have at least one noncitizen parent will be caught in the cross hairs.
The Trump administration, however, is betting that a very public effort to crack down on immigrants, whether they’re here legally or not, will motivate its political base in time for the midterm elections. It’s just one more part of a package that has so far included an effort to detain indefinitely minors who have crossed the border and another to cap the number of refugees at its lowest level ever. It’s the border wall, without the wall.
There’s a real debate to be had over the criteria to decide who can stay in this country and who must go. What is the right way to manage family migration? Or evaluate asylum claims? Or weigh American labor needs against the skills of prospective visa holders? But cultivating xenophobia, as President Trump has done from the beginning of his campaign, and then trading on that fear to drum up votes, does not create much of a foundation for rational dialogue.
The entire editorial is worth the read, available online here.