Condemnations rain down from across the country and across the spectrum
As a humanitarian crisis at the border builds, outrage over Trump’s family separation policies escalates.
Burgess Everett, John Bresnahan, and Rachel Bade of Politico report:
… The administration’s decision to separate children from parents has elevated the issue to one now consuming national politics. Hugh Hewitt, a leading conservative media voice, raised the prospect that the family separation crisis could become ‘the Republicans’ new Katrina and the president’s new Katrina’…
See below for a round-up of the latest condemnations:
Jeh Charles Johnson for the Washington Post: Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ border policy is immoral, un-American — and ineffective:
Experience teaches (as career personnel at DHS know) that widely publicized changes in immigration-enforcement policy may cause sharp downturns in the level of illegal migration in the short term, but migration patterns then revert to their higher, traditional levels in the long term so long as underlying conditions persist. I learned this hard lesson while in office; the Trump administration is learning the lesson now.
New York Times’ Editorial Board: When Did Caging Kids Become the Art of the Deal?:
Watching President Trump blame Democrats for his administration’s inhumane practice of snatching immigrant children from their parents at the border evokes nothing so much as an abusive husband blaming his wife for the beatings he delivers:
Why do you make me do this? I hate doing this! If you’d only be reasonable and listen to me, things wouldn’t have to be this way.
Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board: The GOP’s Immigration Meltdown:
The immediate solution should be for the Administration to end “zero-tolerance” until it can be implemented without dividing families. Congress can also act to allow migrants to be detained with children in facilities appropriate for families. Until that is possible, better to release those who have no criminal past rather than continue forced separation.
This episode underscores the larger GOP dysfunction as it debates how to deal with the former immigrant children known as Dreamers. The threat of Dreamer deportation isn’t imminent while the courts consider Barack Obama’s legalization order and Donald Trump’s revocation of that order. But it is sure to return with urgency next year.
Washington Post’s Editorial Board: The Trump administration created this awful border policy. It doesn’t need Congress to fix it:
Trump administration officials have tried a number of stratagems to counter the near-universal condemnation of their policy of separating migrant children from their parents when apprehended at the border. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is heeding the Bible. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said she is just following the law. The president, of course, blamed Democrats.
What no one in the administration has done is to try to justify breaking up families. That’s because there is nothing that can justify a policy that, in just six weeks, has resulted in nearly 2,000 children, some younger than 4 years old, being snatched from their mothers and fathers, and with no good plans to reunite them.
New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg: The Trump Apologists and the Crying Children:
Over the last few days, stories of bureaucratic sadism have poured forth from America’s southern border. The Associated Press described a Texas warehouse where “hundreds of children wait in a series of cages” with up to 20 people inside. The New York Times reported on a mother deported to Guatemala without her 8-year-old son. In The Washington Post, the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics described a shelter for toddlers where staffers aren’t allowed to hug or hold the bereft children. ProPublica obtained a recording of small children wailing for their parents in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, while a Border Patrol agent joked, “We’ve got an orchestra here.”
New York Times’ David Brooks: The Rise of the Amnesty Thugs:
Ripping children away from their parents is the most cinematically cruel part of the Trump immigration policy, but it is not the most telling part. The most telling part is what happened to Ludvin Franco.
New York Times’ Patrick Chappatte: Child Abuse at the Border:
The U.S. government is, as a matter of policy, literally ripping children from the arms of their parents and putting them in fenced enclosures.
Bob Vander Plaats for the New York Times: Cruelty at the Border Is Not Justice:
This is a collective gut-check moment for America. President Trump and the Department of Justice have taken a stand on justice, on enforcing the law. And that means that parents who break the law (in this case, in crossing the border) will be temporarily separated from their children. As Americans, we already accept this premise, knowing that parents who break other laws — on theft, drugs, abuse — are necessarily removed from their children as well.
But is the Department of Justice administering this justice with the proper measure of mercy?
Stanley Greenberg for the New York Times: Riling Up the Base May Backfire on Trump:
Well, Mr. Trump’s base strategy is producing precisely that kind of enthusiasm gap in the polls I am conducting for Democracy Corps and its partners, the Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund and the American Federation of Teachers. Mr. Trump’s strategy is to continue to build support with the Tea Party supporters and evangelicals who make up a plurality of those who identify as Republicans, but they are by no means the whole of the party. And Mr. Trump shows as much interest in winning over those less enthusiastic Republicans as he does in winning independents and Democrats — which is to say, not much.
Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell: We’ll be cleaning up Trump’s mess for generations:
President Trump’s generational warfare continues, as he repeatedly prioritizes cheap political wins today over the massive costs they will impose tomorrow.
Washington Post’s Dana Milbank: Paul Ryan has been living in a cave:
So now we know how House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) has been staying sane during the Trump era. He has been living in a cave. Without Internet or TV. Out of range of cell service, newspaper delivery and carrier pigeons. With blindfold on eyes, cotton in ears and head in sand.
Gaurav Madan and Flor Garay for the Washington Post: End county sheriffs’ abusive agreements with ICE:
As the Trump administration deepens its attacks on immigrants to the point of literally tearing children from their parents, hope and action are desperately needed. Frederick and Anne Arundel counties (and all jurisdictions with similar arrangements) should end their complicity in these attacks by terminating their unscrupulous relationships with ICE.
Paul M. Renfro for the Washington Post: The real reason we’re locking children in cages:
As shocking and aberrant as this saga might seem — one doctor who surveyed conditions at a shelter for migrant children insisted that “America is better than this” — it fits within the long American tradition of treating children differently based on their race. White children are considered innocent, in need of protection, while children of color are cast as inhuman or villainous, deserving punishment and rough treatment. Until we recognize and eliminate this unequal paradigm, we’ll continue to witness the horrifying mistreatment of nonwhite children.