When it comes to US immigration policy, what Trump has said is that he wants to deport “bad hombres” in order to better protect Americans. What Trump, abetted by DHS Secretary John Kelly, has done in practice is devise and implement some of the cruelest possible ways to sow fear among immigrants and separate their families. He’s deported the grandmother of a military veteran’s family, locked up a Dreamer who wants to be a math professor, conducted indiscriminate raids, and forced immigrant parents to declare guardians for their children in case of their deportation.
A plan to separate parents, children at the border
Now, Trump & co’s latest brilliant idea is to potentially separate parents from their children at the border, dealing with each group separately. Kelly appeared on Wolf Blitzer last night to confirm the news:
I would do almost anything to deter the people of central America from getting on this very dangerous network. The vast majority of women are abused along this trip.
We have tremendous experience in dealing with unaccompanied minors. We turn them over to [the Department of Health and Human Services] and they do a very, very good job either putting them in foster care or linking them up with family members in the US. Yes, I am consider it in order to deter more movement along this terribly dangerous network. I am considering exactly that. They will be well-cared for as we deal with their parents.
Yup, Donald Trump and John Kelly want to separate parents and children at the border for their own good. They want to take children away from their parents — an idea that surely won’t age well. As Daily Kos blogger Gabe Ortiz tweeted today, “Only in Donald Trump’s world could ‘well cared for’ actually mean ripping a child from their mother’s arms.” The Trump administration thinks that if enough deterrence can be added to the border, no matter how inhumane, it’ll stop migrants from fleeing conditions at home. What’s next? Deterrence via lethal threat?
Sec. Kelly should not think this is a good idea
It’s astonishing that anyone could think this is a good idea, let alone DHS Secretary John Kelly, who is supposed to be a “prudent, rigorous thinker” and a “person of the highest integrity“. As Thomas Ricks recently pointed out, Kelly served in Iraq as deputy commander to General James Mattis, who knew that “when you lose the moral high ground, you lose it all.” Some in the immigration reform community have been hoping that Kelly would serve as a relative voice of reason. But Kelly seems committed to destroying his reputation and undermining his honor by following through on Donald Trump’s insane ideas. Did we mention that Trump is planning to pay for his immigration crackdown with cuts to coastal and air security, which are also under Kelly’s domain?
We know that Trump — led by Steve Bannon and Steven Miller — wants to use immigration policy to make America white again. What other barbarous policies will he and his white nationalist brain trust come up with to repel and expel immigrants from this country? And how far will Secretary Kelly go to implement those abhorrent policies?
We do know this: our community and our allies are going to fight Trump, Kelly and their anti-immigrant agenda at every step. Today, progressive leaders made it clear that we are in this fight together.”