Nearly two months into a monstrous federal policy which separates migrant parents from their children at the southern border, the Department of Homeland Security announced it has now placed 2,000 children in facilities across the country.
Leave the porch light on for Father Merrin and Father Karras, because the Trump administration has declared war on America’s very soul.
“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change,” President Trump tweeted on Saturday.
To quote Luke Skywalker: “Amazing.Every word of what you just said is wrong.”
The Democrats didn’t do this; Donald J. Trump did.
In March 2017, then DHS Secretary, John Kelly, told CNN the Trump administration was considering separating migrant families at the border.
In April 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a Zero-Tolerance policy against illegal border crossing.
“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law,” Trump told reporters on Friday. He’s lying.
When he says “their law,” I assume Trump is referring to the 1997 Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement (only because congressional Republicans have previously attempted to tie it to Trump’s current policy).
The Agreement established requirements for the facilities which housed minors and that they would be released “without unnecessary delay.” At NO point does it require the separation of families.
Imagine if, when questioned about the mass execution of the Jedi, Emperor Palpatine blamed the Senate rule which allowed a vote of no confidence against Chancellor Valorum and NOT Order 66.
In a truly bizarre twist, while Trump continues to blame the Democrats for his own policy, Trump’s own Attorney General is defending it to the American public.
“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained the government for his purposes,” Sessions told reporters on Thursday.
In addition to Sessions quoting the same passage used to defend slavery, we have another big problem on our hands.
A top government official is citing the Bible to validate a US policy. You don’t have to read the full Constitution before you hit the separation of church and state in the First Amendment.
Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA (a conservative group which challenges the limits of ignorance), claimed Trump’s forced separation policy also occurred under former President Obama… except it didn’t.
Kirk may be referencing a series of photos that recently made the rounds on social media, depicting migrant children sleeping behind fencing in a facility. The images are from 2014.
Kirk’s claim proves his internet connection is working, but not his memory of recent history.
In 2014, a sudden influx of unaccompanied children crossed our border. The majority of the children were fleeing from the violence of Central America. The Obama administration created shelters to handle the influx and place the children with family in the states.
The Obama administration never introduced a policy to separate migrant families at our border.
I highly recommend reading the Twitter threads of journalists Jacob Soboroff and Gadi Schwartz as they recount their experiences walking through two of the child detention centers.
Soboroff toured the Brownsville, Texas facility (which was a former Walmart). Soboroff writes: “I have been inside a federal prison and county jails. This place is called a shelter but these kids are incarcerated.”
Soboroff also takes note of an incredibly odd mural of Trump you first encounter when entering the facility. It reads: “Sometimes losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
Schwartz visited a San Diego, CA facility. Only 10% of the children in this facility were forcibly removed from their families (the majority were unaccompanied minors).
Schwartz tweeted: “And it’s not just parents being separated from their children… if a family has siblings that are brother and sister, they are seperated [sic] as well.”
With professionals in the medical field now condemning Trump’s forced separation policy’s negative effects on children, I can’t think of a better moment for the GOP congressional leadership to step up and demand for Trump to end it.
“What’s happening at the border and the separation of parents and their children is because of a court ruling,” Paul Ryan told reporters on Friday. “That’s why I think legislation is necessary.”
It’s not. Trump could end this RIGHT NOW.
The Republican Party will not hold this president accountable. They will repeat his lie.
Trump appears to be using the migrant children as bargaining chips to force Democrats into supporting funding for his southern border wall. Sound familiar? Trump pulled the same move with the DACA recipients.
Whether it’s separating families as a deterrent from entering the southern border, ending DACA, signing a Muslim Ban, expressing frustration with migrants arriving from African countries or favoring an English-speaking provision to immigration;Trump has consistently supported policies which prevent black and brown people from entering the United States.
What can you do now? Donate to any of the organizations below which assist migrant children currently in these detention centers:
Most importantly, vote the Republican Party out of power this November.
In the meantime, this is America:
Update 6/20/2018: Last Friday, Donald Trump said his family separation policy could not be undone by an executive order. Today, he signed an executive order to end the policy that his White House claimed didn’t exist.
Before you start celebrating, Trump’s EO comes with some serious “monkey’s paw” bullshit.
The EO does not apply to the 2,000 children already in custody. It also seeks to “modify” the Flores Agreement. Under Flores, migrant children can only be held for 20 days. The Trump administration seeks to detain families “throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings,” which means children could be held indefinitely.
Keep donating. Keep marching. Keep calling your representatives.