Charles Edward Miller / Flickr Stop Separating Immigrant Families Press Conference...
Charles Edward Miller / Flickr

John Cassidy at The New Yorker writes—Why a Rogue President Was Forced to Back Down on Family Separation:

Why did Donald Trump reverse himself on Wednesday and call an end to his policy of separating migrant families detained at the southern border? It was clear from the start that the policy was cruel, heartless, and unnecessary. Although there has been a spike in the number of asylum seekers in recent months, the overall number of undocumented immigrants coming into the United States from Mexico and other Latin American countries is significantly lower than it was a decade ago. There is no “crisis” at the southern border, except the humanitarian one of Trump’s own making. Trump’s picture of the United States being swamped—or, in his words, “infested”—by Latino migrants is a fantasy that he concocted to whip up the racial fears and antipathies of his core supporters.

Clearly, Trump didn’t make this U-turn because he had grown tired of fear-mongering and racial incitement, or because he had experienced a crisis of conscience. (It’s far from clear that he’s even capable of such a thing.) He reversed course because he had no choice politically. Although he often adopts the rhetoric and body language of an authoritarian strongman, he’s an elected politician. And in the face of mass outrage, bipartisan opposition, and condemnation from church groups and other civil-society institutions, the child-separation policy was no longer sustainable.

But Trump didn’t reverse the policy of “zero tolerance” that his Administration introduced in May, which obliges immigration agents to arrest and detain anybody who crosses the border outside an official entry point. The Times reported that the new executive order was designed “to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention—even if they are with their parents—for more than 20 days.” If Trump gets his way, families stopped at the border will now be detained indefinitely under the custody of ice. That is precisely the outcome that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit deemed illegal in a 2016 ruling about the Flores settlement […]

“To cheapen the lives of any group of men, cheapens the lives of all men, even our own. This is a law of human psychology, or human nature. And it will not be repealed by our wishes, nor will it be merciful to our blindness.” 
 ~~William Pickens

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

3 COMMENTS

  1. well most Americans are finally up in arms about what the Donald is doing…..well you guys put in him there and it is not a surprise at what he doing…he made his money doing things my way or the highway and now you think you can cherry pick out things you like and don’t like….things are going to get worst because the whole world is not gonna play his game and take his crap….at least late nite talk shows got lots of material to keep the laughs going too bad it is at your expense…..do anyone know how to spell IMPEACMENT with out doing a spell check on it…or yet you can live next to the rocket man and watch bombs exploding knowing that the land of the free is not free but rather expensive ….because the people allowed this to go on and on and actually glorified it.

  2. Trump already despises Democrats and whoever fits is idea of a ‘liberal’ so just imagine how he views immigrants if he has already alienated half the LEGAL citizens of the United States.

  3. He couldn’t stand the heat he was getting from all over.. He is heartless and pure evil. As far as impeachment goes, that is not good enough for the Donald. His businesses have to be taken down in the courts. That will be the best punishment for him. A corrupt president cannot be tolerated.

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