That Means Don’t Give In!
We realize seeing children ripped from their parents at the border, or housed in tent cities is heartbreaking and unconscionable. It’s also not a reason to give Trump everything he wants on immigration. Because this shouldn’t settle into just another fight between Democrats and Republicans, or Liberals and Conservatives. This is a fight for basic human decency.
Here’s what we felt was the President’s most telling Tweet of the weekend:
That means he sees this as a zero sum game in which children are the pawns.
And here’s what’s going to happen this week: tomorrow, Trump is going to meet with Republicans on Capitol Hill to talk about fixes. There are already two Republican-only bills on the table, in varying stages of readiness. Right now, the separation of families is addressed by allowing families to be held in camps together. Republicans describe their efforts as a “compromise”. What they mean by that is it’s a compromise between Republicans and other Republicans, and Trump’s evil point person on immigration, Stephen Miller (who incidentally was brought into the Trump administration by anti-immigrant’s biggest cheerleader, Attorney General Jeff Sessions).
There is an actual compromise available: a perfectly good bipartisan bill, but House Speaker Paul Ryan refuses to bring it to the floor, and an effort to bring it to a vote anyway fell short by just 2 Congresspeople.
And we feel the need to continually emphasize the law “forcing the breakup of families” Trump keeps blaming on Democrats, was actually co-sponsored by both parties and signed by President George W. Bush. It is specifically for children showing up at the border unaccompanied, to ensure they were not being trafficked. But the children now are not showing up by themselves, they’re considered unaccompanied only because the Trump Administration has taken them away from their parents.
Let’s not forget too that the most important thing in all of this for Trump is getting his wall built. Because it’s what future generations will look at and say “Trump”. To quote the propogandistic “movie trailer” the White House produced for Kim Jong-un “7 billion people inhabit planet earth. Of those alive today, only a small number will leave a lasting impact.”. And Trump wants to make damn sure he’s one of that small number and the wall will certainly be his “lasting impact”.
Trump even went and made a deal on his own with Democratic House Leader Chuck Schumer: full funding for the wall in exchange for DACA. It was that simple. Except when Trump went back to his folks with it, they told him he needed to demand more. And the deal fell apart. He’s still stung by that. And he knows damn well if he doesn’t get full funding for the wall this year, and the Democrats flip the House or Senate in the midterms, he’ll never get it.
So give him that wall. But don’t give him anything else. Because you don’t have to, and because it’s wrong, and because it sets a terrible precedent.
To sum up:
- Democrats and some Republicans are going to be pressured this week to vote in favor of immigration laws far more draconian than ones they shot down earlier this year, in order to end the Trump Administration’s practice of ripping immigrant children away from their families at the border, or being blamed if they don’t.
- We think they need to hold fast. Maybe give Trump his wall, but nothing else right now.
- Force Trump to come around. Public sentiment is not on his side on this one. We know it’s so hard to watch families separated and children sent to camps, or tents, or caged areas, or an abandoned Walmart. It’s just so damn cruel. And we respect the decency and disgust many of our readers have expressed at Trump using these children as bait (as he did earlier with the kids who were protected by DACA). At the same time, making concessions to Trump so that Trump will end a crisis that is entirely of his own making, is almost as distasteful, and almost equally insane.
- And then what happens next time? Trump negotiates in good faith? Why would he if he now knows all he has to do to get everything he wants is to make an unacceptably mean move and then sit back and wait for decent folks to rush in and give him whatever he wants just to stop him from being so damn cruel?