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June 20, 2018 01:56 PM UTC

BREAKING: Trump Formally Stops His Own Immigration Policy

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: As Aaron Blake summarizes for the Washington Post:

The Trump administration insisted it didn’t have a policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. It said that it was merely following the law. And it said “Congress alone can fix” the mess.

It just admitted that all that was nonsense — and that it badly overplayed its hand…

…It’s at once an admission that the politics of the issue had gotten out of hand and that the administration’s arguments were completely dishonest. Virtually everything it said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face.


President Donald Trump signs an executive order to end family separations resulting from his own immigration policy. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

As Politico reports, President Trump needs some new talking points on immigration:

President Donald Trump signed an executive action Wednesday that ends the administration’s policy of separating migrant families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, abandoning the president’s previous stance that only Congress can fix the problem.

“I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,” the president told reporters in the Oval Office, flanked by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence. “I think anybody with a heart would feel strongly about it. We don’t like to see families separated.”

Yet Trump said that he wanted to continue enforcing a strong policy at the border, an issue he campaigned on: “We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally.”

The action came after Trump and his team faced harsh criticism from lawmakers, activists, religious leaders and former first ladies over the separation of children from their parents in custody, which was panned almost universally as cruel and damaging to the kids’ well-being.

If it seems like it was only a few days ago that Trump was blaming Democrats for this immigration policy fiasco…that’s because it was only a few days ago. That’s Homeland Security Secretary (for now) Kirstjen Nielsen in the background of the photo above.


26 thoughts on “BREAKING: Trump Formally Stops His Own Immigration Policy

    1. There are nonprofits trying to reunite kids with families. Per Maddow:

      ACLU, of course, and Kids in Need of Defense, and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and Tahirih Justice Center, Women's Refugee Commission, Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services, Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, Texas Civil Rights Project

      Here locally:

      ACLU – providing legal counsel to families and children at the border, lawsuit to stop separation policy

      Families Belong Together Action Network  focused on the tent city for kids in Tornillo, TX

      Live video from Ursula TX activists protesting outside a detention center. Congressman Beto O’Rourke is there.

      America’s Voice network

      National Domestic Worker Alliance

      NAACP – lobbying Congress for the Keep Families Together Act

      Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
      Casa de Paz
      Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network – RMIAN
      Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition
      AFSC & Coloradans For Immigrant Rights 

      Colorado Rapid Response Network – Immigration (for ICE seizures of people – information about legal rights in English and Spanish)

      Pick one and donate or volunteer. It's going to take years to clean up Trump's messes, and some scars won't heal.

  1. I hesitated to post this because it’s so utterly mad, but Reveal has been a pretty good source over time.

    Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims

    President Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy is creating a zombie army of children forcibly injected with medications that make them dizzy, listless, obese and even incapacitated, according to legal filings that show immigrant children in U.S. custody subdued with powerful psychiatric drugs.

    Children held at Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor south of Houston that houses immigrant minors, described being held down and injected, according to the federal court filings. The lawsuit alleges that children were told they would not be released or see their parents unless they took medication and that they only were receiving vitamins.

    Parents and the children themselves told attorneys the drugs rendered them unable to walk, afraid of people and wanting to sleep constantly, according to affidavits filed April 23 in U.S. District Court in California.

    1. I saw that, and didn't want to believe it, either. But the court docs look legit. And it infuriates me. If the allegations in the lawsuit are true, 40 some kids were given up to 6 strong psychotropic drugs each. All to make them  compliant, to suppress their feelings of grief and rage, not to treat the situational depression which would naturally occur after being isolated from family and forced into an unnatural confinement.

      This was at a facility run by Daystar, which had been closed down in Texas for hog-tying kids to  restrain them. It would be in keeping with the rest of this policy – modeled on America's ugly history of medical experiments on prisoners and marginalized people. Like, let's try this for classroom control. And it would certainly make the drug manufacturers happy.

      If they were doing this to the teenage boys, what in god's name were they doing to the girls and the babies?

      No doubt, Ms. Nielsen knows nothing….nothing. She was only following orders.

      There will be a reckoning…in courts, at the polls. It will not be pretty.

      1. Yikes! I know quite a bit about psych drugs, myself, and the side effects Pseudo is describing indicate these were, indeed, not anti-depressants, but anti-psychotics. Psychiatrists are very cautious about prescribing them to children under 16 or so. The natural volatility of children's moods can be strongly affected by these kinds of drugs and the damage can be permanent. 

        One such drug, ziprasidone (Brand name Geodon) can cause a Tourette's-like condition, tardive dyskinesia, and it's permanent. even after discontinuing the drug. Nice souvenir of their extended stay in the U.S. 

  2. Wrong Headline. Try this:

    Trump Cynically Signs Illegal Executive Order, Knowing that Indefinite Incarceration will be Struck Down by the Courts.

    In other words, he gains about three weeks until the Courts act, and then he can blame the Courts.

    1. More pertinent: I believe this executive order when implemented will immediately put the administration in contempt of court. Obama had a policy of detaining families and expediting their hearings. A court ruled that this still violated children's rights. As a result, Obama instituted the very policy Trump has been decrying as "catch-and-release" – ensuring that children and their parents are released within 20 days unless the parents had more serious violations than simple border crossing.

  3. A rather sober sounding Ingraham brought up an interesting point, by reference, on her Fox News show last night. Sober sounding because of the turmoil within Fox thanks to Seth McFarlane and others protesting the support for Trump; and Laura getting hammered on her "summer camp" comment.

    Anyway, she brought up the fact that many of the asylum seekers have arrived at the border with written scripts on what to say and who to say it to. She further commented that many of these people are poorly educated and would not have the knowledge to write out detailed scripts.

    My point…….what no one seems to focus on is how all these uneducated and poor people manage to get from Central America through Mexico to the border. Answer is smugglers and human traffickers. These people are even more foul than Trump and they need the light shown upon them. Who are they? Who calls the shots? How much do they charge? Attention is focused on toddlers who are separated, but what about 15 and 16 year old girls.

    1. They may not know a lot of English either.  The thing is, we are looking to punish victims and not break up trafficking rings with these policies.

    2. You might be a conservative curmudgeon, but you do have a heart for kids, so that's good to see, CHB. But what do you think we in the US can do about cartelistas in El Salvador, Honduras, and coyotes in Mexico? Those are sovereign countries. They wouldn't appreciate us coming down and going vigilante on their local criminals ( every Hollywood action movie notwithstanding). We catch traffickers when they traffic in the US. That's about what we can do.

      I worry about the youngest children more because they're not as verbal and they don't understand what's going on. The older ones, including the girls, have had to toughen up to make it this far. They also probably speak at least a little English.

      Traffickers and coyotes are a fact of life in Honduras and El Salvador, the "murder capitals of the world".  and in Mexico, which isn't much better unless you live in a wealthy or tourist area.

      The United States bears some responsibility for those horrible situations because of our appetite for illegal drugs, and our "War on Drugs" which penalized low-level users. When legal cannabis spread in the US, the cartels lost business. They diversified and started selling more meth and cocaine, but for a while, the murder rate in Mexico went down. It's still low compared to other Latin American countries, but higher than the US. Maybe if we emphasized treatment more and punishment less, we could hurt the cartels even more.

      Everything is "pay to play" in Mexico, according to my Mexicano students. You pay the policeman, you pay the courts, you bargain at el mercado, you bribe the landlady, you pay the coyote. 

      Are the traffickers worse than Trump? In my opinion, only in degree. They steal hundreds or thousands, he steals millions. They traffick young girls, he put on huge beauty pageants and walked in on the naked contestants. He cheated on all three of his wives. Etc. They break border laws, he breaks the Constitution.

      1. Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador get massive amounts of aid from the US. That ought to be some sort of leverage on their governments.

        Hurting the cartels? How about stopping the wasteful "war on drugs,” as you reference.

        And Mexico should be doing a lot more to stop the flow of what actually also are illegals for them. Of course, expecting assistance from Mexico is a long shot considering how badly they've been maligned by Trump.

        “Pay to Play” in Mexico? I’ve flown into Mexico City a couple times to go elsewhere in the country. The biggest barrier getting out of the airport was avoiding the cops looking for a shakedown. Once past their gauntlet, things were OK.

        1. The government of Honduras is corrupt, and the Trump administration likes it that way. John Kelly, Trump's chief of staff and former head of Homeland Security, is great friends with Hernandez, Honduras' current President.

          Most Hondurans say that the election was stolen. He's repressed cartels to some extent, but others say he's buying them off. Police are involved in smuggling drugs. So the corrupt parts of the Honduran government don't really have a stake in the US ceasing the war on drugs.  Environmental activists are assassinated, imprisoned, suppressed, as are union and other progressives.

          It's a fricking mess, that won't likely be improved by anyone in the current administration. It's complicated, and takes a lot of reading of history of the last 50 years to even halfway understand what's going on.

          We helped to create the dysfunction in these Central American countries not only via demand for drugs, but by CIA intervention for decades; anytime a socialist or even plain democratic government started making gains in these Central American countries, the CIA would come in and help the strongmen suppress them.

          The purpose was to keep the fruit and oil multinational corporations happy, cutting down rain forests, wrecking the ecosystem, exploiting the people, making a few elites very rich.

          I'd put in links, but I don't think you really read what I post. If you are interested, research honduras + united states + cartels + elections and see what you come up with.

          As far as "Pay to Play" in Mexico, I'd respectfully suggest that your experience as a white, fairly well-to-do (I'm guessing) tourist might be somewhat more different than those of my students who tend to come from the poorer areas and states in Mexico.

    3. These people are even more foul than Trump and they need the light shown upon them

      The coyotes and Trump have a symbiotic relationship. Trump's crackdown on immigrants allows the coyotes to up the price for their "services" while their work in "escorting" immigrants through Mexico and into the U.S. allows Trump to scream, "INVASION!"


      1. gertie97: a broken clock is right twice a day. An astute political observer takes the good stuff where you find it. As an aside, I chose not to watch any political news last night (June 20). I appreciate that MSNBC does a better job of covering issues than Fox. But even they are getting too overbearing with their coverage.

        Lost in the shuffle yesterday was news that a mining company is looking to mine on an old claim in the temporarily down-sized Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument. Following Trump's directive to "Make American Great Again," the company naturally is from Canada. Reminded me of Canadian magnate "Toxic Bob" Friedland and what he did at Summitville (in the San Luis Valley) with his then soon-to-be bankrupt Galactic Resources. 

  4. Any bets on when Trump tries to get this passed through Congress?

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban vowed to take “revenge” against his political enemies after his victory in elections in April, and is now carrying it out. A new package of laws known as the “Stop Soros” bill (the Hungarian-born financier is the government’s favorite liberal boogeyman), was passed by Hungary’s parliament, with vicious irony, on World Refugee Day, and it effectively criminalizes organizations that work to help undocumented immigrants. As the New York Times summarizes, under the new law, “helping migrants legalize their status in Hungary by distributing information about the asylum process or providing them with financial assistance could result in a 12-month jail term.” The government also changed the constitution to make it illegal to “settle foreign populations” in Hungary, a response to EU efforts to resettle refugees throughout the bloc’s member states.

    Our own Ken Buck would probably be the primary sponsor

    1. Not a good comparison. Hungary is a new democracy. The US has much stronger institutions, including a free press. Current issue of The Economist gives good coverage to democracy and how it's different in the mature democracies. 

      1. That is a good article, and no, I don't literally believe Trump could successfully pass such an anti-democratic bill.  My point is, he wishes he could, and there are Republicans among us that would gladly help.  Trump is attempting everything listed in the section in the article about "How to undermine democracy"

        Some surveys find that less than a third of young Americans think it is “essential” to live in a democracy. 

    2. Doesn't it also include a prohibitive tax on NGOs assisting undocumented immigrants? That would certainly place our RWNJs on the horns of a dilemma:  raise taxes or deter immigration. Oh, to watch Moderatus' little head explode trying to solve that conundrum!

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