Moral Atrocity, Bad Optics
The malevolent brute Donald Trump darkened his ugly blot on history by ordering thousands of migrant children (2,300 is the commonly cited number), including infants and toddlers, to be traumatically separated from their Central American parents at the southern U.S. border.
The Orange Obscenity deserves no moral credit for belatedly realizing last Wednesday that the bad politic optics of his child-snatching policy required him to seem to benevolently reverse course by issuing an Executive Order calling off the separations and announcing that border authorities would start "Detaining Families Together" (how's that for a catchy slogan?). A quick memo to his Christian Fascist Attorney General, the Alabama racist Jeff Sessions (who had justified the separations by quoting a Biblical passage once commonly used by southern planters to "justify" U.S. slavery), would have sufficed.
Trump has betrayed no remorse for the horrific policy he claimed to end. He offered no federal plan for re-uniting the asylum-seeking families that were torn-up at the border by his and Sessions' "zero tolerance" policy. The families already ripped apart will not be "grandfathered" into the new executive order, federal spokespersons said after Trump issued his order (though that too seems likely to change somewhat under extreme political pressure, however). Many of the youths have been sent to distant sites far from the southern border. Until further notice (this too will be challenged and could change), it is up to detained and deported parents to try to locate and get back their own children from wherever they may have been placed. As CNN reports:
"Hundreds of migrant children forcibly separated from their parents were transferred thousands of miles away...some already have been placed in foster care, officials said...some children were taken to facilities along the border, including a new temporary shelter in Tornillo, Texas, while others headed to facilities as far away as New York...it's unclear if or how those children will be reunited with their parents... Federal authorities have been tight-lipped about where exactly all the children are held."
The stolen children's whereabouts are unknown to their frantic but trapped parents. The migrant mothers and fathers face the dreadful prospect of trying to locate their sons and daughters from U.S. detention centers or from back in the horror, destitution, and doom of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Imagine yourself in these parents' shoes.
Detaining intact families for the supposed transgression of pursuing asylum is nothing to be proud of. In sarcastic words of Samantha Bee: "Yay! No more baby internment camps ... just regular internment camps...That's what we call a win in 2018."
The U.S. continues to conduct policies and support vicious regimes that create deadly, soul-crushing misery, oppression, and violence in Central America -- this, while pretending Washington has nothing to do with the terrible conditions that are pushing desperate people out of the "Northern Triangle" nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (on par with the Soviet Union claiming it had nothing to with misery in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War).
The U.S. continues to react to asylum-seekers and "illegal" border-crossers alike with the goal of deterrence, dismissing basic human rights claims regarding the unmentionably U.S.-enabled suffering and fear the migrants and refugees have experienced in their home countries.
The orange nativist monstrosity continues to crudely slander Central American migrants and refugees by referring to them dangerous criminals who are "pour[ing] in [to] infest our country."
This is Not About Immigration
So Trump and his fellow white-nationalist policy advisers and policy-makers richly deserve the shame he has received at home and abroad for his racist " zero tolerance" border policy and its aftermath. Nobody should doubt for a second that it's about racism and white supremacy. As the Southwest Political Report reflected last Wednesday:
"Donald Trump isn't anti-immigrant. He's a White Supremacist. This isn't about immigrants. Melania Trump is an immigrant. This is not about the children of immigrants. Ivanka Trump is the child of an immigrant. Eric Trump is the child of an immigrant. Donald Trump Jr. is the child of an immigrant. Joe Arpaio is the child of immigrants. Michael Savage, who has built his massive fan base on the pushing of 'borders, language, culture,' is the son of immigrants. The Klansman Fred Trump was the son of immigrants...Milo Yiannopoulos...an immigrant...tours the country terrorizing Brown undocumented students through rituals of public doxxing.
"This is not about the law. This is about the fear of a Brown America. Whatever the broad complexities of people crossing the border may be in the American imagination these politics play out in a very simple question... how many Brown people with Spanish last names can live in America and it still be America? This is the question that animates this so-called immigration debate. It is the driving force behind it. This is what is meant by 'infestation.' This is what is meant by 'animals.' This is what is meant by 'drug dealers' and 'rapists.' This is what is meant by 'bad hombres.' This is what drives for the call for a wall... This is why Cambridge Analytica titled their portfolio for the Trump campaign 'Project Alamo.'"