Tuesday Reads: Trump’s Self-Created Humanitarian Crisis

Good Morning!!

It’s been years since I have cried as hard as I did yesterday after listening to the recording (released by ProPublica) of 10 little children wailing and sobbing, calling for their moms and dads. Just writing about it I already have tears in my eyes. We cannot tolerate this outrage committed in our name.

I wish I could join marches against this horrendous Trump policy, but I can’t. I’m 70 years old, and I have trouble walking and standing because of arthritis and sciatica. I don’t have much money, but I’m going to donate today to organizations that are working to deal with this horror, and I’ll keep donating what I can. A few days ago, Dahlia Lithwick published a long list of organizations doing this work: Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border.

Hillary Clinton is recommending donating through ActBlue where your contribution will be divided among several organizations.

Here is the statement that Hillary made on Trump’s cruel border policies.

Even the ultra-right wing Wall Street Journal editorial board is asking why Trump insists on causing a humanitarian crisis on our southern border: The GOP’s Immigration Meltdown. Restrictionists may cost Republicans their majorities in Congress.

Are Republicans trying to lose their majorities in Congress this November? We assume not, but you can’t tell from the party’s internal feuding over immigration that is fast becoming an election-year nightmare over separating immigrant children from their parents. This is what happens when restrictionists have a veto over GOP policy.

Democrats fanned out across the U.S. this weekend to highlight the turmoil caused by the Trump Administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy of detaining all adult aliens crossing the border illegally. That means separating parents from children who arrive together because courts have said migrant children can’t be jailed.

Children are put into tent encampments or other sites while their parents are processed for deportation. That can take several days, which is bad enough, though much longer if the adults challenge their deportation. Trump officials are defending the policy as a deterrent to illegal entry, but surely they understand that separating parents from children is morally unacceptable and politically unsustainable.

The immediate solution should be for the Administration to end “zero-tolerance” until it can be implemented without dividing families. Congress can also act to allow migrants to be detained with children in facilities appropriate for families. Until that is possible, better to release those who have no criminal past rather than continue forced separation.

As of last night, Trump was doubling down on the policy he alone set out and he alone can stop. The Washington Post: Trump defiant as crisis grows over family separation at the border.

The Trump administration’s move to separate immigrant families at the border and detain children apart from their parents spiraled into a humanitarian and political crisis Monday as the White House struggled to contain the growing public outcry.

The situation has become a moral test for President Trump and his administration. The president on Monday voiced defiance and continued to falsely blame congressional Democrats for what he decried as a “horrible and tough” situation. But Trump is empowered to immediately order border agents to stop separating families as a result of his “zero tolerance” enforcement policy.

The president asserted that the parents illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border with their children “could be murderers and thieves and so much else,” echoing his incendiary remarks about immigrants at his campaign launch in 2015. And in a series of dark tweets, he warned that undocumented immigrants could increase gang crime and usher in cultural changes.

“The United States will not be a migrant camp, and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said in a midday speech. “You look at what’s happening in Europe, you look at what’s happening in other places. We can’t allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch.”

Here’s what Trump tweeted this morning:

“Infested.” Get it? Like insects. That’s how this monster talks about human beings fleeing violence in their home countries.

Yesterday evening Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the Trump administration cruel policy. Politico: Nielsen becomes face of Trump’s border separations.

Nielsen made a rare and hastily arranged appearance in the White House briefing room on Monday afternoon, where she defended the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents. Sounding alternately animated and defensive, Nielsen said the administration would “enforce every law we have on the books,” even if it meant breaking up parents and their kids.

White House chief of staff John Kelly advised Nielsen against doing the news conference, but she charged ahead anyway, according to a senior administration official. She placed blame for some of the heart-rending scenes captured by the news media squarely on Congress and charged that kids are being warehoused because lawmakers have shirked their responsibility to close loopholes in current immigration law.

Inside the administration, Nielsen has argued that implementing a zero tolerance policy would prove tremendously difficult without this, but the administration has pressed ahead regardless. On Monday, she responded indignantly when asked whether she intended to create a situation in which thousands of children are caged in former big-box stores. “I find that offensive,” she said. “Why would I create a policy that purposely does that?”

Nielsen’s sudden ownership of the administration’s most controversial domestic policy to date came after senior administration officials pushed her to get on message over the weekend. Last month, she said in her Senate testimony that she shares lawmakers’ concerns about the monitoring of unaccompanied children placed with other family members or guardians.

“We were all wondering where she was and how long it would be until she got that talk,” said one Trump ally. “Everyone knew that talk was coming.”

So she really didn’t want to do this, but she knuckled under to Trump instead of resigning. And check out this bit on John Kelly:

According to four people close to Kelly, the former Marine general has largely yielded his role as the enforcer in the West Wing as his relationship with Trump has soured. While Kelly himself once believed he stood between Trump and chaos, he has told at least one person close to him that he may as well let the president do what he wants, even if it leads to impeachment — at least this chapter of American history would come to a close.

Yet neither Kelly nor his protege Nielson has had the courage to resign in protest.

The horror of tearing children from their parents is bad enough, but Trump doesn’t even have a plan for reuniting them. Buzzfeed:

McALLEN, Texas — Two months after the Trump administration began separating children from their parents along the US–Mexico border, immigration authorities said they have no plans to reunite children with their parents after the parents’ illegal-entry cases have been resolved but their immigration case is still pending.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents in the first six weeks of the policy, ending May 31, according to statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security. But how many of those children’s parents — DHS said the 1,995 children who’d been separated had been accompanied by 1,940 adults — have already had their illegal-entry cases resolved is unclear.

Most such cases are resolved within days or weeks.

Danielle Bennett, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency with responsibility for enforcing immigration law, said authorities have no intention of reuniting the parents until they’re about to be deported.

“Reunification typically does not occur until the removal stage of the process, but depending on the circumstances of the case, reunification could occur sooner,” Bennett told BuzzFeed News. “The logistics of the reunification are made on a case-by-case basis.”

But she said she could not give statistics for the number of families that have been reunified since the “zero tolerance” policy was announced. Nor could she give examples of a successful reunification.

“We don’t have any metrics to provide at this point and we wouldn’t proactively give examples of this,” Bennett said.

Read the rest at Buzzfeed.

The government still won’t tell us where the girls, toddlers, and infants are being warehoused. Some people suggests that’s because they think seeing boys will make people think about gangs. I don’t know, but we have to find out where the rest of the children are.


Many and individuals are speaking out about the growing nightmare of family separations. Examples:

NBC News: All four living former first ladies condemn Trump border policy.

Medium: Bipartisan Group of Former United States Attorneys Call on Sessions to End Family Separation.

Talking Points Memo: 600 Methodists File Complaint Against Sessions For ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy.

The American people aren’t happy about the policy either, according to polls. Here’s one:

CBS News: CBS News poll: Two-thirds of Americans say separating children, parents at border unacceptable.

Despite the backlash, Trump adviser Stephen Miller is determined to keep upping the ante on immigration “crackdowns.” Politico: Trump aides plan fresh immigration crackdowns before midterms.

Senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and a team of officials from the departments of Justice, Labor, Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget have been quietly meeting for months to find ways to use executive authority and under-the-radar rule changes to strengthen hard-line U.S. immigration policies, according to interviews with half a dozen current and former administration officials and Republicans close to the White House.

The goal for Miller and his team is to arm Trump with enough data and statistics by early September to show voters that he fulfilled his immigration promises — even without a border wall or any other congressional measure, said one Republican close to the White House.

Among the fresh ideas being circulated: tightening rules on student visas and exchange programs; limiting visas for temporary agricultural workers; making it harder for legal immigrants who have applied for welfare programs to obtain residency; and collecting biometric data from visitors from certain countries….

In one of the most closely watched plans under discussion, DHS has proposed a new rule that former Obama administration officials and immigration advocates worry could be used as an end run around a 1997 court settlement that limits the time migrant children can be kept in government custody. Putting a formal government rule in place, lawyers and advocates say, could in effect supersede the settlement, allowing the administration to get rid of it altogether by dropping the rule a year or two later.

“Once you rescind that regulation, then you go back to being able to do whatever you want and the detention becomes the complete discretion of ICE,” said Leon Fresco, former deputy assistant attorney general for the Office of Immigration Litigation at the Department of Justice. “That is where people think this is headed.”

That’s all I’ve got for today. What stories are you following?

61 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Trump’s Self-Created Humanitarian Crisis”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Today is Juneteenth.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I’m wrung out folks. I’ll be back a little later on.

  3. NW Luna says:

    A reporter at the White House decided to play the audio of children sobbing. Somebody had to.

    Olivia Nuzzi had no plans to play the heart-rending audio of Central American children crying for their parents when she arrived in the White House briefing room Monday. Standing toward the back, Nuzzi, the Washington correspondent for New York magazine, had waited for someone else to play the recording obtained by ProPublica that so vividly brought home what is happening on the Texas-Mexico border.

    When no one else did, Nuzzi said, “I just kind of went for it.” “It felt like the right thing to do — that if I didn’t do it, I would feel cowardly,” she told me by phone a few hours later.

    Whether the Trump officials in attendance heard the sobs is unclear. They didn’t respond, but other reporters did. The BBC’s Tara McKelvey wrote that hearing the children’s screams in that official setting — as Trump officials falsely blamed Congress for the administration’s decisions — “felt like a wretched performance-art piece,” but one that exposed a “raw, real-life issue.”

    • kginoregon says:

      This is wrong on so many levels.

      The Bible may be a rich and sprawling book, however, in the USA we have separation of church and state. Sessions said that the Christian God “has ordained” the laws that allow him to seize children of legal refugees and illegal immigrants and keep them in cages while deporting their parents. This is not only incorrect according to Christian leadership, but dangerous to our democracy. Jeff shouldn’t be quoting any bible or other religious text as reason or backup for ANY government action.

      On another level, this has echos of slave trading. Grabbing brown skinned families, wrenching them apart, caging them, transporting the kids to another state. What next, will we sell the real cute little ones to couples who want to adopt? If this is mandated, do we have ICE people paroling the Canadian border stopping Canadian families and caging their children? If white kids were in cages would even Trump followers be happy?

      Finally, there is no US law that mandates what he’s doing. He’s sullying his Bible and sullying the reputation of the US. He’s dehumanizing and terrorizing families who just want a safe place to live. How can anyone justify that?

      • NW Luna says:

        It can’t be justified. These people are complying with US regulations in applying for asylum. Instead they are lied to and abused. Trump lies. Everyone in his administration lies. He hires liars and yes-men and sadists. He’d fine with black people being shot in the back or shot while holding cell phones. He’d put white kids in cages if they’re poor. He doesn’t care about anyone who is “other” to him.

        • bostonboomer says:

          He’s a fascist, plain and simple.

          • RonStill4Hills says:

            If you kiss my ring, you are without flaw.

            If you challenge me (or happen to be a convenient scapegoat) you are not even a human being.

            No accountability for Kim Jung Murderface!

            Incarcerated infants because mom sought asylum at the wrong (allegedly) checkpoint!

            Comparing him to Mussolini is starting to look bad for Mussolini!

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        There was a twitter thread yesterday for Juneteeth, about the ads former slaves would post in newspapers…looking for their children that had been taken away and sold.

        and I thought so much about what is going on today….

        • bostonboomer says:

          Yes, our country has been responsible for so much evil, but we made changes that Trump is now tearing down.

          So much heartache, so many people hurt, damaged, destroyed.

  4. RonStill4Hills says:

    Godwin’s Law – “Any argument sufficiently long will eventually devolved into comparisons to Hitler and the Third Reich – 1st Corollary The first person to bring up Nazis concedes the argument.” This administration renders Godwin’s Law obsolete, this regime literally aligns ever more closely to Nazis, by the hour.

    I have heard the family separation policy described a “zero tolerance, “ deterrent”, “inhuman”, “racist”, “child abuse”, “wanton cruelty”, “torture”, and IMO it is all of those things to varying degrees.

    But, at its core, it is a DEMONSTRATION. They are flaunting the fact that they do not fear Democrats. Big “D” or small “d.”

    It is being staged first of all for the benefit and consumption by Alt-Right Racists, but also for the undocumented, minority citizens, female citizens, LGBTQ citizens, poor citizens, and any group of people in this country who think that they can oppose what is going on because the constitution puts them beyond the power and reach of these monsters. They are making a show that they don’t fear the constitution.

    They want to give courage to their moron followers and strike fear in the hearts of everyone else.

    But wait, there is more. The demonstration is for foreign dictatorships, foreign democracies, the UN. This is high theater on somewhere on the “Kristallnacht”, “Anschluss”, “Sudetenland”, spectrum. They are brazenly flouting the international norms and opinion. They are probing and testing to see where the line is, where the tripwire for serious consequences actually is, but so far they have only been appeased.

    The message to all is this, “There are no human rights that we are bound to respect, there are no institutions or regulations by which we are bound.”

    It is Dred Scott, “inferior order with no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”.

    It is Black Lives Matter, “we can kill anyone we wish without fear of consequence or accountability.”

    To supporters it says, “Don’t fear the backlash, the backlash should fear us!” “Don’t tell us what we CAN’T do! We are doing it already! On TV!”

    They do the most vile things and then strut. Their Troll-Hole (a$$hole – trolls, genuine anuses for whom triggering liberals is half the fun) minions marvel and admire the audacity.

    I am not one for quoting the bible anymore but, “[A]nd they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” His evil legend for almost supernatural levels “getting away with it” grows each new outrage.

    The base aspires to this. They dream of being as heartless and deplorable as the “Dear Leader.” We, the Resistance, do nothing at our peril. Forget about poking the bear, cut his furry f*cking head off!!!

    They are counting on blatant and latent racism, xenophobia and tribalism, mixed with a healthy measure of apathy to give them enough cover to drop all pretense and declare a Christo-Fascist Ethno-state.

    Remember what Clemenza says to Michael Corleone in the Godfather, ‘’You know, you gotta stop them at the beginning. Like they should have stopped Hitler at Munich, they should never have let him get away with that, they was just asking for trouble.” Well, that is what this is, Munich..

    Il Douchbag is saying, ”“Our enemies are little worms, I saw them at McAllen.” Future generations will say, “Like they should have stopped Twittler at McAllen.”

    P.S. Happy Juneteenth.

    • NW Luna says:

      Happy Juneteenth to you to, Ron! Juneteenth should be a national holiday.

      Your comment is a great example of why Trump and his ilk hate and fear POC, undocumented, women, and all those who can see right through him and his policies for the hateful, sadistic, and unAmerican acts they are.

    • Enheduanna says:

      You couldn’t be more right about Godwins Law, Ron. Josh Marshall points out tRump’s use of the verb “infest” in his tweet this morning, describing “hordes” coming in like MS-13. And of course that language is literally out of the Nazi playbook.


    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks Ron. Brilliant comment.

    • quixote says:

      Similar to what Nesrine Malik writes in the Guardian, Trump is creating his American caliphate.

      “There is no coherent plan, just a race to the bottom in order to appeal to a base animated by resentment and grievance. But there are moments that signal a gear change, that show us – even though there is no design – there is direction.”

      There is no design — there is a direction.

      I wish we could be celebrating Juneteenth instead of standing on the road that led to the need for it.

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. bostonboomer says:

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    God help me, but I wish the worst for Trump: that he suffer from a terrible, incurable disease that has no cure.

    That he feels the worst physical pain that can be visited on a human being that brings him to his knees.

    His life has been lived without consequences. His lies are monumental. His deceits are without punishment.

    He should suffer as much as he has made others suffer. And I would not shed a tear.

    I have never felt this strongly against another human being in my lifetime but Trump has led me to this.

    Evil,evil man.

    • quixote says:

      terrible disease that has no cure but does not let you die.

      Death is too good for him.

      • NW Luna says:

        A terrible disease that his health insurance won’t cover, because it’s of course a pre-existing condition. A terrible disabling disease, but he must work in order to get any Medicaid or Social Security Disability Income. Oh, and he’s not eligible for SS because he has years of tax fraud and he never paid in.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    My Senator.

  9. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      Filed in Federal District Court in DC. Should be simultaneously brought to the UN Human Rights Commission and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

      Those monsters should be sued everywhere and forever and jailed likewise in some Buddhist hell for bloodsuckers.

  10. bostonboomer says:

  11. bostonboomer says:

    • quixote says:

      As far as I know, Jerry Brown in California has already forbidden the Natl Guard under his command from doing any border enforcement. They can be deployed only to help people. Eg build roads or bring water. I hope I have that right! Anybody else know for sure?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I thought so too. I think that list is the governors who have changed their minds after first planning to send some troops.

    • NW Luna says:

      Why is Washington state not on there? I’m calling my governor. Inslee’s usually out front on issues like this. My Rep Jayapal has been on fire lately!

      • bostonboomer says:

        Maybe he already refused after the first request? Also, some governors haven’t been asked yet.

    • palhart says:

      My governor, whom I voted for, has pulled NG from deployments. So proud of his stepping up.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    ‘INFEST’ — The Ugly Nazi History of Trump’s Chosen Verb About Immigrants
    Read more: https://forward.com/culture/403526/infest-the-ugly-nazi-history-of-trumps-chosen-verb-about-immigrants/

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Infestation, vermin, cockroaches, rats, untermenschen.

    • RonStill4Hills says:

      Not an accident. If my conversation constantly references Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle you might get the idea that I am a baseball fan, and probably follow he Yankees.

      He spews hateful rhetoric because he consumes, has been for years.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It seems he may have actually read those Hitler speeches he kept at his bedside.

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. dakinikat says:

  15. NW Luna says:

    The movement to honor Ida B. Wells gains momentum

    Across the top, the grave marker at Oak Woods Cemetery reads BARNETT. Along the bottom, “Crusaders for Justice.” On the left, there is her name: Ida B. Wells, beside her husband’s.

    This stone is the rare marker in Chicago that honors Wells, a hero in an unending battle against racial injustice who died in 1931. Born into slavery in Holly Springs, Miss., Wells became a crusading African American journalist who exposed the crime and shame of lynching and fought for women’s suffrage.

    After a white mob reacted to one of her anti-lynching editorials by destroying the presses of her Memphis newspaper, the Free Speech, she carried the struggle to Chicago in the early 1890s and lived half of her life here.

    Yet her pioneering work is all but unrecognized in the city, which has no shortage of statues and monuments to leading white men.

    Michelle Duster, her great-granddaughter, aims to change that. For the past decade, Duster and a few friends have labored, dollar by dollar, to raise $300,000 to build a monument to Wells. They’re still barely halfway there, but the word is getting out.

  16. NW Luna says:

  17. NW Luna says:

  18. NW Luna says:

    • quixote says:

      Huh? First reaction: nah, couldn’t be, they would never do that. Second rxn: hmmm. Third: The Dump does follow Putin’s orders. Fourth: And that’s just the sort of thing Putin would want. Fifth: oh hell.

  19. dakinikat says:

    Rachel Maddow couldn’t hand off her show tonight. She was crying over this:

  20. Sweet Sue says:

    I’m crying every day. I know you all are too.

  21. RonStill4Hills says:

    Does anyone else remember that Newt Gingrich’s plan for welfare reform was to take away the children? He literally suggested government orphanages.

    Said it would be a deterrent. Sound familiar?

    Make our compassion so unpalatable that “undesirables” will stop seeking it.

    This is the language and mindset of racism.

  22. dakinikat says:

    okay … stay tuned. It’s possible we’ve got a surrender from the Orange asshole …