Outrageous. Inhumane. Cruel. Immoral. All words that accurately describe what’s happening on our Southern border. Also accurate is the fact that the Trump administration and the Trump administration alone is responsible for this travesty. We know that all it would take is a phone call from the president himself or an executive order to reverse this policy in a heartbeat. Since being sworn into office, this president has signed countless numbers of executive orders, determinations, proclamations, and administrative directives covering a wide range of issues, many simply reversing orders signed by his predecessor. So we know he can fix this one specific issue of separating children from their parents with little effort. But we also know he will not do it.
The president lacks an empathy gene. He has shown this time and time again. Many in his own party have the same empathy deficiency but several have at least begun to speak out. Late to the game to be sure but at least they’re doing it. Perhaps public pressure and outrage will force his hand. Or, most likely it will stiffen his spine. For him this is a political win. His base is on board. A recent survey showed 57% of Republicans approve of the president’s actions. Think about that for a minute. Well over half of all Republicans think it’s ok to separate family members at the border. Knowing this fact will only embolden him. He’ll continue to blame the Democrats. He’ll continue to lie. A veto proof legislative fix is a nice thought but in an election year it’s highly unlikely.
The immigration issue as a whole is a complex web of laws and regulations that previous administrations have at least tried to tackle. There are several components to it. There’s the employer component. There’s the 11 million undocumented component. There’s the DACA component. And now we have the primarily Central American component. Most of these components were addressed by the Senate in 2013. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was passed by a bi-partisan 68-32 margin. It offered thousands of border patrol agents. It dealt with the undocumented already in the country. It dealt with the employer side of it with a much more extensive E-Verify system. In other words, there was a lot of good in that bill. Unfortunately, the Republican led House of Representatives failed to even bring it up for a vote. It was a political decision first and foremost and we’re suffering from its failure to move forward.
A real summit, not a photo op
The president wants his wall. We were told month after month during the campaign that Mexico would pay for it. We know that whole line was nothing but a rhetorical win for him as it ginned up his base to the point of hysteria. We’re told that this policy of separation at the border is directly related to his desire for acquiring the 25 billion in funding for the wall. What a disgrace. Mr. President, we don’t need your wall. What we need is leadership. Why not revisit the 2013 Immigration Act? How about using that piece of legislation as a starting point? And, since the summit you recently just concluded with the North Korean dictator was such a resounding success(in your own mind), why not propose a Central American summit? Why not invite the leaders of Guatemala, el Salvador, and Honduras to the White House for an honest fact-finding mission on how to deal with this disaster? After all, it’s the failure of these countries and the strife and violence so prominent there that is at the heart of why these people are flocking to our country in the first place. Shouldn’t we at least start the conversation?
There are solutions Mr. President. Using these children as political pawns to get a wall built that shouldn’t be built anyway is not the answer. Instead of 25 billion for the wall, why not use some of it as part of the solution in Central America? There has to be an economic, as well as a security component. It’s time to stop the madness at the border immediately. Show some leadership and stop appeasing your base who will support you no matter what. The rest of America is against this insane policy. You’re supposed to be president of all the people aren’t you?