Jeff Sessions cites Bible as rationale for separating children from immigrant families; reporters and Sarah Sanders battle it out

I still find it unconscionable, regardless of the law, to separate children from their parents and families when illegal immigrants are apprehended entering the United States. I can only imagine the misery and pain that the children experience, and the horror of parents not knowing whether they’d ever see their kids again. It’s reminiscent of children ripped from their parents’ arms on the arrival platform of Auschwitz.

Nevertheless, yesterday Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who devised and is implementing this new policy, justified it on the grounds that it’s the law—and that the Bible tells us to obey the law.  The tweet below, and then the video after that, shows Sessions saying we must accept this horror because it’s the law, and because the Bible tells us to obey the law. Sessions cites Romans 13 in support, and here are the first seven verses of that chapter, verses that he apparently had in mind:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Just a comment: this is a justification for obeying not only unjust laws, like racial segregation, but for following the dictates of any government, however horrible, authoritarian, or dictatorial. For “doing what is good” can conflict with “obeying God-given authority” as it does in this case, and in many cases we’ve seen. (The same justification was used for segregation in the South.)  This is but one reason why using the Bible as an arbiter of morality is a crock.  Do these people really believe that Trump and Sessions were “appointed by God”?

And here, in an MSNBC report about a particularly fractious press conference in which Sarah Huckabee Sanders fights with reporters, is Sanders’s defense of Sessions’ policy. I’ve never seen such animosity between reporters and the press secretary (rumors say she’s on her way out of the administration).

Note Sanders’s statement “It is very Biblical to enforce the law” and her nasty statement about a reporter being “unable to understand short sentences.”  This is pretty much of a meltdown by Sanders, and explains why she’s probably not going to be around much longer.

As the discussion notes, it does seem that the purpose of the separation policy is simply to be cruel to immigrants, as is the new policy to disallow gang violence and domestic abuse as justifications for fleeing to America.

h/t: Bat

247 Comments

  1. Linda Calhoun
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The skills needed to be a good citizen of a democracy and the skills needed to be a good citizen of religion are completely and totally opposite from one another.

    To be a good citizen of a democracy, one needs to be skeptical, critical, open, inquiring and flexible.

    To be a good citizen of religion, one needs to be credulous, accepting, closed-minded, and rigid.

    Take your pick.

    L

    • Historian
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      “To be a good citizen of a democracy, one needs to be skeptical, critical, open, inquiring and flexible.”

      This is quite true. These are the traits that are lacking in the members of the Trump cult.

      “To be a good citizen of religion, one needs to be credulous, accepting, closed-minded, and rigid.”

      These are the traits that do characterize the members of the Trump cult. And this is why democracy is in danger as the Republicans play to all the fears of the cultists by exploiting all the flaws in a political system that may not be able to withstand these attacks.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Well said.

    • Martin X
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      To be a good citizen of a democracy, one needs to be skeptical, critical, open, inquiring and flexible.

      True, but this describes almost nobody. Most people favor whatever policies their social identities say they should.

    • Diane G
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      Great comment, Linda!

  2. Larry Smith
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “It’s reminiscent of children ripped from their parents’ arms on the arrival platform of Auschwitz.”

    Or of families torn apart on the auction block, and sold to different slaveholders.

    • Christopher
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Or children forcibly removed from their parents on reservations and forced into Indian schools where they were beaten if they spoke their native language.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      I don’t recall any mention of Jews crossing the Polish border to get to Auschwitz, or any black stow-aways on slave ships.

      • XCellKen
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        I once watched a documentary on Comedy Central about a Black White Supremist ™

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        So, Matt, you think this enforcement rule is okay? Sorry, but where is your compassion? And don’t compare it to USians going to jail. 1. This is a misdemeanour.
        2. If they’re refugees or asylum seekers, it’s not even a misdemeanour. It’s a right under international law to cross the border.
        3. When are they going to start prosecuting all the people who illegally employ illegal immigrants? As usual with the Trump government, they’re toughest on the weakest – a bunch of effing bullies taking pleasure in making people suffer.

        Even Franklin Graham, who is head of the crowd that genuinely believes Trump was put in the job by God, thinks this is wrong.

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

          I favor cracking down on the employers.

          The vast majority of these people are economically motivated, not legitimate asylum seekers. Proper channels exist for the latter.

          First illegal crossing is a misdemeanor, subsequent ones are a felony. The former ends in being sent back within a few hours; the latter unavoidably leads to a detention of some duration. In the latter cases, what would you have done with the children?

          I’ll have you know my sense of compassion is just fine. But I do not think that our laws should be in abeyance simply because the breakers of those laws were accompanied by children.

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        But I still don’t understand, why aren’t these families simply sent back (if they are trying to sneak) or deported (if apprehended inside US territory), children and all?

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Insufficient deterrent. They just come back and try again a few hours or days later. Unfortunately, this suggests that Trump’s wall is what is needed. However, that makes no sense for lots of reasons:

          1. Illegal immigration is not that big of a problem currently. However, it has been worse in the past.

          2. We really should straighten out our immigration laws. If some kind of physical tightening of the border is part of that, I would have no problem. However, we have better technology for doing this than a stupid, expensive wall.

          3. The immigration discussion should start with a fact-based breakdown of all the issues — what’s called a comprehensive immigration solution. Instead, the only thing that seems to motivate the Trump administration’s policy is unfounded racism and xenophobia.

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:56 am | Permalink

            Trump’s wall is a boondoggle. There are many ways to get around, over and under the existing wall on the border. A wall might make it more difficult for people to cross over, but people are very creative. There will be a way. For drugs now, and some people, there are: drones (for drugs), tunnels, boats, using areas where there’s no wall, cars and long haul trucks, etc.

            Are we going to put a wall around the entire U.S.? How deep and how high is this wall going to go? Is it going to be made of material than can’t be knocked down or blown up? In history, walls have been tried before. They may have kept some people out for a period of time, but immigration, legal or not, has happened before and will happen again. How many of us in the U.S. are descendants of immigrants? All of us. Even the so-called native Americans immigrated here from elsewhere. How many people anywhere in the world have ancestors who never immigrated from somewhere else for a better life? Probably none.

            There were long periods of time in the U.S. and pre-U.S. when borders were porous. Native Americans wandered back and forth between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. U.S.ians and Canadians crossed the U.S.-Canada border at will. Ditto U.S.ians and Mexicans crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

            Rather than the inhumanity being perpetrated by our government, fix the goldarn immigration laws.

            • Bob
              Posted June 16, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

              Walls also keep people in.

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

                Good point. Hope it doesn’t get to that. But,
                where we are, I never thought we’d get to either.

    • Historian
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      “Or of families torn apart on the auction block, and sold to different slaveholders.”

      Remember, Jeff Sessions grew up in an era when slavery was taught as a not really bad thing. After all, African-Americans were Christianized and taught how to work in the fields or the “Big House.” This attitude that blacks would quickly revert back to their supposed natural state of savagery if it were not for the beneficent actions of whites has not completed disappeared, particularly in the South

  3. GregZ
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I cannot imagine the mental contortions alleged Christians like Huckabee must use to justify this administration’s actions.

    • Dave137
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Part of the reason why she was hired has to do with her father: How could Mike Hucksterbee argue against an administration that includes his own daughter? Plus he represents that most-idiotic portion of the Republican base, a fact not lost on Donny.

      She’s sadly good at what she does, dodging and diverting, as all press secretaries do. But funnily enough, she herself is also being used.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Huckabee-Sanders has essentially one answer to every question: “Look, I didn’t answer that before, so I’m not gonna answer it now.”

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

          Or “I lied about that already. Can’t you guys just use that? Are you really going to make me retell that lie over and over again?”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I cannot imagine the mental contortions

      That’s not hard.
      (1) God says, “be nice to humans”.
      (2) I am human
      (3)Immigrants, non-Americans, people of different skin-colour to me, and people who disagree with me are not like me.
      (4) Therefore they are not human.
      (5) Therefore there is no Godly injunction to be nice to them.
      QED
      Actually, I doubt she’d use “QED” because that’s a foreign language which Jesus, the first Christian, did not speak. So she won’t speak it either, for fear of upsetting the people who voted correctly.
      Didn’t I hear something yesterday about America revoking it’s accession to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights? I wasn’t paying much attention, it might have been a joke in a context I didn’t get. But it’s entirely believable as straight news.

  4. Christopher
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    The “family values” party strikes again.
    Setting aside the vile, hate-filled cruelty of this practice, it is an odd odd thing for a party to support when they’ve spent so much of the last several decades attacking liberals and minorities about the dissolution of the traditional family unit. Why, it’s almost as if racism is the real republican family value.

    • Diane G
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      “The “family values” party strikes again.”

      Ain’t that the truth?

  5. Doug
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Do conservatives believe that Obama was appointed by God?

    How can conservatives justify the American Revolution? Or the rebellion by the Confederacy (since so many of them are worshipers of The Lost Cause)?

    • sensorrhea
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Trumpism is their religion, and public hypocrisy is an important sacrament. It demonstrates that loyalty rises above morality, laws, shame, and truth.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      The extremist evangelical Dominionists believe the devil was behind Obama’s election. God has now prevailed with Trump in the White House.

      • Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        If that’s true, I’ll take the devil any time!

  6. Pliny the in Between
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Sanders liar for Jesus and the Donald routine is too much for me. I cannot stand to see her mug for the camera longer than 5-10 seconds at a time. Here’s a question I wish they had pressed her on.

    http://farcornercafe.blogspot.com/2018/06/liars.html

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Keep in mind, you get this straight up on MSNBC but really not on any other network. They were at the Walmart detention site the last two nights on Television talking to the report who got to see inside. This is just days after they refused to let a U.S. Senator in to see the place. Currently they are outside the courthouse where Manafort is appearing to see if he goes to jail for violations of his parole.

    Trump said it would save lots of money to not continue the exercises in South Korea, which is crap. These guys are already on the payroll. Instead he is spending tons of money warehousing people on the boarder.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It probably saves a little money to not have them flying round and round in circles polluting the atmosphere and increasing global warming.

      But we all know, since when did the Trumpster give a fig for saving anybody else’s money? Or the planet. I found that statement laughable. Or it would be if it wasn’t so cringeworthy.

      cr

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        The military exercises are very important for the readiness of the soldiers particularly when coordinating between military of different countries and languages. The exercises for Korea go back to the 70s and involve participation all the way back to the West Coast and Include our military in Okinawa and Mainland Japan. The Korea exercises are the largest in current military. The Thailand exercise, Cobra Gold is not far behind with many countries taking part. Until they invent electric jet airplanes you and everyone else who flies some place will be polluting.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      It’s on CNN too. There was a lot about it last night. I saw the Sessions clip several times, plus had the revolting experience of a whole lot of people offering different Bible verses to counter Romans.

      Very few were able to work out that if it’s wrong, it’s wrong, no matter what the Bible says.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      These guys are already on the payroll. Instead he is spending tons of money warehousing people on the boarder.

      What is the profit – in dollars per person per day – for the for-profit corporations “warehousing people on the border”?
      What is that first principle of investigation? “Cui bono”? Or in English, “follow the money!”

  8. Dave137
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    God appoints our leaders? And I thought the United States was all about self-governance.

    How unAmerican of me.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      You’re not unAmerican, just un’Merican.

  9. Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Well, I guess that answers the “What would Jesus do?” question.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid Trump’s minions are on a solid ground here.

      “I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law — a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36)

      Anyway, I wouldn’t take practical policy suggestions from a chap who thought the world would end tomorrow.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    How ’bout Jesus’s admonition in Matthew 19:14 to “suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me”?

    Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is recapitulating the role played by antebellum Southern preachers who scoured Scripture for slavery’s justification.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Are you equating enforcement of our immigration laws with the defense of slavery?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        I’m comparing bullshit use of Scripture to bullshit use of Scripture. Session’s attempt to justify federal immigration policy on the basis of bible passages is a desperate attempt to cling to his evangelical base and a gross national embarrassment.

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          As usual, the bible quoters select only the verses that support their views without giving equal time to the verses that conflict. There is so very much in the bible that is inimicable to a democratic form of government. One of the reasons we have progressed to a democracy is the firm belief that god wasn’t doing a very good job of choosing our monarchs/leaders. How many of us believe in what Jeff Sessions said? Not me,for one.

          I am thoroughly ashamed of my country for the way it is handling immigration by tearing families apart. Perhaps that should be done with the members of the oligarchy so they can experience firsthand what it feels like (assuming they love their children as much as immigrants do.)

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

            I hope the Democrats don’t adopt this theme and start using biblical quotes that support their positions. It would devolve into an ugly scene and perhaps even bring on the apocalypse. 😉

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

              You ask me, Jesus of the Gospels is at least as much of a redistributionist as anyone in the Fabian Society. 🙂

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

              Which was supposed to happen thousands of years ago. Wha’ hoppen?!

  11. Curt Nelson
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Makes it seem like the Bible is a source of evil.

  12. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    One gets the impression that Sessions and his argument would have been just as useful in the service of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or Vlad the Impaler. Or quite possibly ISIS.

    And Sanders would be just as diligent in defending the indefensible.

    I guess the US is a long way from being as awful as those regimes. But Trump and his cronies are heading that way as fast as they can go.

    cr

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I’ve just recalled the derision that was heaped on Ron Ziegler, Nixon’s luckless press secretary for “this is the operative statement. The others are inoperative.”

      It appears that, for Trump’s luckless press secretaries, this occurrence is so normal they don’t even feel the need to try to handwave it away. They just ignore it.

      cr

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Altemeyer’s book on authoritarians suggests that there are some authoritarians who don’t care what the draconian rules *are*, so long as they are in place. (Not even that they will be in charge of them, either!!)

      His examples, if I recall, were people who moved directly from fascist to Stalinist in Hungary and Romania.

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Yup, Trump is determined to become a third world dictator, and we’er the country he’s picked.

  13. Rita
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    How is it that showing up at a country’s border and asking for asylum is illegal?

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      That’s not what they’re doing.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Actually, some of them are. Sessions referred to them in that same speech. He says they’re all lying, and are just saying what they were coached to say by the smugglers.

  14. alexander
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    This is a message I received today:

    What has America Become?
    by americaneditor
    I haven’t written for AAE in months, but this video is one that I think needs to be shared as widely as possible.

    This is the story of what America is becoming, the story we should be discussing, and the encapsulation of all that is wrong today in America. Even more troublesome is how the policy is being justified using religion.

    This is not my America!

    Richard Adin, An American Editor

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      A feckless country, indeed. Stephen Colbert has long been one of my favorite comedians and commentators.

  15. loren russell
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Surprising that Beauregard S. and Sarah S. didn’t go to the Numbers account of God’s direction to separate and slay ALL the adult Midianites, and ALL the male children, but save the virgin girls for use as sexual slaves. God’s will must be done.

    But seriously, there is no US law that says they must break up families — this is just wanton cruelty that ICE is making up as they go along, and with the complete support of the barbarian dominists in the Trump administration..

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      “… there is no US law that says they must break up families “

      What do you propose be done with the minor children of persons arrested & detained for commission of a crime? Let the parents take their kids with them to jail?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        Are you comparing people who arrive at the border to offenders duly convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison in accordance with the full panoply of their constitutional rights?

        • loren russell
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Aside from the operative lie that the small children are being “given a bath”when they are taken away… We seem to have managed much more humanly at Manzanar. But the calculated effect here is both to punish and to intimidate other border crossers..

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          i’m comparing these perpetrators of a crime (illegal entry into a sovereign nation), with all other persons arrested & detained for commission of a crime.

          What exactly do you think law enforcement should do with the minor children of people they detain following arrest?

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I read that there is existing law and practice that justifies the separation but previous administrations have applied it selectively in order to minimize the impact on families and their children. This administration is choosing to apply the same law and practice in order to maximize their impact. And also blaming the laws on the Democrats.

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        As I observed, demagoguery & mendacity by both Gops and Dems.

        If we are to enforce our immigration law, perforce the minor children of those detained for breaking that law — like the children of the perpetrators of any other crime — must be removed by CPS and placed in foster care.

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          “There’s good people … on both sides.” Nonsense. If the laws cause harm we change the laws. Excusing this bad behavior with “we’re just following the law” is right up there with the infamous “I was just following orders.”

          • XCellKen
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            “There’s good people … on both sides.”

            I don’t see where Matt said such a thing

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

              I was just pointing out that what Matt said sounds similar to what Trump said. They are both drawings of false equivalence.

              • XCellKen
                Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

                “As I observed, demagoguery & mendacity by both Gops and Dems.”

                Yep, sounds like a typical Trump supporter to me /s

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

            Then change them — and good luck getting a majority of Americans to embrace open borders. But until then, you don’t get to simply ignore laws you don’t personally like. That leads to anarchy & chaos.

            Oh and nice — yet another outrageous equating of enforcing reasonable immigration law with nazi atrocities.

            • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

              I haven’t heard anyone but Republicans talk about “open borders”. Classic straw man.

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

                Well, there’s a first time for everything, Paul.

                Allowing anyone who wishes to enter a nation & stay would fit my definition of an ‘open border.’ What’s yours?

              • Posted June 19, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

                No, you got it right, smarty pants. That’s the definition of open borders. What I am saying is that no one I know thinks we should have open borders. There’s your straw man!

                Your lack of integrity is on full display here. Try to argue your case as if we’re all intelligent people and you might do better.

              • Posted June 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

                That’s the definition of open borders. What I am saying is that no one I know thinks we should have open borders. There’s your straw man!

                Then you support enforcing the existing immigration law, even to its full extent, and oppose releasing illegal immigrants just because they are accompanied by minor children? (Hint: those two questions require simple yes/no answers.)

                Your lack of integrity is on full display here. Try to argue your case as if we’re all intelligent people and you might do better.

                Really? I began by decrying the distortions & demagoguery of both Dems and GOPs, and sought to distinguish among the several factors at the bottom of the matter. I also repeatedly asked my interlocutors for practical policy alternatives. While some responded in good faith, others smeared me as a racist, while you insinuated that I must be a Republican. You also joined in on the outrageous equating of enforcement of our reasonable & typical immigration law with nazi atrocities.

              • Posted June 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

                The laws need to be fixed. Everyone agrees that they are a mess and have been for years. Of course, while we are waiting for Congress and Trump to create new laws, we still have to have a border policy. I think what all presidents before Trump have done sounds pretty reasonable, AFAIK. I am sure it isn’t perfect but it did work.

                The lies told by the Trump administration have attempted to create the false impression among his supporters that there’s a huge problem to solve. There just isn’t. Illegal immigration is way down. And most that do come across the border aren’t the criminals he makes them out to be.

                Trump and a GOP dominating Congress and the Dems also wanting to fix immigration should have led to real laws. But Trump insists on doing it his way so nothing happens because some in the GOP and all the DEMs find his way to be horrible. He had all the opportunity in the world to bring the parties together on this issue and never even tried. He held fake meetings at which Dem and GOP leadership came to an agreement only to kill it once they were out of the room.

              • tomh
                Posted June 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

                The Washington Post has a piece on How to mislead with statistics, DHS Secretary Nielsen edition that is typical of how this administration operates. Why is family separation necessary? Because of all the criminals showing up as fake parents.

                Nielsen:
                “Again, let’s just pause to think about this statistic: 314 percent increase in adults showing up with kids that are not a family unit,” she said. “Those are traffickers, those are smugglers, that is MS-13, those are criminals, those are abusers.”

                The numbers from the DHS bear this out – There were 46 cases of fraud — “individuals using minors to pose as fake family units” — in fiscal 2017. In the first five months of 2018, there were 191 cases. That is an increase of 315 percent.

                Is this significant? There were 75,622 family units apprehended at the border in fiscal 2017, and 31,102 in the first five months of this fiscal year. In other words, in the first 5 months of this year, for every 1000 families that approached the border, six involved individuals pretending to be a child’s parents. Last year was even less. In her dismay over the fake parents crisis, Nielsen failed to mention the 994 out of every 1000 that were real families.

                Sessions used this very justification when he first announced the policy of separating kids from parents.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          What happened to innocent until proven guilty? As i said above, if they are refugees or asylum seekers, they aren’t breaking the law by crossing the border. If it turns out they are breaking the law, it’s a misdemeanour; send them back with their children.

          And wtf is the justification for punishing kids for something their parents did? What are they? Collateral damage.

          • Mark R.
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            The kids are being used as a deterrent, plain and simple and sickening. Let the children suffer so that others will be scared to seek asylum. It’s what the worst despots do.

            Many mental health organizations are involved now, citing how the trauma of separating children from their parents can cause far reaching detrimental effects on a child’s mental health. Not to mention the horror for the parents.

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

              However, I find it also sickening that the parents use the children as tools in their quest for “good life”. Much like the Palestinians use their children.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

                How are they using their children as tools? Do you think they had them in order to gain sympathy at the border? Don’t you think that the fact that they have children gives them extra motivation to move to a safer place?

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                The former. I think that this comment thread, in which the almost-consensus opinion (save Matt’s and mine) is that every illegal with children should get away with violating immigration laws, is indicative enough.
                For true asylum seekers, I think that “safer place” should be Mexico itself.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

                I can only speak for myself, of course, but that is NOT my position. We should not let everyone in. I think legal immigration should be easier and more rationally regulated. The problem is that the current administration wants to enforce bad or arbitrary laws and then fix the laws someday. Instead, priority has to be placed on fixing the laws before tightening the borders. The Trump administration is taking advantage of the screwy or non-existent immigration laws to basically do whatever they want. Unfortunately, what they want is based on racism and xenophobia rather than facts and common sense.

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:23 am | Permalink

                Oh, stop it with the straw men. “Every illegal”. Come on. This is WEIT. You should be better than easy fallacies. You should also know that, statistically, most people trying to get into the US are just normal, decent people trying to improve their circumstances. Statistically, most people on the globe are normal, decent people, not violent criminals.

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

                Everyone is “normal”. As for “decent”, it is in the eye of the beholder. I do not view people trying to get illegally into the USA as decent.

            • Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

              Right, the plan by Trump et al. appears to be “You’re running away from a bad place? Tough luck — this one’s much worse”.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Refugees and asylum seekers should stop in the first safe country along their route. Mexico is not at war, and while it may have its disadvantages, I think it can be considered safe. So I wouldn’t consider the people in question as true refugees or asylum seekers. They want a good life by imposing themselves and their children on another country in violation of its laws and the wishes of many locals.

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

              So what is a “true refugee or asylum seeker? It’s tough to define and whatever definition we use, people can fake it. Your policy of stopping in the first safe country might work but how would you get the world to agree with that?

              Ironically, the US has probably the best assimilation record in the world. We should be taking the best the world has to offer and turning them into contributing citizens and taxpayers. It’s a missed opportunity.

              • revelator60
                Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                And is Mexico really that safe? The country is being ravaged by the narco gangs that service America’s drug habit. Not a week goes by without horrible news of the latest murder(s)—just yesterday a candidate for mayor of Taretan was attacked and killed.

                If I was a refugee I would want the safest country and prosperous country for me and my children, and that sure as hell wouldn’t be Mexico. Why settle in a troubled country whose own people are leaving to go north?

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

                In Europe, the Dublin Regulation mandated that asylum applications are processed by the first EU state that the applicant entered. It worked reasonably well, until Merkel decided to throw it out of the window. During the migration crisis of 2015, and to a lesser degree now, legions of migrants illegally crossed my Bulgaria and 4-5 other safe countries to reach a country prosperous enough for their taste. I see the same pattern in migrants crossing Mexico to storm the USA.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

                To Maya: I always enjoy your point of view although it seldom aligns with mine.

                In this case, I think the government of the U.S. is making a horrendous error that will have extremely long term negative effects. What should be done with these people who risk their lives to find a safer place to live in Europe or the U.S.? (During the Cold War and the Cuban Crisis, I sent my very young children to stay with their grandparents in the hopes that if Los Angeles were nuked, they’d survive.) I don’t know enough about corrupt politicians and gang activity in Central America, but Mexico has been run by corrupt politicians, police and military for many years. Now,add the war between drug clans who don’t keep battle among themselves. They terrorize (and torture and kill not only politicians but innocent villagers who, like the immigrants, are just trying to live in peace.)

                Now, it seems that many politicians in the U.S. are turning to undemocratic principles and principals by which to lead us. We don’t need, or want, our own versions of either Stalin or Putin, Hitler or Mussolini, Kim Jong Un, et al. We need leaders who are less interested in maintaining conditions for increasing their wealth at the expense of the poor and who will care for all of us. I do not tar all politicians with the sins of P-trump and P-sessions, as we are fortunate in still having some politicians with principles and honor.

                On the practical side: because of the war against immigrants, various U.S. businesses have difficulty finding employees. Crab pickers on the east coast. Apple pickers in Washington on the west. I’m sure there’s more I don’t know about.

                “Give me your tired, your poor…”, my a*s!

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

              If they’re Mexican that analysis doesn’t work. There are plenty of people whose lives are at risk there because they live in a region controlled by a drug baron. They may have been forced to work in the industry from a young age, and can’t escape except by leaving the country.

              On CNN yesterday, they were filming some people at the border. Those people didn’t cross the border but presented themselves to officials saying they were seeking asylum. (That’s the proper legal process.) They were told they were under arrest. The children were separated from their parents. This is clearly a breach of international law. They had done nothing wrong. They hadn’t even crossed the border.

              People may doubt their motives, but it’s up to the court to decide if they’re genuine or should be sent back. The US is failing to meet their obligations under international law that they signed up to.

              Yes, some people just want the chance of a better life. They had the bad luck to be born in Nicaragua instead of New York. They shouldn’t all be the US’s responsibility of course, but the partisan bickering that’s prevented the laws being fixed, which would help immensely, has gone on for years. Both sides lie (though the Republicans are much worse, especially currently). Feeling in the country has been exacerbated to such an extent that the slightest compromise is seen as a wholesale betrayal. (Remember the Gang of Eight? It all but destroyed Marco Rubio’s political career.)

              Trump is currently telling the country that Democrats in Congress have to fix their law so the DHS doesn’t have to take the kids away, and that he’s reaching out, but they want this to happen!!! There are five #TrumpLies in that one sentence!!!

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

                It is indeed outrageous to arrest and separate families who haven’t crossed the border. And as I wrote before, even if they have, I think they should be deported as a whole, parents together with the children.

                The problem with people who claim to be harassed by a non-government entity, such as a drug cartel or the Taliban, is that their stories are absolutely impossible to verify. They can tell the truth, they can make it up, or they can even be the bad guys (as here in Europe, where many men claiming to flee Islamist terror turned out to be jihadis themselves). I suppose that many M-13 members were allowed to remain in the USA based on their testimony that they desperately needed to escape the world of drugs and gangs.

                Moreover, overwhelmed courts may need years to sort out asylum applications. In the case of the deported Albanian lady, the procedure plus appeals took more than a decade, and meanwhile she created a family and 3 children. International law was created in a world full of natural and artificial barriers to migration. Today, it is simply not working. I think that the USA should assemble a list of countries considered safe, from which no asylum applications are considered, and this list should include Mexico.

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

            Innocent until proven guilty is a matter of the courts. Police may and do arrest on a presumption of guilt.

            Legitimate asylum seekers do not pay human traffickers to smuggle them across the border.

            This is not punishing kids for their parents’ trangressions. But unfortunately, they are in effect ‘collateral damage’, because their parents chose to take them along during the commission of a crime. It sucked for the Rosenberg boys, too.

            I will ask again: what do you propose be done with the minor children of persons arrested & detained for the commission of a crime?

  16. Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I don’t ever watch the news…that NBC clip is really something! I had no idea Sanders was so antagonizing and unsatisfying. This is really an appalling policy. Thank you for the biblical perspective.

  17. Walt Jones
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Notice that anyone supporting the policy shifts the topic from the children to the parents. Same as for the Dreamers.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Anyone opposing this policy advocates letting felons go free simply because they are parents with minor children.

      • mikeyc
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Is there no room for decency in your understanding of The Law? Why is it that before we deport people for coming here illegally must we separate them from their children? Irrespective of what you might think of their felon parents, what possible reason could you come up with that justifies such cruelty to innocents?

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          What is your alternate proposal?

          When anyone else gets caught committing a crime and jailed, their ‘innocent’ children are separated from them.

          • mikeyc
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            There are no differences in the nature of the crimes people commit? All are to be treated the same? Murders and thieves no different from families just seeking relief?

            Justice without mercy is cruelty and is the path to tyranny.

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

              I don’t know what US laws say but to me, a minor theft (for which a parent may get detained) is far less serious than a border violation.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

                And a minor theft would get no jail time, ie, no separation from children.

                At what point does theft become a bigger crime than border violation? Do you have a calculus? And why is theft less serious? Can you explain how you came to that conclusion so I can decide if you have a good point or not?

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

                No one society known to me has been destroyed by theft, while many have been destroyed by illegal immigration. Actually, more societies have been destroyed by illegal immigration than by any other known factor.

            • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

              Either an act is criminal or it is not. You propose some sort of side letter to the criminal code, whereby we do or do not enforce this or that law.

              There are misdemeanors and felonies. FTR, first illegal entry is a misdemeanor, subsequent are felonies. The former are reunited with their children within a few hours and the whole family is shipped home together. The latter are detained longer.

              • tomh
                Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

                “The former are reunited with their children within a few hours”
                How can you possibly know this?

                “Previously, anyone caught entering illegally was released if they had children with them.”
                Not even close to being true.

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

                Are you familiar with the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling on the Flores Consent Decree?

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            This is disingenuous. Sessions stated in public that they are doing this separation on purpose as a deterrent. This implies that they know they don’t need to do this.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

              Of course they know. Bush introduced it in 2008. It was only to be used in extreme circumstances, such as where there was strong evidence it would be better for the child. It has hardly ever been used. Both previous administrations erred on the side of compassion.

              A significant part of the Trump administration thinks compassion is only for healthy, wealthy, white, Christians.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

                Yes, but I think that “compassion is only for healthy, wealthy, white, Christians” is a sentiment shared by a huge number of Americans, not just the administration. They just happen to also be white and Christian, though mostly not healthy and wealthy.

            • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

              Well, that’s the demagoguery. Previously, anyone caught entering illegally was released if they had children with them. And that was a major incentive.

          • Randy Bessinger
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

            BUt usually get visiting rights…correct?

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            I think that the whole family should be deported together. I think that separating parents from children in needlessly cruel and also counter-productive, because it means that at least one of the parties will remain on US soil.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

            All illegal immigrants deserve to be jailed?

            • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

              I’ve explained the current law & its proper enforcement elsewhere. How would you handle illegal immigrants?

        • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:14 am | Permalink

          How do these so-called illegal immigrants become felons before they are even tried? Are
          they called felons only if they cross unmanned areas, or also at locations with “gates” and federal attendants of whatever initials who nab them before they can go further? The adults are sometimes being held for months before they are seen by a judge. Often (if not always) they have no legal representation. Do they then end up with a felony conviction and record in the U.S.? Are they and their children brought back together before the adults are sent back to Mexico?
          Apparently, some of the young children are brought before judges also without legal assistance, the English language or knowledge of the legal system. If we were treated this way in any other country, we’d scream bloody murder. We have gone nuts!!!

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:36 am | Permalink

            I must apologize in that I accidentally mixed two issues: the handling of illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. and the illegal being captured by ICE for transport out. The latter are the ones being held a long time. I don’t know how long illegal immigrants coming in are held. The whole situation in both instances makes me sick.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        “Anyone opposing this policy advocates letting felons go free simply because they are parents with minor children.”

        Tell us again who’s engaging in demagoguery here.

  18. sensorrhea
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Is someone going to point out that the Bible is not a legal document in the USA?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Heaven forbid…

    • Liz
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      +1

  19. Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Both Gops and Dems are spinning outrageous lies about this issue.

    So far, c. 1500 unaccompanied children brought illegally across the border have been placed in foster homes.

    Entering the country illegally is a crime. If the ineffective “catch-and-release” policy is to be replaced by actual enforcement of the law, then the perps will be detained following arrest. As with any adult detained for commission of a crime, their minor children will be taken from them and placed in foster homes. There is simply no other solution — other than continuing to fail to enforce our laws or to affirm our sovereignty as a nation.

    • mikeyc
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      What it comes down to, Matt, is what kind of society do you want to live in? This is not the one I want.

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        I want to live in a society that exists under Rule of Law. I want to live in a nation that exercises its sovereign right to regulate its borders and immigration.

        Being a parent should not be a ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card.

        • mikeyc
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          Who said they would “get of jail free”? In the kind of society I want, you could take your pound of flesh if you really need for the Law to be obeyed, but we wouldn’t take it from the children as well.

          There is no excuse for this beyond cruelty.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

            The argument I see is:

            * These adults committed a crime;
            * They have minor children;
            * Were they to be incarcerated, their children would need to be placed in foster care;
            * That would be cruel/mean/unfair to the children;
            >> Therefore, for the sake of the children, we should release the criminals.

            Please explain why this argument applies only to certain perps and not all perps.

            • mikeyc
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

              Why are some criminals put in high security prisons while some are put in day-release programs?

              This can NOT be too difficult for you to understand. The government has stated their reason for this; their intent is use unconscionable cruelty to children to deter their parents from committing a crime. For FSM sake, Matt, have we no decency? Can’t we distinguish these kinds of crimes just as we do between white collar and violent crimes?

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

                When someone with minor children is arrested & detained for commission of a felony, I can see but three options:

                a) see them free so they can be with their kids;
                b) place the kids in protective care while the parent is in custody;
                c) let them take their kids with them to jail.

                Which do you favor?

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

              As mikeyc wrote, because not all perps have done something truly awful, with malicious intent. Some perps don’t deserve the harshest punishment.

              “Crime” is not a monolithic category.

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

                To repeat: first illegal entry is a misdemeanor, with return to origin nation in a few hours; multiple illegal entry is a felony, with detention until trial.

                This scary-sounding “Zero Tolerance Policy” is simply a reversal of the previous policy of treating felonies like misdemeanors — actually not even that: the perps were simply released in the US. Do you object to treating a felony as a felony?

        • alexander
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Nazi Germany and now North Korea are examples of countries existing “under rule of law.” The problem here is clearly what is this “rule of law” ? I think there are about 17 countries that live under the “rule of law” that includes capital punishment for homosexuality.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            If there were a Nobel Prize for the category of Non Sequitur, you’d soon be meeting the King of Sweden.

            There are 119-odd countries that have laws regarding immigration — all essentially the same as the US’s. Why is the US equivalent to NK or Nazi Germany for enforcing its own?

            • alexander
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

              So these 119 countries have laws saying that the children of immigrants (at the border you don’t know with certainty if they are illegal or not, by the way) have to be separated from their parents?

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

                Umm, if you cross the border without going through customs, you’ve committed a crime.

                What exactly do you propose law enforcement do with the minor children of persons they have arrested and detained?

            • alexander
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

              And if you feel that you have to throw personal insults at people who don’t agree with you, you should not take part in this discussion.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink


              There are 119-odd countries that have laws regarding immigration …”

              And many of these countries — especially those run by the despots Donald Trump so admires — use rape camps as a tool of political persuasion. You cool with that, too, or do you draw the line at ripping infants away from their breast-feeding mothers as a disincentive to undocumented immigration?

              (Ok, that was a little bit demagogic. 🙂 )

          • Randy Bessinger
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

            Hey, we love that North Korean guy. He is a “string leader” that enforces the laws. Hey, maybe he does believe in the bible.

            • Randy Bessinger
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

              Strong not string…

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          At least most prisoners get visiting rights with their children!

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            Yes — after they’ve been sentenced, convicted, & sent to prison. These individuals have so far only been arrested & temporarily jailed. You think someone held overnight in the drunk tank gets visiting rights?

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      You act as if in April the law enforcing republicans just had to do what was not being done before for years. The law did not change it was just not being enforced regarding this particular part – NO TOLERANCE. It’s BS. They are doing this as example to any who want to try coming. Put the fear in them, whatever we have to do until we get the wall. Our sovereignty my butt. What happened to give us your tired and poor?

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Those ‘tired and poor’ you allude to all entered the US legally, within strict quotas.

        I fail to see the problem with finally enforcing the law in question.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          How about it is against everything we could stand for. Taking kids away from their parents and warehousing them. Is this your American way? Is this the plan? This is what dictators do. It is also pretty racists when you lay it all out. Keep arguing for this law enforcement because it will not stand. You and Trump will soon be on the way out.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            What exactly do you think happens to the children of other individuals arrested & incarcerated for commission of a crime?

            Also, did you just call me a racist?

            • busterggi
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

              How’s that shoe fit?

              • mikeyc
                Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

                That’s over the top. Matt may be a lot of things but based on all his commentary here, he’s no racist.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

                Yeah, I agree with Mikey here; Matt hasn’t done anything to warrant that epithet.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

              Are you a racist? Let’s check, how many of those 1500 kids are white, with white parents? zero. How many are brown and from a number of countries – 100% Go ahead, give of your picture of how pure and honest you are on this entire issue. Why not just do what Trump is doing. He is blaming the whole thing on the Democrats. Now that is a ridiculous charge – far more off the mark than calling him a racist.

              • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

                White people have been targeted as well. I have read about Cile Precetaj from Albania, mother of three minor children, who was arrested and then deported. Emigrants have repeatedly told me that as visitors, we should take precautions against anything that could make us overstay our visas, because if we do, things will become tough for us.

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

                According to the US census bureau, Latin Americans are white.

                But I’ll take that a yes: you are calling me a racist.

                But just for the record, my own cousin from Ireland overstayed his student visa and worked under the table, and I didn’t approve of that, either.

            • Randy Bessinger
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

              They get visiting rights.

            • Randy Bessinger
              Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

              They would be put in care of the state and custody woukd be determined; however, in most cases the parents could request visiting rights, correct. In addition, custody would usually be granted to a close relative, no?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Wasn’t that what they told the “perps” on the MS St. Louis?

      These are innocent children, some of whose parents are fleeing persecution in their native countries.

      The brand of know-nothing nativism demonstrated by the Trumpistas recrudesces every generation or two in the US. Hell, it’s been around since the first Pilgrim off the Mayflower did a volte-face on Plymouth Rock, held up his hands to Pilgrim #2 on the gangway, and said “Where ya think yer goin’, furriner?”

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        “Wasn’t that what they told the “perps” on the MS St. Louis?”

        There you go again, outrageously equating entirely reasonable & typical immigration policy with the Nuremberg Laws.

        “These are innocent children…”

        All minor children of criminals are ‘innocent.’ To assert that establishes nothing.

        ” … some of whose parents are fleeing persecution in their native countries.”

        Anyone fleeing persecution may apply for asylum. That is not what’s going on here.

        • Randy Bessinger
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Visiting rights Matt?

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            There are no visiting rights prior to conviction, sentencing, & incarceration. You do get a phone call.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          You really think this new zero-tolerance approach of the Trump administration constitutes wise, just, and efficacious immigration policy?

          This “New Cruelty” is designed not merely to “enforce the law,” but to be punitive — to deter people from coming to the border. Or so the Trump camp claims. In fact, it seems to have been adopted more for domestic consumption — to inflame the basest instincts of Trump’s alt-right xenophobic base in advance of the midterm elections. They thrill to the sight of the dusky hordes being made to suffer.

          Sessions’s bible spew was meant to keep the Evangelicals from getting restive over such blatant nastiness.

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            I think arresting and detaining anyone caught entering illegally is the proper course of action.

            A repeat illegal entry is a felony, and the perpetrator must be detained for an extended period following arrest. There is no viable solution other than to place any accompanying minor children in protective custody.

            The prior policy was to immediately release anyone accompanied by children. Not only does that make a travesty of our laws, it creates an huge incentive to place children at risk.

            Yes, Sessions and trump are engaging in a mean-spirited form of demagoguery, but neither that nor the demagoguery from the Dems — for example, the blatant lie that 1,500 kids have been “lost” — should obscure the heart of the matter: whether we enforce our immigration law, or throw open our borders to all comer.

        • Mark R.
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

          “Anyone fleeing persecution may apply for asylum. That is not what’s going on here.”

          Yes it is. Get your facts straight. The problem is they are overwhelmed by asylum seekers so they implemented this cruel policy. You’re right that 100% aren’t seeking asylum, but since they aren’t even being tried in court, who knows who is seeking asylum and who isn’t? I’ve been reading your comments in this post, and you’re lack of sympathy is surprising to me…sad really.

          • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

            There are proper channels for seeking asylum. Sneaking across the border in the middle of the desert is not one of them.

            Once caught, the illegal immigrants know to apply for asylum, as the previous policy was to release them pending an asylum hearing.

            This ‘cruel policy’ you refer to is simply to arrest & detain anyone caught attempting a multiple illegal entry (a felony). First time offenders (misdemeanor) are sent back — with any accompanying children — within a few hours.

            Get your facts straight, sir.

            • tomh
              Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

              “First time offenders (misdemeanor) are sent back — with any accompanying children — within a few hours.”

              This is blatantly false.

              • Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

                Show your work.

              • tomh
                Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

                The way you did?

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      However, don’t you see a danger that these children may become the new DACA?

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        And what’s so bad about that? The children of immigrants mostly do much better than their parents or even non-immigrants children of the same age.

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

          If there is nothing bad about it, then I think the USA should open its borders, the way EU contries open their borders to each other. I find outrageous the policy which leaves out law-abiding people and rewards lawbreakers who pay smugglers to sneak in. The USA practically lets bandits dictate its immigration policy, and I am shocked that many find nothing wrong with this.

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:36 am | Permalink

            We don’t have the arrangements with Canada, Mexico, Central and South America that the countries of the EU have with each other. We have trade agreements. And, at the rate Trump is going, we may not even have those shortly.

            I don’t know the figures on legal immigration but I can tell you from personal knowledge that there are many in the U.S. I know Mexicans, Middle Easterners, Orientals (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hmong), Ukrainians, Russians and even a family from Bosnia-Herzogovina. Some of our large cities are notable for their enclaves of legal immigrants. Driving through the back-roads of Oregon yesterday, I saw a Russian or Greek
            (probably Russian) orthodox-style cross
            displayed at a home.

            Law-abiding immigrants are not left out. They just receive much less press than the illegals.

  20. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    As Antonio told Shylock, even “the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Sessions is just like every Christian ever – he cherry picks scripture to support his personal biases. Besides, as was stated up stream, what the bible says has no impact on the law says. Funny how God ordained Trump and his sycophants and thus the law must be followed, whereas Obama was the work of the devil and the law must be overturned.

  21. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Isaiah 10 King James Version (KJV)

    1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;

    2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

    3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?

    4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still

    Touché, Mr. Sessions. You are why Elizabeth Warren persisted.

    Oh, and there’s an old Quaker saying, “Hump Thee!!”

  22. bric
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

  23. Roger
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Wow, Sessions makes laws? And… who the hell cares what the Bible says about something anyway?

  24. busterggi
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The bible also endorses genocide – can the Republicans be far from taking that position?

  25. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    What law is Granny Clampett talking about? I thought it was a rule conjured up by Trump and Sessions.

  26. nicky
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Romans 13 has been used by any scoundrel to wash his(her) hands off inhuman practices and illegitimate cruel laws. I even think some Nazi’s used it (IIRC).
    When read in context it is not that bad, it was clearly an attempt to temper the fanaticism of some early Christians who thought they should not obey any worldly law or government.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Lucky thing for Moses that Pharaoh didn’t have St. Paul ghosting his epistles.

      • nicky
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        🙂

    • nicky
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      That being said, for all clarity, I think Mr Sessions policy obviously falls under the ‘scoundrel’ category. And blaming it on the Dems is as deeply unconscionable as the policy itself.
      It is difficult to sink lower than to separate children from their parents. It is horrible.
      Unless there is a good case for parental abuse, of course, but crossing a border with your children does not qualify, I’d say, not in miles or centuries, the notion is obscene.

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        I think that illegally crossing a border with one’s children is horrible child abuse. Like bringing one’s children to storm the Gaza border. Children could even get shot. I cannot imagine deliberately putting my children in harm’s way in the hope that hostile strangers will be nice to them.

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          Right, you would only do it if where you are coming from is worse.

          • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

            If you are meaning me in particular, I agree. However, if you are using “you” in the meaning of “a person”, I disagree. Putting one’s children at risk is regarded acceptable when the anticipated reward exceeds the estimated risk. Europe’s migration crisis illustrated this perfectly. The children from the leaky boats who found their deaths at sea didn’t sail from the battlefields of Syria but from reasonably safe places. They paid with their lives their fathers’ quest for nice life abroad.

            • Posted June 15, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

              I see I sound too harsh on individuals. It is not as much individuals to blame as the migrant culture, in which success means moving to another country to enjoy prosperity created by other people, and good parenting means bringing your children to enjoy this prosperity as well. I hate this culture; it has sucked out my country and ruined the lives of many people I know. But defeating it is hard.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

                The migrant culture, as you call it, created the USA (which at the moment doesn’t look like much of an endorsement, I know) and just about every other country. It’s just human nature to want something better. Heck, not even limited to humans, animals migrate too, to seek better conditions.

                cr

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:17 am | Permalink

                In earlier times, birth rates were so high that a population could deliver tons of emigrants and still survive (and actually feel better by avoiding overpopulation). Today, in a country that has passed the demographic transition, massive emigration is a killer. Look at this curve:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Bulgaria

                In the face of it, it is little consolation that my nation originally originated by massive immigration (in the 7th century AD).

                Creating the USA is definitely an endorsement. If it wasn’t, people wouldn’t try so hard to penetrate and settle in US territory. However, any statement of this sort dismisses the fate of host population. What happened to the Native Americans? I sometimes think also of our ancient local population, the poor Justinian plague survivors who were enslaved or slaughtered by my invading ancestors.

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:59 am | Permalink

                Dear Maya:

                I am sorry that the so-called migrant culture
                has harmed your country “…and ruined the lives of many people I know…” In what ways was your country harmed? How were people in your country ruined? Were the immigrants unable to find employment and cost the government money? Did they disrupt residents by living with or near them? Were their customs and/or religions unacceptable? Could they not assimilate?

                “The children from the leaky boats who found their deaths at sea didn’t sail from the battlefields of Syria but from reasonably safe places. They paid with their lives their fathers’ quest for nice life abroad.”

                I don’t know the proportion of boat people with children trying to escape military actions in their towns and homes in Syria and elsewhere. But, I believe they wouldn’t have paid scoundrels money to take them on leaky boats across the sea if they were not scared to death and desperate. And, not all of them made it. Some went down because the boats were no good. Some were sunk intentionally by the people they paid for transport. Some of
                these individuals were sold into slavery instead of being transported. I find it hard to imagine them, with or with out children, opting to take such risks simply for “success” by “moving to another country to enjoy prosperity created by other people…”

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

                Rowena,
                My country is still poor and therefore is more of a donor than a recipient of immigrants. The problem is that it has fully passed the demographic transition (current total fertility rate is a little over 1.5), therefore the massive emigration of people of reproductive age leads to demographic collapse as seen in this graph:
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Bulgaria

                Worse, it has a devastating impact on the attutudes and activities of those (still) in the country. It is difficult to organize young people for any campaign to improve life, because they have been indoctrinated by the migrant culture that the proper way to get a good life is to move to some place where other people have already built it.
                Peer pressure perpetuates migrant culture. Public space is full of messages that “the best and brightest emigrate, and only the lazy and good-for-nothing remain”. When emigrants return to visit, they condescendingly ask their remaining peers, “Oh you are still in Bulgaria, right?” This creates and atmosphere in which many who don’t really wish to emigrate settle for it just to avoid the stigma, and many are pushed away by their family wishing to keep up with the Joneses.

                Ruined lives of people I know personally: A close relative became a victim of gun violence in the USA (he was totally innocent but strangers are quick to judge, so his family tries to hide the circumstances of his death). A friend from school, a ballerina, became unable to dance after she was hit by a car in Italy. Back here, she asked me to help her with the job hunt and I tried, but in vain, because she was visibly depressed and nobody wanted her. Another classmate became homesick in Canada and returned with depression, leaving his wife and kids behind. A friend’s niece, again in Canada, was bullied at school for not speaking the language, developed an eating disorder and since then keeps becoming worse and adding diagnoses.

                About the migrants crossing the sea: They sail from Turkey and North African countries that are not at war. Unfortunately, people tend to dismiss low-probability events, and many parents take chances with their children too easily. Think of antivaxer parents: why do they take the risk to have their child killed or disabled by a preventable infection? It is often just to brag to their Facebook friends how “informed” they are, not like the “sheeple” who vaccinate.

              • Posted June 16, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

                Maya:

                This is in response to what you wrote today
                at 8:09am:

                I’m sorry. I totally misunderstood you. Your concern is Bulgarians emigrating out of your country, not Middle Easterners immigrating into it.

                The U.S. is also facing the fertility rate problem that Bulgaria is. The adult population is aging faster than births to replace them (or to be wage earners for maintenance of social security.)

                If the attitudes of young people here are similar to those in your country, I haven’t seen it. Many of our young people are still going to college. For example: My grandson just graduated from UC Davis (University of California at Davis) with a degree in engineering and immediately found employment with a firm in Milpitas, California. Many are becoming more politically active ( for example, students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida after a gunman killed students in the school).

                The U.S. has more immigration than emigration which is expected to continue into the future:

                https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/cb18-41-population-projections.html

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emigration_from_the_United_States

                I truly am sorry for the misfortunes that happened to your friends when they emigrated. It sounds as though they also found misfortune upon returning home.

                Most of the migrants crossing the sea from Turkey and North Africa have traveled great distances from war-torn or impoverished nations hoping to emigrate to Europe. Turkey and North Africa may not be at war but the homelands of many of the emigrants are. Turkey and North Africa also are suffering from the influx of emigrants (except for those individuals who are making fortunes off of them by sending them across the sea in leaky boats or selling them into slavery.)

                Thank you so much for taking time to explain your perceptions to me.

                I admit a bias. As I mentioned elsewhere here, all people who live in the U.S.either emigrated here or their families preceding them did. One branch of my family came here from Germany, probably the Palatines during a time of war:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Palatines

                Others were a mixture of English, Irish, Scots, Welsh. I’m not going to dig into my genealogy to refresh my memory on where they came from specifically. One of my relatives left France after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and went to Holland. From there, he came to the U.S. I have a soft spot in my heart for all my relatives who left bad situations in other countries, came here and worked very hard. Because of them, I and my family have prospered.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          I cannot imagine deliberately putting my children in harm’s way in the hope that hostile strangers will be nice to them.

          That’s one of the things that gets the Americans here so upset about this – the dawning realisation that other people increasingly view their country, in the round, as “hostile strangers”.

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

            How do you think, why does it get these Americans upset? Why do they want to have a reputation of friendly people begging to be deceived and exploited? It is like wishing your mother in-law to love you. If I try to invade another country, I’d regard the locals as “hostile strangers” by definition. This doesn’t mean they are bad. It is my fault because I try to intrude into their home. After 2915, Europeans try their best to portray themselves as hostile strangers to would-be illegal immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, but so far with limited success.

        • Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

          Parents seeking a better life here in the US wouldn’t be putting their children in harm’s way if we stopped harming them.

          • Diane G
            Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:45 am | Permalink

            Spot on!

          • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

            I think a border should be guarded by armed men, dogs, fences and other dangerous means. Hence, crossing a border outside a checkpoint means putting oneself in harm’s way. Unless some government has given up its primary duty to guard the borders.

  27. Randy Bessinger
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    There are some pretty awful things in the Bible. If that is going to be used for all things legal, we are in trouble.

  28. Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Well, the Bible is certainly a great source if you want to try to justify horrible behavior with old myths. But I would point out to Sanders that her defense of Sessions doesn’t actually get the job done. It’s very biblical to enforce *any* law? I wonder if many xians would agree that enforcing the gassing of Jews was very biblical.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      The opposite in fact. According to the OT only the Children of Israel were allowed to commit atrocities on everybody else (described in terms of approval and helped by Yahweh). I wonder how much antisemitism has been cultivated by natural indignation at that?

      cr

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        I hasten to add, I don’t think the Bible is a reliable source or justification for anything.

        cr

  29. tomh
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Matt wrote: “their minor children will be taken from them and placed in foster homes”

    Only if you consider tent cities to store children in to be “foster homes.” Or a facility in Brownsville, currently holding nearly 1,500 boys aged 10 to 17, which opened its doors to reporters on Wednesday, and was described as, “closely resembling a jail and allows children outside for only two hours per day.” These are the “foster homes” you’re touting.

  30. Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Appalling.

    As for “but it is the law”! Well, the children didn’t (presumably) choose to accompany their parents, and I think even the US (state-by-state?) has laws that say children below certain ages cannot be charged with crimes, so …

  31. Randy Bessinger
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I am always amazed at how some political position can have two so strongly diametrically opposed views. I am not comparing this to the holocast or Nazi Germany other than from the viewpoint of people accepting the gradual acceptance of the persecution. It would be interesting to go back in time an hear duscusiions of the man (and woman) on the street as laws were passed on restrictions on freedoms of Jews. Hopefully, none said, well it is the law and quoted a Bible verse.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      I’ll bet they did!

      Certainly the part about ‘it’s the law’ and I’m sure many of the more religious would have cherry-picked the Bible to justify it.

      That’s a large part of how Hitler came to power; after the political and social chaos post-WW1 they wanted order restored (and not Communist-style order, either).

      cr

  32. CAS
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The Bible has always been a handy tool to justify abuse and slaughter.
    The Pilgrims used the same kind of bible verses to justify sneaking up at night and massacring the nearby Pequot Indians to get their land. This was the start of the genocide of native Americans.
    Bernard Bailyn at Harvard (called the greatest historian of early America) published “The Barbarous Years” describing the slaughter and torture of native Americans as settlers spread across North America. This is a horrendous read including descriptions of the tortures applied, including “flaying alive” that included skinning the face and head and disemboweling prisoners while still alive.
    Christianity: It’s all about love.

  33. Claudia Baker
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Watching this, step-by-step, inch closer to the horrors of nazi Germany is freaking me out. Sessions? Really? You’re going to stand there and quote the fucking bible to justify this administration’s crimes? And Sanders, (or ‘The Horror’ as Mike Malloy calls her), backing him up, getting all testy with the reporters when they call her on her bullshit. Jesus wept, I can hardly believe this is really happening.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Can’t be easy going to the lectern in the press-briefing room every day and having to lie shamelessly for an audience of one. But no one forced her to take the job as Trump’s press secretary.

      I’ve never seen anything like it, not even in the bad old days of Nixon’s lackey Ron Ziegler.

      • Claudia Baker
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        How in the hell does she sleep at night?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Surely she sleeps by day, suspended by her toes from a convenient rafter?

        • Posted June 18, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          “On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful ladies” (change sex if appropriate) – as the saying goes.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        The word is she’s stepping down at the end of the year…along with half the remaining White House staff, I’d guess.

    • Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I think you are exaggerating. All these horrors (the current ones, not the Nazi Germany’s) could be easily prevented if parents didn’t try so hard to impose themselves and their children on people who don’t want them.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Oh, that’s right. And the Jews in Auschwitz wouldn’t have ended up there if their stupid forefathers hadn’t imposed themselves on German society…

        [/sarcasm]

        cr

        • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

          I could with the same sarcasm blame the bad Russians who, before supporting Trump, were outrageously xenophobic to poor Germans who wished to immigrate to then-Soviet Union.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m not a parent, but from personal observations, I’d say a parent is going to do anything a parent can do in respect to caring for their children. You can’t reverse evolution on this. Also, you’re implying that all 325 million US Citizens feel “imposed” upon by immigrants and that we all don’t want them. Simply not true…many don’t want them, but many have no problem with them…and many want them to exploit them, but that’s a different issue.

        • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          I think you are idealizing parents. Someone said that angels don’t bestow supernatural virtues and ability the moment you become a parent. Parents are often incompetent and/or selfish. I can say for myself that, while I wouldn’t do the particular mistake I criticized, I am very absent-minded, the sort of parent who can forget a child in a car.

          America has a long tradition of successfully assimilating immigrants, so I understand that many Americans want immigration to continue. What I cannot understand is why many Americans support illegal immigration. We are talking specifically about illegal immigrants. As far as I know, nobody takes away the kids of legal immigrants in America, this is said to be a problem in some European countries.

      • Posted June 16, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        “…people who don’t want them.”

        Rosa Parks imposed herself on people who didn’t want her in their space. Are you advocating Jim Crow laws?

        • Posted June 16, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          Apples to oranges. Rosa Parks was a citizen.

  34. Mark R.
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    And adding insult to injury, the place is called “Casa Padre”. First of all, that’s improper Spanish…it should be Casa de Padre. Casa Padre means father house, Casa de Padre means House of the Father, which the administration was going for. Just sick. And when you first enter the facility, there is a drawing of Trump’s face on an American flag with this quote in both English and Spanish:
    “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.” In under two short years, America has become a complete and utter disgrace…every day America is becoming less recognizable to me.

  35. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    In other Trumpworld news, Paul Manafort has been remanded, his bond revoked based on his witness-tampering efforts while on home confinement. Unless Manafort cooperates or is pardoned (or in what seems to be the unlikely event of his acquittal at trial), the Donald’s former campaign manager is looking to spend the rest of his days in the Big House.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Has to be a fool not to flip. Some just take longer to get there. Cohen on the other hand, I don’t think will take so long. Think Trump has already run over him enough to see the light. That train to Prague is looking pretty empty. Those great ideas of ever being a real lawyer are long gone.

      Maddow did a nice piece on old Herbert Kalmbach, Nixon’s lawyer who was the bag man in the good old days. Now we have Cohen the bag man. Kalmbach only did 6 or 7 months of an 18 month sentence so talking does help.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        The only means by which Trump can efficiently obstruct justice by pardoning Manafort and Cohen is for Trump to wait until they’ve completely played the string out by going to trial and getting sentenced — otherwise they risk forfeiting their self-incrimination privileges and/or facing state-court charges (for which Trump has no authority to pardon them).

        This means Manafort and Cohen would have to perform fully up front, at the risk of great exposure to imprisonment, then trust Trump to come through for them on the back end. I imagine they’ve both seen enough of Trump’s scams and cons and utter lack of loyalty to know that’s a fool’s bet — especially now that Manafort is marking downtime awaiting trial (and Cohen may soon be).

        • nicky
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          I’m not conversant with US law, but I’d think that in most countries Mr Trumps policies may amount to high treason.
          Apart from trying to lift sanctions or re-expanding the G-7 to G-8:
          – divide the Western alliance
          – isolate the US
          – divide the US from within
          All things Mr Trump undeniably -and successfully- does. Whose agenda is that? Exactly. From outside the US, where the demagogic rhetoric is less confounding, it is crystal clear: either paid shill or blackmailed. From ‘outside’ there appears no other realistic option.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            You think that extreme narcissism, xenophobia, sociopathy and a 5-minute attention span isn’t sufficient explanation in itself?

            How would he be getting his instructions? D’you suppose he has a chip implanted in his brain…?

            cr

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          Manafort is beyond saving anyway. A good deal of his problems are in state court.

  36. revelator60
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    As others have pointed out, the Bible is also pro-child murder:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/08/the-bible-is-pro-child-killing/

    • nicky
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      Not pro-child murder, but Numbers 5:11-21 definitely advocates abortion (if the wife has been ‘unfaithful’).

      • Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        I would call the directive to kill infants and children murder.

        • nicky
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          I guess you read me wrong: I was just referring to Numbers 5:11-21. A passage mandating abortion in specific cases, a passage that should be read repeatedly to the ‘pro-life’ fanatics.
          I did and do not at all contest that the Bible does encourage child murder or rape, it does.

  37. tomh
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Removing the children is a direct result of the DOJ policy of zero tolerance, with Sessions vowing to prosecute anyone attempting to cross the border between crossing checkpoints. The last time this was tried, the infamous Operation Streamline in 2005 under Bush, it had no effect as a deterrent, but succeeded only in clogging federal courts, eroding due process, and incarcerating tens of thousands of people. The current administration seems intent on repeating this debacle.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      it had no effect as a deterrent, but succeeded only in clogging federal courts, eroding due process,

      And, from the viewpoint of the present administration, the problem is …?

      and incarcerating tens of thousands of people

      And, from the viewpoint of the corporations being paid tax dollars to detain these people, the problem is …?

      . The current administration seems intent on repeating this debacle.

      Follow the money. It’s not a debacle – it’s a profitable opportunity.

  38. tomh
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    The Republican policy is clear and they hope (in vain, no doubt) that it will deter immigrants, legal or otherwise.
    DON’T COME HERE OR WE WILL TAKE YOUR CHILDREN.

  39. mirandaga
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    In the end, the principle here is a relatively simple one: if the law is bad, get rid of it; otherwise, enforce it.

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      Good idea! That would presume that we had a functional congress and a rational president.

  40. Wayne Y Hoskisson
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Immigration law has changed over time in the U.S. from lax to very tight and also from where people originated.

    My great, great grandfather immigrated illegally to Mexico in 1847. That is he did not ask for or receive permission. In 1848 the U.S. won the Mexican-American War. This is the same war that Henry David Thoreau refused to pay taxes to support and thus went to jail. From this experience he wrote the famous On Civil Disobedience essay. My great, great grandfather was once again on U.S. soil in what is now Utah. Ten years later he was ready to go to war with the U.S. History has a way of changing the viewpoints and attitudes of people. Boundaries and peoples shift. The county just south of mine recently became a majority Native American. It will likely fluctuate for a few decades. This situation is repeating in many areas as non-European Americans become majorities.

    I would like this era to be remembered as a compassionate time. That seems unlikely.

    The children of not yet convicted illegal immigrants are not housed in foster care. There is a perpetual shortage of foster care families. The children are housed in warehouses that resemble detention centers. We are creating a generation of opponents, people who will not feel sympathy should we fail.

  41. rickflick
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    The biblical rational matches what was shown in the previous post on God’s facial appearance, etc. The conservatives saw a God strong in order, while the liberals saw God as the embodiment of tolerance. So, separating children from parents is seen as a strict interpretation of law and order. Seeing that as evil is a characteristic of tolerance for the fact that these families may have violated border rules.

  42. tomh
    Posted June 16, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    For Trump, the policy of taking children from their parents is simply a negotiating tool, trying to gain political leverage. On Friday, Trump suggested he would not change the policy unless Democrats agreed to his other immigration demands, which include funding a border wall, tightening the rules for border enforcement, and curbing legal entry. This is the great deal-maker at his best. Create an untenable situation and then agree to stop if his demands are met, all the while lying about who is responsible.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Smacks of fascism. Also smacks of that little Nazi, Stephen Miller, who, like Iago, whispering in Trump’s ear, has been successful in foisting his xenophobia on America. I believe, in Miller’s case, it is his own self-loathing that drives him. It’s sick and very scary.

    • Posted June 16, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Much as I hate the separation of children from their parents at the border, I hope the Dems don’t give in to Trump on this. They should tell him simply, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Come November, they can use the GOP’s complicity with Trump on this and DACA against them.

  43. Posted June 18, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Contact your oocongressmen and demand that they change the law and override a veto to stop this.
    Congress has the power to stop this. Responsibility is on them if they fail to act.

    • tomh
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      There is no law to change, since no law requires children to be taken from their parents. Previous administrations held them with their parents until actions were taken regarding the parents. The new Republican policy requires parents to be jailed until prosecuted, and since children cannot be jailed they are taken and kept in holding camps.

      There is narrow legislation proposed in the Senate that would prevent this policy, but although every Democratic senator has signed on, not a single Republican has, so it has no chance of passing, let alone surviving a veto.

      • Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        Contact your congressmen anyway. Demand that the law should be changed to make this policy illegal. The law should require that the children and parents be held together until granted asylum, made citizens, or returned south to their homes.

  44. Posted June 18, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I have just been listening to Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen give a press briefing. What she says sounds very reasonable. She puts it all back on Congress. That said, I don’t trust anyone in this administration. I look forward to experts digging into the details of what she said.

    And what’s with all the secrecy surrounding these camps? If they are really being as fair as they claim to be, why are reporters not being given tours of the facilities? They get access to some but not all.

    • tomh
      Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen said yesterday, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” That sounds reasonable to you? Meanwhile, since the “zero tolerance” policy was announced in April, over 2,300 children have been taken from parents and placed in camps, which leads to some mothers being deported without their children.

      A judge in Texas today, presiding over 81 immigration cases, most of which he sentenced to time served and deported, told the mothers there that he had nothing to do with getting their children back for them, “That’s all up to another part of the government.”

      As far as Congress being responsible, that’s just more lies from Trump. This policy was instituted by Trump’s Attorney General, who justifies it with Bible quotes, and it could be ended by Trump with a phone call. Congress could indeed pass legislation forbidding it, but Trump has made it clear he won’t sign any of it unless it includes funding for his border wall. He is holding the children hostage.

      • Posted June 18, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps my skepticism didn’t show through well enough. Although what she said in her prepared talk sounded reasonable, I am pretty sure it isn’t for the reasons you state.

        I suspect the problem is that they are simply applying laws on the books in ways that no former administrations did. It seems that a lot of immigration law at the border is subject to discretionary policies. The Trump admin is just applying the most harsh interpretation.

        The Republicans in Congress are saying very little about this since they all fear Trump. I heard that 75% of Americans are against what they are doing at the border so this is all going to hurt them in November.

        • tomh
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          No, I get that you’re dubious about her, I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. There is no doubt that Republicans in Congress are complicit in this, in spite of their crocodile tears over it. But it’s hard to top the hypocrisy of the Trump team who claim, “only Democrats can end the separation policy,” even though Republicans control all branches of government, and it was a Republican administration decision to implement this and could be reversed by them just as easily.

          Whether it hurts them in November is anybody’s guess. Four months is practically a lifetime in American politics.

      • Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Congress can override his veto. I blame both Trump and congress.

  45. Posted June 18, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    The judge is correct. He has no jurisdiction over the children.
    This whole process is against our principles.

  46. Posted June 19, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Congress can easily change the law. They should do that. And build a fence to secure the border do people can not cross illegally, get arrested and separated from their families.

  47. Posted June 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    These government sanctioned kidnappings are crimes against humanity. For the horrifying traumas visited upon these children, Trump and Sessions should be strapped to a gurney and administered lethal injections.

  48. Posted June 23, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Death penalty is a little over the top and extreme. Don’t you think?


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