Creating an Immigration Crisis
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Donald Trump’s most persuasive theme that contributed significantly to his election in 2016 was his demand that Mexico pay for a border wall to keep out all the illegals who were sneaking into America. It was an image Trump hammered on throughout the election and has sustained since; despite the fact that immediately after the inauguration Mexico said they would never pay for a wall. The attack on immigrants has persisted throughout the past eighteen months of Trump’s presidency and has reached its nadir over the past few weeks. The Trump Administration under the direction of the Justice Department and as administered by the Department of Homeland Security has now created the most cynical and immoral policy yet. It has ordered that illegal immigrant women entering with children—from toddlers up—be separated from their children upon being apprehended crossing into the U.S.
The U.S Catholic Church and now the Pope himself, as well as many Jewish groups—including many who have significant Trump supporters in their pews—have attacked the President’s immoral policy. Attorney General Sessions has gotten himself into a Scriptural War even with some of the President’s friendly Evangelical Ministers.
It is hard to recall when a former Republican First Lady, Laura Bush, wrote an op-ed column attacking the inhumane policy of a Republican President and that a Democratic former First Lady, Michelle Obama, then retweeted the column applauding Laura Bush. Doctors, psychological professionals, social workers, and even historians of the Holocaust have railed out at the potential physical and emotional damage that is caused to children when they are separated from their parents.
Perhaps the most irrational part of this entire political confrontation is Trump’s demand that Congress must fix a problem that the President himself has created. The irony of this new policy, is that it could well guarantee a Democratic take-over the House and perhaps even the Senate in the November mid-term elections.
All the Republicans jockeying around various proposed bills—when in fact the President would remove this entire issue from their plate by giving a direct order to Justice and HLS–is making the GOP and the President look more callous and inhumane. More than a debate over taxes or tariffs or North Korea could well be the ringing message of children crying in the holding tents in Texas which will reverberate in Democratic candidates’ commercials this fall.
At the end of the day President Trump wants his wall built. He ultimately will not compromise on DACA or cease the separation of children from their mothers without the wall being built. The President appears determined to force Congress to act on parental separation; even though Trump himself could end the ugly scene of separation occurring at our borders. That would require the President to admit he made a mistake, something he personally has admitted he does not do.