Trump backs down, agrees to executive action to stop family separation of illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON: A Congressional intern screamed a copulatory expletive at President Trump as he walked up the Hill to confer with lawmakers on the immigration crisis. The President’s Homeland Secretary was jeered and heckled by protestors when she was out for dinner at a Washington DC restaurant. A Trump minion caused a social media meltdown by mocking the story of an immigrant child with Down’s syndrome who was forcibly separated from her mother by US authorities. A news anchor broke down on TV as she read out a story on the Trump administration sending babies and other young children separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas.

These were just some of the scenes that played out in Washington DC before the Trump administration finally agreed on Wednesday to end the practice of forcibly separating children from immigrants crossing the border illegally into the United States. Under pressure from almost all quarters – including from his wife and daughter -- President Trump reversed his position that only legislation supported by Democrats could end the practice, which his administration had instituted. The justice department is said to be drafting an executive order that will end the family separations, confirming the widely held belief that the odious practice could be terminated with a stroke of a presidential pen instead of subjecting it to partisan politics and a tortured legislative process.

The President’s frustration that ending it could simply send a signal to illegal immigrants that they can continue to make a beeline to the US border was transparent. "The dilemma is that if you're weak, if you're weak, which some people would like you to be, if you're really, really pathetically weak, the country's going to be overrun with millions of people. And if you're strong, then you don't have any heart. That's a tough dilemma. Perhaps I would rather be strong, but that's a tough dilemma,” he told lawmakers in a White House meeting that culminated in his administration backing down.

But for days before that, the administration absorbed withering criticism for its heavy-handed and cold-hearted response to an immigration crisis following the implementation of its zero-tolerance policy that has resulted in children being forcibly separated from parents who illegally cross the border. The President and his team stonily defended their stand and blamed Democrats for the situation, even as the administration, in an ironic twist, withdrew the US from the UN Human RightsCouncil for unrelated reasons, denouncing it as a “cesspool of political bias.”

While Trump and his team dug in, lawmakers, including Republican legislators under pressure in constituencies with large Hispanic population, scrambled put together legislation that would at least address the outrage of infants and toddlers being forcibly sundered from their mothers. But the President appeared to be in no mood to accept piecemeal legislation, insisting on omnibus laws that will fund the building of a wall among other things to address long terms issues, while ignoring the furor over what human rights activists called government-sponsored child abuse that is said to have upset even his wife Melania and daughter, Ivanka Trump.

Trump himself reportedly told lawmakers that even his daughter had urged him to do something to resolve the crisis, but the President was in a political mood rather than responding emotionally – a strategy political pundits said was aimed at firing up his electoral base that resents immigration in toto. Trump and his base, in turn, believe Democrats are soft on immigration because they want to change the demographics of America because it helps them electorally. Liberal critics say the Trump administration is simply institutionalizing racism and bigotry under the excuse of implanting law.
“The Fake News is not mentioning the safety and security of our Country when talking about illegal immigration. Our immigration laws are the weakest and worst anywhere in the world, and the Dems will do anything not to change them & to obstruct-want open borders which means crime!” the President tweeted on Wednesday, sticking to a political stand on what has now become an emotive issue. He added: “It’s the Democrats fault, they won’t give us the votes needed to pass good immigration legislation. They want open borders, which breeds horrible crime. Republicans want security. But I am working on something - it never ends!”

Amid the political skirmish, things got skittish on the ground with some in your face confrontation between Trump minions and protestors. On Tuesday night, some 10-15 protestors, who were tipped off by a diner that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was dining at a Mexican restaurant with a friend, barracked her, chanting “Shame! Shame!” and “End the family separation.”

While some right-wing activists and pundits have pointed out (correctly) that the family separation policies and detention centers were instituted during President Obama’s time, liberals talking heads said President Trump had seized on that by applying a “zero-tolerance policy” as part of a strategy to completely squeeze out immigration that would bring in more minorities, all with the eventual aim of extending white primacy. Trump himself once expressed the preference for more people from countries such as Norway, rather than “shithole” countries.

Such an operating premise led to a snarky response from liberal talking head Ana Navarro after Kirstjen Nielsen, seen as the blonde face of the Trump administration, was heckled while dining at a Mexican restaurant: Are there no Norwegian restaurants in DC?



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