The media and Democrats have been accusing Trump and his administration of choosing the policy of separating children from their families at the border, all for political leverage.
But in a piece about the executive order Trump is to sign today, the NY Times admits that it’s because of a 1997 court case:
Mr. Trump’s executive order would seek to get around an existing 1997 consent decree, known as the Flores settlement, that prohibits the federal government from keeping children in immigration detention — even if they are with their parents — for more than 20 days.
But…but…I thought Trump was lying about this, that he and his evil minions were just doing this to force Democrats to give him a wall!
As Mollie Hemingway tweets:
But how can this be? How can this NYT story be accurate? I was told that Trump and Nielson were dangerous liars — worse than Hitler, I believe the claim went — for saying there was a law that required family separation after 20 days. pic.twitter.com/lCMAoLdKHw
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) June 20, 2018
The order would keep families together, though it is unclear how Mr. Trump intends to claim the legal authority to violate what have been legal constraints on the proper treatment of children in government custody, which prevented former President Barack Obama from detaining families together during a similar flood of illegal immigration two years ago.
And the president could quickly find himself the subject of another legal challenge to his executive authority, much the way he attacked Mr. Obama for abusing the power of his office with an immigration executive order in 2014.
They admit that this is what constrained Obama too!
So why all of the outrage at Trump? Because instead of continuing Obama’s dangerous policy of catch and release, Trump has decided to do something crazy: enforce immigration law! That is what’s really at issue here.
And what’s worse, is they admit that this executive order might not work, that it might be challenged and subsequently stopped by the courts.
But it will still be Trump’s fault for enforcing immigration law.
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As an aside, here’s what I think is really going on with this executive order.
Trump has realized (thanks to Schumer) that Democrats are not going to help fix this, that they intend on continuing to beat him and Republicans up about it in order to help them win seats in November. Thus, Trump has a decision to make: either he continues down this same road or he tries to fix it in a way that makes it a non-issue or at least changes the narrative.
So I think he’s decided that he needs to try and fix it, even if it is challenged by the courts and fails. This way he keeps the high road on enforcing legal immigration laws and it becomes more than apparent, if it does fail, that his hand is being forced the courts and takes pressure of him.
This changes the narrative that Democrats and the media have been peddling for weeks, and puts pressure on Congress to do something about it. At that point how can Democrats not step in and try and fix it?
Whatever happens, we’ll see how it ends up eventually.