[UPDATE: It appears that Trump is going to sign an executive order to end the child separation policy. Given that he and attorney general Sessions, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Stephen Miller, and Kirstjen Nielsen have been saying for days that this was not their fault and that they were forced to adopt the cruel policy because it was the law that was enacted by the Democrats and that it was up to Congress to change the law, this action would reveal it for the lie that it always was. But being caught in obvious lies does not bother this crew nor their supporters. They have no shame.]
It looks like the Trump administration which, as a matter of policy, tries to ramp up the cruelty of its actions against immigrants of color because it plays well with its base, is surprised that the level of anger against its tactic of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents is rising. Increasing numbers of Republican elected officials are distancing themselves from the policy and even Trump bootlickers like British prime minister Theresa May are voicing concerns. And how bad must it be when even French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, a Trump soul mate if there ever was one, says that she disagrees with the policy of separating children from parents?
Apparently even Trump conceded at a private meeting with Republican members of congress that the policy ‘does look bad’ and was not going down well. Republicans are now trying to find ways to get themselves out of this situation without angering their base that seems to love these acts of cruelty against immigrants. But they are not being helped by the fact that key people in the Trump administration seem to actually relish causing the misery.
Trump’s decision to double down on the family-separation policy is sowing chaos in the West Wing, two sources close to the White House told me.
White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller has all but become the face of the issue, a development that even supporters of Trump’s “zero-tolerance” position say is damaging the White House. “Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border,” an outside White House adviser said. “He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS.”
Yes, even a fellow Trump advisor calls him a Nazi. Ari Melber juxtaposes the rods of Miller with the sounds of crying children separated from their parents.
Things have got so bad that Kristjen Nielsen, the secretary of the Department of Homeland security, who seemed to actually enjoy tossing out callous and dishonest remarks about these policies, was hectored by a crowd while eating at (oh, the irony) a Mexican restaurant in DC and left to jeers.
And in Portland, Oregon another group of people blocked a prison run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, preventing employees from leaving.
On Monday ICE personnel showed up as usual to implement Trump’s deportation policies. By the end of the workday, the number of protesters swelled to about 70 and they sprang into action.
Three cars with darkened windows exited a garage and attempted to drive out the entrance. Some twenty protesters formed a line and locked arms. Staring down the drivers, “They blocked them from leaving the facility,” said Jacob Bureros, an organizer with the Direct Action Alliance.
The vehicles went back inside the ICE garage. Two officers with the Department of Homeland Security showed up to negotiate with the protesters. Jenny Nickolaus, another organizer with DAA, said a couple of dozen people engaged with the police in bulletproof vests. The two cops asked for “reasonable accommodation from the protesters.”
When asked what that meant, says Nickolaus, the DHS police pleaded with protesters “to allow nine ICE employees stuck inside to be able to ‘to go home to their families.’”
The protesters exploded with outrage “at the ridiculous irony in that statement,” says Nickolaus.
Bureros says, “People started yelling, ‘Oh, you need to go home to your families? What about the families you are holding.’”
The ICE employees left the building the next day under police escort via a different entrance but the prison is now closed because it is surrounded by about 200 protestors.
Even American Air and United Airlines have said they will not allow ICE to fly separated children on their planes, with the former issuing a statement that “We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it,” American Air said in a statement. “We have every expectation the government will comply with our request and we thank them for doing so.”
White House press spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders seems to be afraid of even answering the questions of the White House press corps on this issue, and we know what a docile group that is. Stephen Colbert lets her have it for her cowardice.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 20, 2018