Monday, June 18, 2018

Monday Reading

As always, please go to the links for the full articles/ op- eds.

This week, the focus is on one issue, the one that most clearly defines the repugnant, sociopathic Trump Republican Party:  separating immigrant families at the southern border as leverage for enacting extremist immigration laws.

Proving there are really no "moderates" in the Trump Republican Party, gibbering sneak and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins tries for the umpty-ninth time in her useless career to go MIA when the chips are down:
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), often described as a “moderate” Republican is no moderate when it comes to separating children from their parents. She refuses to sign on to a Democratic bill that would end it – effectively derailing the legislation from Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. Without the support of a GOP Senator like Collins, the Feinstein bill has little chance. [snip] 
After praising Sen. Feinstein as “compassionate,” Collins said she would not support Feinstein’s bill, which currently has 43 signatories, claiming it is “far too broad.”
Collins claims the bill would “prevent arrests within 100 miles of the border, even if the person has committed a serious crime or suspected of terrorist activity.” She appears to be the first and only Senator to make the allegation. 
The Senator from Maine could bring her objections to Sen. Feinstein, who has a strong law and order record, to reach a compromise. She could have legal experts weigh in, and offer a compromise. 
Instead, Collins says she wants her bill that fully finds President Trump’s wall to be passed. It’s been languishing since February. She says it provides a pathway to citizenship form DREAMers. 
It does nothing for the nearly 12,000 migrant children separated from their families and currently being held by the Dept. of Health and Human Services(our emphasis)
She's up for re-election in 2020. Keep her in your thoughts.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., must've had Collins and a number of other Trump Republican Party hoplites in mind when he recalled a quote from former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank:
“Moderate Republicans are the people who are there when you don’t need them.”

Dionne goes on to describe what actions the Trump Republican Party is proposing in the House:
The Republicans who purport to be above Trumpian nativism briefly threatened to show some spine by taking a stand in defense of immigrants brought to the United States without authorization when they were children. Referred to as “dreamers,” they are functionally American in every way except in their legal status. 
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) organized what is known as a discharge petition to force votes on a series of immigration bills. One of them was a clean effort to give the dreamers a path to citizenship that was favored to pass if it got a vote. 
Every one of the 193 Democrats in the House signed the petition, and so did 23 Republicans. It needed only two more GOP signatures to force action. 
And on the cusp of victory, the so-called moderates caved in to Ryan. The last two endorsements would never come. 
Of two bills Squeaker of the House Paul "Lyin'" Ryan will bring instead, this one is supposedly the "moderate" one:
While offering a less generous approach to the dreamers’ problem, that second bill would also provide billions for Trump’s “beautiful wall,” a series of new restrictions on legal immigration and tougher rules for asylum seekers. 
Its “solution” to the family separation debacle would be to end court-mandated legal protections for children brought across the border so entire families could be jailed together. Now there’s humanity for you(our emphasis)
Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear at the New York Times trace the child separation policy back to the early days of the Trump regime to dispel any notion this wasn't their "nuclear option" from the beginning, then give us this confirming quote from one of Trump's many evil incarnate advisors, Stephen Miller:
“No nation can have the policy that whole classes of people are immune from immigration law or enforcement,” he said during an interview in his West Wing office this past week. “It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry, period. The message is that no one is exempt from immigration law.”
So much for "The Democrats made me do it!"

What's the reality on the ground?  Nomaan Merchant of the Associated Press filed this report from a "detention center" in south Texas:
Inside an old warehouse in South Texas, hundreds of children wait in a series of cages created by metal fencing. One cage had 20 children inside. Scattered about are bottles of water, bags of chips and large foil sheets intended to serve as blankets. 
One teenager told an advocate who visited that she was helping care for a young child she didn’t know because the child’s aunt was somewhere else in the facility. She said she had to show others in her cell how to change the girl’s diaper.
Cages. Children. How did this country sink so low? (Rhetorical question.)

Then, there's this disturbing detail on the child forced to watch as her mother was frisked by a Border Patrol officer:

Finally, as always, we close with a recommendation to check out Infidel 753's excellent link round- up, which also provides more reads on this topic as well as many other issues and "stuff" to provoke, inspire and otherwise interest you.

BONUS:  Good friend P.E.C. emailed us this morning with some good points on false equivalencies going unchallenged in the media, and one potential unintended consequence of detention:
I am so frustrated with msm (I get most of my news from PBS, CBS and the WaPo) where no one has called out the truly false equivalency comparing people here who commit crimes being separated from their children just like those parents at the border. The children of a person living in the U.S. have many resources to lean on for comfort and security. They may have their other parent, they may have other family, they may be in school or have other care givers. There is absolutely no equivalent argument and this needs to be presented in the press. What is being done at the borders is cruel and wrong. 
Further, detaining all those teenagers is creating a hotbed for the development of just the gangs people are fleeing. Everyone wants to feel they belong, and short of parental security and guidance it would be only natural, especially for teens during what can be a difficult time in their development, to seek out a brotherhood of people to whom they can cling and who they feel will have their backs.

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