Scoot: DHS secretary admitted Trump is using children as a political weapon

June 19, 2018 - 10:26 am

When a topic explodes into a national debate, like the Trump administration’s new policy of separating families when they cross the border illegally, there are aspects of the story that parallel an entertaining drama.

The national frenzy over the new policy has all the ingredients of a compelling drama.  The thought of children being pulled from their parents who have just arrived in a foreign place supported by video of children living in mass dormitory-like settings is disturbing.  Now add the new audio of children crying and screaming for their “papa” or “mama” is heart-wrenching to most Americans.

This topic also includes a passionate debate about law and order because the parents of the children broke the law entering America. For many Americans, regardless of the issue, if a law is broken, then there are no exceptions.

There is also a dark side to this issue that the administration is pushing. The people entering America illegally include criminals and even members of the brutal MS-13 gang.  The fear that these violent people are illegally crossing our border to blend into our communities is seen, by many, as a direct threat to law and order in America.

And when the current climate of the battle between liberals and conservatives is included, you have a story that people cannot stop talking about.

The new policy has the elements necessary to make it a real-life drama that is unfolding on our chosen radio, TV and Internet sources.  The fact that this issue touches us on so many emotional levels and can be described as a real-life drama, does not diminish the seriousness of the issue or the pressing need to reach a resolution.

The debate over this issue exploded Friday when President Trump spoke to reporters on the North Lawn of the White House and said that he doesn’t want to see parents and children separated at the border.  He went on to say that the only solution to the crisis lies in Congress.  The President was blaming Congress for a policy his administration decided to enforce.

It seems obvious to even the amateur political junkie that President Trump started enforcing the new policy to fire up the debate as Congress prepares to vote on two immigration bills.  And the President’s appeal to the American people was that it is up to Congress to find a resolution.  The immigration legislation up for consideration includes some funding for President Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall.  This seems to be one issue that the President will aggressively pursue since the idea of building a wall was one of the key emotional triggers during the 2016 campaign.

Monday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen showed up for a White House news conference and supported President Trump’s claim that the new policy of separating children from their parents is mandated by law and that only the Democrats in Congress could immediately solve the crisis.  Blaming the Democrats fits the idea that Democrats, not Republicans, are responsible for all that is wrong with America.

What I find interesting is that the Administration is blaming Democrats in Congress when Republicans control both the House and the Senate.  But blaming the Democrats feeds the political rhetoric of the times. The truth is that Republicans on Capitol Hill are divided on the issue so how can this be the Democrats’ fault?

Conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz, from the border state of Texas, drafted a bill that would end the practice of separating parents and children at the border.  Cruz told Fox News that “All Americans are highly horrified by the images we are seeing fin the news, children in tears pulled away from their mother and fathers.  This must stop.  Now.”

If that is the sentiment of some Republicans, it doesn’t seem logical to blame the Democrats for the crisis.

Along with many others, I have argued that the Trump administration was politically motivated to create this crisis at the border.  It sets up the classic “it’s us vs them” scenario. 

Toward the end of her appearance at the White House news conference, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen revealed that the Administration’s claim that it has no choice but to follow the law and separate parents and children is basically “BS.”  Nielsen was asked about President Trump’s insistence that his hands are tied and he must follow the law and whether Trump’s motivation was political. Her answer included the blatant admission that if the President got what he wanted from Congress, including funding for the wall, they would immediately stop separating parents and children.

Think about that.  If the justification for removing children from their parents is based on the idea that the law must be followed - then why would the DHS secretary admit publicly that if the Trump gets what he wants they will stop enforcing the new policy?

The bottom line is that a member of President Trump’s cabinet admitted that the administration was only interested in separating parents and children until the President gets what he wants in legislation.  That’s an admission that the President is using children as a political weapon against the Democrats and that President Trump only cares about following the law when he is not getting his way.  He is willing to break the law they cite if he gets the desired legislation?

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