Baby Prison Nightmares (Cartoon, Column and Video)
We’ve had tension and threats of war with North Korea since that nation was created at the start of the Korean War. Donald Trump took it to new heights when he started calling his fellow narcissist childish names like “Little Rocket Man” and threatened “fire and fury,” and Kim Jong Un returning the favor with “dotard.” After their summit, which didn’t produce anything concrete except blank checks that will have to be cashed at a later date, Trump took credit for defusing the situation. It was a crisis Trump created.
Now he wants credit for ending another crisis he created.
For the past six weeks, Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Department of Homeland Security Director Kirsten Nielsen have waged a no-tolerance policy against people committing the misdemeanor of entering the nation illegally. Border Patrol can no longer use discretion in charging migrants with a crime, thus separating families. Border Patrol has backed up checkpoints, forcing migrants to enter at other points seeking asylum from violence in their own country, thus forcing them to break our laws before they can request asylum. From there, they are arrested and Trump and Company throw children, even babies and toddlers into detainment centers featuring murals of Trump, which are former Walmarts and tent camps in deserts.
Trump thought it was a great idea to hold children for ransom to get his border wall. Though, to win the optic war he would have to claim the policy was created by Democrats and the baby prisons were actually “tender age” detention centers.
Who could have seen the public would react so negatively to families being ripped apart and baby prisons? Apparently, the new normal isn’t ready for that yet.
Nielsen claimed the policy didn’t exist. Then she said the policy that didn’t exist couldn’t be fixed by the president. And then she watched the president supposedly fix it. She even got to keep the pen he used to sign it.
Trump made the same claim repeatedly. Finally, the optics got too bad for him. Photos were revealed of the child prisons and audio recordings were leaked of children crying for their parents. Even Republicans were coming out against him, and governors (even Republicans) were calling back their National Guard troops from being involved in the situation. Four airlines made statements refusing to transport children for the purpose of being ripped from their families. Microsoft’s employees called for their company not to be involved with any government department detaining kids. Kirstjen Nielsen was booed out of a Mexican restaurant and will probably have to use a fake name for reservations at Taco Bell.
Trump has lied about there being a requirement to separate families, that Democrats created the problem, and only Congress could fix it. He proved all that was a lie by signing an executive order to end the separation of families, though the title still shifts the blame, “Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation” (the first version had “seperation,” which I’m assuming Kirstjen spelled). Trump said, “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.” That’s funny because he loved it when he created it. A recent poll says 55% of Republicans love it too. Trump sycophants say it’s fake news. They did not change this policy because they wanted to do the right thing. They had over six weeks for that. They changed the policy because of the coverage in the media.
Trump took credit for ending the crisis he created with a policy he claims he didn’t create that he said he couldn’t fix but signed an order to fix it that didn’t really fix it.
Trump signed an order that will end the separation of families, which he ordered to begin with. But, this order doesn’t do anything for the families who have already been torn apart. It doesn’t do anything for the over 2,000 children who are presently detained and being hidden throughout the country. It does not end “tender age” prisons. It’s not retroactive. It also creates family prisons, which Trump has ordered the Defense Department to start constructing.
The odds of the optics improving are as likely as Mexican restaurants sending Kirstjen Nielsen coupons for fajitas. Speaking of optics, news broke just this morning that immigrant children as young as 14 say they were beaten while handcuffed, locked up in solitary confinement, and left naked in concrete cells at a juvenile detention center in Virginia.
Trump says he doesn’t cave, which is another lie. He swore he’d never settle the lawsuit against his fake university before he settled for $25 million. David French, senior writer of the conservative National Review said, “According to any fair reading of the order, it represents a massive capitulation by the administration.” Trump has caved, though he’s going to continue trying to look tough.
Even before he caved, Trump was not looking tough. Tough isn’t ripping families apart and creating baby prisons out of tents in the desert.
Watch me draw.