June 17, 2018

Sunday School 6/17/18


Since it's Father's Day, I spent time in the classrooms where there was discussion on the issue of separating kids from their parents at the border. I managed to sit in on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week, where we'll start with white nationalist and former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Jonathan Karl was in the host's chair today, and asked Bannon how, amidst all the criticism from both the left and the right, the separation policy can be justified.
I don't think you have to justify it. We have a crisis on the southern border. But the elites in this city - and this ties into Korea, ties into everything that took place this week - the elites, the permanent political class in this city want to manage situations to, you know, to bad outcomes.  And Donald Trump is not going to do that. He's just not going to kick the can down the road...
We ran on a policy, very simply, stop mass illegal immigration and limit legal immigration, get our sovereignty back, and to help our workers, OK? And so he went to a zero tolerance policy...
Bannon went on to make a completely misguided point about some other immigrants, completely unrelated to the issue at hand.
And by the way, I don't see the mainstream media, and I don't see the liberal left embracing the Angel Moms, those people that were permanently separate from their children because of illegal aliens that came over here and committed crimes and killed people. 
You know, the way the Republicans do. After attacking the pope, Catholics in general (he is one, he said) and saying that no way should DACA recipients ever get citizenship, he chiefly offered his immigration strategy.
I strongly recommend that we just wait until 2019, right, to address this, because I think we're going to have a big November... I would definitely shut down the government over the wall, absolutely... So yes, I would say on - in September, if they have not allocated money for the wall, let's shut down the government, and by the way on November 6, let the voters decide.
 Had enough?  Well, maybe not so fast.

Let's take a listen as Kellyanne Conway chats with Chuck Todd on MTP. Todd asked if the president was ready to pick up the phone and stop the separations,which Lindsey Graham said he could do.
The president is ready to get meaningful immigration reform across the board. And Chuck, let me tell just tell you, nobody likes seeing babies ripped from their mothers' arms, from their mother's wombs, frankly. But we have to make sure that DHS's laws are understood through the soundbite culture that we live in...
Like Bannon, she made an invalid connection, in her case to say that prior administrations have also struggled with this.
Secretary of DHS under President Obama told the New York Times this weekend that this was the bane of his existence for three years. He was describing the fact that they had to detain families in these large facilities for very long periods of time. Why? Because in the summer of 2014 we saw the surge, particularly from Central America, tens of thousands, if not more, unaccompanied minors coming to the border and trying to gain entry.
Which begs the question, if they were unaccompanied minors, from whose arms were they being ripped?  Anyway - she went on to echo the administration's argument, that we're treating these illegals the same way we treat citizens who are convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail (after arraignment, a bail hearing, a trial, a determination of guilt, and sentencing).  

And then she blamed the Democrats for not having ESP.
Chuck, I don't remember a single Democrat, I could be mistaken, maybe one murmured it, but in the one hour meeting back in January in the cabinet room where the president invited senators and congressmen from the Republican and Democratic parties to the cabinet room... Did the issue come up? The Democrats only want to talk about DACA, the Dreamers. Why weren't they talking about this?
To his credit Todd pointed out that the separation policy was issued in April, which on most calendars is after January.
What they should have said is, "Look, we had a surge over the border in 2014, Mr. president, under President Obama, and it shocked everyone, and we simply didn't have the capacity. We want to avoid that in the future and work with you." 
And, she added,
...if the Democrats are serious, and if a lot of Republicans are serious, they'll come together. The won't just talk about this week, 'the Dreamers,' or just 'the wall,' or just 'catch and release.' It's all of the above.
And insisting on that, of course, is what's been preventing comprehensive immigration reform for decades. 

Finally we hear from Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins, whose interview was aired on CBS' Face the Nation. Her conversation with Margaret Brennan included her disagreement with the separation policy.
I do not (agree with it). Senator Jeff Flake and I have written tot he administration to ask for more information about the policy, but we already know two things. First, from the experience of previous administrations it does not act as a deterrent to use children in this fashion. And second, and much more important, it is inconsistent with our American values to separate these children from their parents unless there's evidence of abuse or another very good reason.
Collins is not a softy on immigration - not at all. She called out the administration for saying they would not separate children from their asylum-seeking parents, but that is what's happening. As she pointed out,
What the administration has decided to do is to separate children from their parents to try and send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you. That's traumatizing to the children who are innocent victims and it's contrary to our values in this country.
That's not to say we shouldn't act to try to curb illegal immigration. We should, and I support the president's proposals for border security. We do need to strengthen our security at the border. We need to work with those countries in Central American from which these families are coming to end the gang violence that is encouraging them to leave. And in some cases we need to repatriate the whole family back to the home country. 
But we know from years of experience that we need to fix our immigration laws and that using children is not the answer. 
We'll leave it there for this week. See you around campus. 

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