The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump is demanding that border patrol officials revive, and even expand, the family separation policy he was forced to end after a furious public reaction to reports that the administration had taken thousands of children away from their parents, even losing many of them in the process.
And CNN reported that he wants to expand the policy to take children away from even immigrants who come here legally. At this point, it’s nothing more than a demonstration of Trump’s sadism. He believes that such cruelty will deter people from trying to come to the United States, but official numbers show that border crossings, whether legal or illegal, has gone up since he took office. Or maybe he just enjoys inflicting suffering on others, especially those who aren’t white. Or both.
In the wake of the firing of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Sunday, NBC News reported her relationship with President Trump became tense in part because of one specific issue: Trump’s support for reinstating a policy of separating children from their families when arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico.
“A senior administration official said it seems Trump is convinced that family separation has been the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum seekers,” NBC’s Julia Ainsley and Geoff Bennett report. It is in keeping with other reporting, including from The Washington Post, suggesting Trump wanted to take a harder line on the increase in migrants arriving at the border in recent months. After Nielsen was rumored to be a target of Trump’s ire last year, he reportedly took a more positive view of her leadership after Border Patrol used tear gas to repel a crowd, including families, trying to enter through a gap in a border fence.
Either way, it’s not only morally bankrupt and illegal, it’s also just bad politics. Poll after poll shows that taking children away from their parents at the border is wildly unpopular. Just like his revival of attempts to repeal Obamacare, he is appealing to his base — and only his base going into the 2020 election. Republicans are no doubt begging him to stop, knowing it will hurt not only his chances at reelection and theirs as well. But Trump, as usual, refuses to listen to anyone. He wants what he wants and if he doesn’t get his way he stomps his feet and has a hissy fit.