By Doktor Zoom
You would be forgiven for thinking that maybe House Republicans had found even a speck of human decency in their hearts, considering headlines that claimed they were considering a “compromise bill” on immigration that would even “end family separation.”
But of course, that’s the sort of half-truth that covers a giant dungheap with a big banner with a picture of a rose on it, and the slogan “You don’t smell anything!” In any case, Trump said on “Fox & Friends” that, of the two immigration bills the House is considering, he “certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one.”
Even the “more moderate” bill is pretty terrible. It was crafted by Paul Ryan and the House Freedom crackers as a “compromise” between a hard-right bill pushed by Bob Goodlatte and a narrow DACA-fix proposal that hasn’t even made it to the floor. How bad is this bill? Trump’s personal immigration bill consigliere, Stephen Goddamn Miller, has been consulting on the damn thing.
The “more moderate” bill was explicitly designed to adhere to the “four pillars” that Trump mandated in January be a part of any immigration deal: money for the “wall” he wants to build on the US-Mexico border; elimination of the diversity visa lottery; curbing family-based immigration (which the Trump administration refers to as “chain migration”); and a way for the immigrants currently facing the loss of their protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to apply for formal legal status in the US.
Oh, but it took that already steaming pile — the stuff that Miller and John Kelly told Trump he really wanted in order to kill the Senate’s first compromise on DACA — and added even more toxic sludge that could never pass the Senate. It would extend the administration’s bullshit war on asylum-seekers, by making is harder for migrants to claim a “credible fear” of harm in their home countries when they initially request asylum. That would allow border agents to decide to immediately deport far more migrants, without even a cursory appearance before an immigration judge. And the much-touted effort to stop the family separation policy? Well, yes, that was pure New Cruelty bullshit, too, as the Washington Post points out:
The proposed changes in the House GOP bill would override a 1997 settlement — which calls on migrant children to be held in the least restrictive setting possible — and related litigation to make clear there is “no presumption that an alien child should not be detained” and that those children must not “be released by the Secretary of Homeland Security other than to a parent or legal guardian.”
Translation: You bet the bill would have ended family separation. By enabling indefinite family incarceration. This was definitely not a Republican version of Dianne Feinstein’s bill, S. 3036, that would truly ban family separation, and that would keep migrants seeking asylum with their children — outside of a cell or a tent or a detention center. When Trump rails against the “Democrat laws” and lies that they must be repealed to “keep families together,” what he’s really saying is that he wants to undo judicial protections for children, families, and asylum-seekers, and put far more people in detention until their cases are finally decided. That’s what he means by ending “catch and release,” though of course there is no such law by that name.
Of course, we also noticed this in Trump’s tirade against the “moderate” immigration bill:
I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that. We have to get rid of catch-and-release.
We catch a criminal, a real criminal, a rough, tough, criminal. We take his name and then we release him. And we say please to show up to court in a couple of months. You know what the chances of getting him to court are? Like zero. OK? It’s crazy!
As we noted, the awful “compromise” bill already includes measures which Stephen Miller added for Papa Trump. That’s why Democrats have rightly said they’ll oppose it, and it would probably fail again in the Senate. Could it be that Trump forgot his list of talking points, and said he opposes the very bill that Miller told him he supports? Definitely a possibility! Or perhaps Trump has been paying heed to the frothing crazies who say even the Miller-Paul bill is too much like amnesty, since it wouldn’t deport all DACA recipients?
Hell, it’s only just past noon Washington time. Still time for Trump to reverse himself another dozen times, and then blame the Democrats again for forcing him to send all the kids to the tent revival in Texas.
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