Donald Trump’s policy of ripping children away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border was supposed to push Democrats to negotiate in Congress so he could get tougher immigration laws and his beloved border wall. But instead it may end up costing Republicans their majorities in Congress.
Even as the president has tried to pin the blame for his policies on Democrats, and even while he and his press secretary lie to the public by saying the laws require separation of children from parents, more and more people are coming to the conclusion that Trump himself is responsible, and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress are doing nothing to stop him.
One GOP operative whose job is to elect Republicans in November said, “The issue will absolutely be a factor in the midterm elections. The images are devastating for Republicans.”
Even former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci went on Fox News to say that Trump will be losing a lot support with voters if he doesn’t fix the controversy.
“My recommendation is, let’s fix this immediately because what we have to stand for in our society is American values,” Scaramucci said. “I recognize that people should not break the law, but there’s a lot of desperate people that want to enter this country and we have to take a humane approach to those people.”
On Saturday he tweeted, “Separating innocent children from their families is not the Christian way, the American way, nor what @POTUS wants. Congress must act to stop this madness.”
— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) June 17, 2018
Despite Trump’s tweets about the issue, nobody but his most hard core supporters believe what he wrote on Twitter Saturday, blaming Democrats:
“Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change! This is why we need more Republicans elected in November.”
Trump tried the same thing last year with the Dreamers when he revoked an executive order that gave them protected status. This was his lame attempt to force Congress to approve funding for his border wall. It didn’t work then, and it’s not working now either. Opinion polls show that the majority of the public do not support the president’s position on any of these issues.
Now Democrats are sending out emails to supporters and organizing trips to detention centers and finding the issue is raising them a lot of money and it is resonating with voters. They are reminding voters that Trump and Sessions, with the approval of the Republican Congress, separated 2,000 children from their parents in just the first six weeks
And now, finally, Republicans in Congress are starting to make public statements showing their concerns about the policy, which really shows just how worried they are about the impact on the fall elections.
Speaker Paul Ryan said he doesn’t like children being separated from their families and it “needs to be addressed” with legislation. It’s not clear that he will do anything about it, however.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said: “I am 100 percent supportive of keeping families together. Most of my constituents are pro-family constituents who believe keeping a family unit together is always best.”
Another Republican operative lamented that Republicans will be hurt politically by what is going on. “The media will broadcast these images of brutality and chaos and the public will associate them with the Republicans that run the House and the Senate — but most of all with President Trump,” she said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said the separation policy was “shameful.” “He’s using children, whether they’re Dreamers or whether they’re little children at the border now, for a political purpose,” Pelosi said. Pelosi also knows that this issue might help make her Speaker of the House again.
A group of House Democrats of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Pelosi are traveling to the border on Monday to raise attention to the issue which is sure to garner more media attention.
“This is really about our values as a country. It’s who we are as a country,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, of California, said. “And we’re here to say this is just simply wrong and we’ve got to put an end to the taking of minor children from their parents at the border.”
If Republicans don’t put an end to the taking of children from their parents then they might be putting an end to their majorities in Congress.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.