Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
As Trump let loose on the world turns the NATO Summit of former allies into a Demolition Derby, the carnage at home from the "barely organized crime" that is his cruelly haphazard immigration "policy" goes on apace. Amidst scenes of weeping mothers greeting traumatized toddlers who reportedly don't recognize them comes news that these long-suffering parents may face another impossible choice: Separate again to file for asylum or take kids back to their dangerous homelands.
Meanwhile, the ever-inept feds missed a court-imposed deadline Tuesday to reunite 102 children under the age of 5 with families they were ripped from at the border. In court, it turned out they'd returned just four of 102 toddlers, and might find 34 more; government lawyers somehow argued they were in compliance anyway, but the judge wasn't having it and is seeking sanctions. Asked about the unholy mess, Trump's response was, as always, measured and compassionate. "Tell people not to come to our country illegally," he told reporters. "That's the solution."
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Tuesday night, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar went on CNN to explain what a terrific job the administration's doing with this whole egregiously-snatching-3,000-kids-from-their-families-with-no-discernible-legal-moral-or-political-justification-and-with-no-clue-how-to-undo-the-barbarous-calamity situation. Asked why reporters and lawmakers are prevented from visiting kiddie concentration camps, he insisted, "We have nothing to hide." Then he went for the gold. “It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids who are smuggled into our country or come across illegally,” he said, even though the kids aren't unaccompanied or smuggled or illegal, because seeking asylum is legal, but who needs facts and how many of our ancestors got cool tin foil blankets at Ellis Island anyway?
Ceaselessly confronting these monsters, still, are RAICES and the ACLU. This week, in partnership with actor Maggie Gyllenhaal, the ACLU released a video in which almost 40 A-list actors read, sometimes tearfully, the affadavit of Miriam, a Honduran asylum seeker fleeing government violence at home who was separated from her 18-month-old son at the border and is now part of an ACLU lawsuit challenging Trump's policies. Her story renders American "generosity" all too real: "My son was crying when I put him in the seat. I did not even have a chance to comfort him because the officer slammed the door shut. I was crying too....And I am crying even now."