June 25, 2019

Immigration

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

Last Tuesday, a video went viral of a DOJ lawyer telling a court that “a longstanding settlement agreement requiring sanitary conditions for detained immigrant children may not necessarily mean a toothbrush and soap must be provided for shorter stays.” The hearing involved an appeal from a 2017 ruling relating to treatment under the previous administration. AP News

On Saturday, “President Donald Trump… delayed a nationwide immigration sweep to deport people living the United States illegally… saying he would give lawmakers two weeks to work out solutions for the southern border.” AP News

Leaders in the House and Senate are currently working on similar but distinct bills to provide approximately $4.5 billion in emergency spending for the border. Roll Call

See past issues

From the Left

The left opposes increased deportations, and condemns the mistreatment of migrants in custody.

“Undocumented or not, rousing a family out of bed at 6 a.m. to abruptly end their lives in the U.S. seems heartless. We don’t do that in America, or at least we shouldn’t… Before we’re called naive, we are not saying that undocumented criminal immigrants shouldn’t be removed. They are a public menace and should be deported. Yes, go after criminals. And yes, people should not have overstayed their tourist visas, which a fair amount of the undocumented have done. But the round up is a Gestapo tactic unworthy of us… Let’s hope [Trump’s] correction is a return to some sanity and a show of compassion.”
Editorial Board, Miami Herald

Regarding migrant detention centers, “Trump essentially dismissed the plight of migrant children while speaking with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. ‘This has been happening long before I got there,’ the president said when pressed about the conditions. ‘We’ve ended [family] separation. Under President Obama, you had separation. I was the one who ended it.’ ‘We’re doing a fantastic job, under the circumstances,’ he added. None of this is true. Families attempting to cross the border under President Obama were separated only in rare circumstances, such as when there was concern for the safety of the child, or when the adult could not be confirmed to be the child’s parent…

“Though Trump signed an executive order to suspend his own administration’s zero-tolerance policy, children are still being separated from their parents if authorities deem the parent poses a risk to the child. Such separations are on the rise, often for reasons as petty as the parent having a traffic violation on their record.”
Ryan Bort, Rolling Stone

“US Border Patrol is holding many children, including some who are much too young to take care of themselves, in jail-like border facilities for weeks at a time without contact with family members, regular access to showers, clean clothes, toothbrushes, or proper beds. Many are sick. Many, including children as young as 2 or 3, have been separated from adult caretakers without any provisions for their care… The Trump administration wants more money to build more child detention centers to hold even more children… But that ask glosses over the fact that more children are in immigration custody because over the last several years the government has slowed down the rate at which children are reunified with their families…

“Based on our interviews, officials at the border seem to be making no effort to release children to caregivers-- many have parents in the US -- rather than holding them for weeks in overcrowded cells at the border… Congress should take action -- not by approving more money for detention -- but by requiring immigration agencies to cease separating children from family members unless that's in the interest of the child, release and reunify children as soon as possible and cease using them as bait to arrest family members.”
Clara Long and Nicole Austin-Hillery, CNN

Some point out that “The government’s ‘safe and sanitary’ argument did not arise from a new case generated by Trump-administration policies. It arose in 1985, during the Reagan administration, when a 15-year-old Salvadoran child named Jenny Lisette Flores was detained after entering the United States illegally, hoping to escape her country’s vicious civil war. Flores spent two months at a facility in California, confined with adult strangers in poor conditions and strip-searched regularly…

“It is right and fit to condemn the Trump administration for its argument and its treatment of children. But… this administration is merely the latest one to subject immigrant children to abusive conditions. It’s been 35 years since Jenny Flores was strip-searched in an adult facility. Before Sarah Fabian defended concrete floors and bright lights for President Donald Trump, she defended putting kids in solitary confinement for President Barack Obama… This stain on America’s soul will not wash out with an election cycle.”
Ken White, The Atlantic

Others note that “[Warren] has provided more detail on Medicare financing than Sanders has. She has also provided more overall policy detail, including on the taxes she would raise, than Joe Biden or Pete Buttigieg. And her Medicare plan comes much, much closer to paying for itself than various Republican tax cuts. I wish the conservatives complaining about her plan applied the same rigor to their own ideas… The biggest weakness of Warren’s approach is that it tries to bulldoze through the sizable public anxiety about radical changes to the health care system. Warren would not let people opt into Medicare, a wildly popular idea. She would force them to join… she needs to come up with a reassuring transition plan soon.”
David Leonhardt, New York Times

“Trump’s defenders will say this evidence is all circumstantial. But circumstantial evidence is not weak evidence: it’s simply evidence based on the circumstances in which an act of wrongdoing is committed — such as the license plate of a car that speeds away from a bank just after that bank is robbed. Criminals are convicted on such evidence all the time. They will also say that there’s no explicit quid pro quo proposal here. But… ‘even when a corrupt deal is struck implicitly, the government can still prosecute extortion on a quid pro quo basis. Circumstantial evidence can be enough to prove a criminal exchange.’…

“In the absence of an explicit quid pro quo over restarting aid, the context and circumstances are what will become the focus of the investigation. There is enough here to support impeachment. Whether it is also enough to convince Republicans and lead to removal is another matter.”
Noah Feldman, Bloomberg

Some suggest that Congress “remove Trump from office, so that he cannot abuse incumbency to subvert the electoral process, but let the American people make the judgment on whether or not he gets a second term… Removing Trump from office for the remainder of his term would disable him from abusing presidential power again and protect the integrity of the electoral process from inappropriate interference. At the same time, letting him run for a second term would permit the American electorate to decide whether Trump, despite his attempt to subvert the system, should have another chance… Decoupling removal from disqualification lowers the stakes and changes the constitutional calculus. As long as Trump can run again, Republicans cannot hide behind a claim that they are [the] ones protecting voter choice by opposing impeachment.”
Edward B. Foley, Politico

From the Right

The right supports increased deportations, and highlights that many of the issues involving the treatment of migrants in custody existed under the previous administration and will require a bipartisan solution.

From the Right

The right supports increased deportations, and highlights that many of the issues involving the treatment of migrants in custody existed under the previous administration and will require a bipartisan solution.

“The fact of the matter is that we’re discussing individuals (and families) who have already had the opportunity to make their case in court, have had their status determined and been issued orders of deportation. Rather than following those orders, they knowingly chose to remain in the country illegally and have been legally subject to arrest and deportation ever since.”
Jazz Shaw, Hot Air

“Remember the great government shutdown that Trump was ‘proud’ to own after he couldn’t get Democrats to give him money to build more wall? He caved on that. Remember when his Justice Department took a ‘zero tolerance’ position on illegal border crossings? He caved on that, too. And now he’s caving on deportations, the least controversial part of immigration enforcement. Trump won the argument on immigration. But when it comes to actually getting anything done he's a lot like a normal politician. All talk, no action.”
Eddie Scarry, The Washington Examiner

Regarding migrant detention centers, “the vast majority of the people and the outlets that shared [the] exchange [about toothbrushes and soap] failed to note that the violations being discussed had occurred during the previous administration… Instead, they jumped straight to the conclusion that the federal government, headed up by President Trump, was deliberately inflicting pain on babies. This isn’t true. It wasn’t true during the Obama administration either. Then, as now, the violations weren’t part of an intentional or evil ploy, but were the product of the system’s being overloaded… Certainly, some facilities have taken shortcuts, as the result of either bureaucratic incompetence or limited resources. But those infractions will be fixed by additional funding, additional facilities, better oversight, and quicker processing, not by pretending that the president is a tyrant.”
A.G. Hamilton, National Review

This is a bipartisan problem and it started under a previous administration. The name game and blame game suggests partisans are not really interested in a solution so long as they can inflame people over the issue. But this needs to be fixed… The President should allow in charitable relief immediately. Democrats and Republicans should pass expanded funding to improve the detention facilities within the week. And then we really should secure the border. The situation has gotten worse because of a flood of people seeking asylum. Even the New York Times is willing to recognize there is a crisis now at the border.”
Erick Erickson, The Resurgent

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) writes, “The root cause of the record-breaking surge in migrants is the widespread abuse of our asylum system. Because of a massive backlog of asylum cases and an inability to quickly adjudicate and enforce them, more migrants are making the journey to our border. They bring children with them to take advantage of our loopholes, knowing we must release family units within 20 days… As it stands now, the incentives are aligned to permit illegal immigrants to cross the border with a child, knowing full well that they will be caught and released into society without the chance of deportation.”
Dan Crenshaw, Fox News

To make immigration a winning issue, Trump must own both its security and humanitarian aspects. As it stands, Democrats largely ignore the security crisis and Republicans severely downplay its humanitarian toll. Caught up in their partisan bickering, both parties fail to understand the significance of immigration: Their neglect of the other side’s concerns is proof of that. If this cycle continues, neither side will achieve a permanent solution. By acknowledging the humanity of the migrants seeking asylum while maintaining pressure on congressional Democrats to pull their weight and advocating for enhanced security, Trump might just unite both sides under a coherent policy he can carry into 2020.”
Kaylee McGhee, The Washington Examiner

Others note, “I’d hate to be a Democratic member of Congress trying to convince Joe Sixpack that this is a whole new ballgame. The transcript shows Trump being Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky trying to ingratiate himself with the big dog by, for instance, mentioning that he stays at Trump hotels. Trump’s conversation is typically scattershot, wandering all over the field, leaving a reasonable listener puzzled about what the takeaways are supposed to be…

“I think Joe Sixpack’s response is going to be a hearty shrug. After all that has emerged about Trump so far, his approval rating is closely tracking Obama’s approval at the same point in his presidency. To get Mr. Sixpack’s attention you are going to have to do better than this.”
Kyle Smith, National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“After adding in the ultra-millionaire’s tax and factoring in the other capital taxes Warren wants to levy — on financial transactions, on unrealized capital gains, on corporations — we’d be asking every billionaire to hand over more than two-thirds of their total wealth over a 10-year period. If the government actually managed to collect it, their fortunes would rapidly erode — and so would tax collections. The plan might be a good way to smash wealth, but it’s a terrible way to fund the nation’s health-care system…

“If Warren makes it to the White House, and tries to pass a plan, the Congressional Budget Office will eventually attach more reasonable numbers, with more defensible assumptions, sparking an even more spectacular political blowback than the one that greeted Friday’s announcement. Outside of the progressive Twitterati, there isn’t necessarily an enormous constituency for spending $20.5 trillion to herd every American into a national health insurance program; there would be even less support for spending what Warren’s plan would actually cost.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.