Trump miraculously discovers he has power to stop doing the horrible thing he’s been doing

That is, one of the horrible things he’s been doing…

This just in:

Trump, in reversal, says he will sign order to end family separations at border

But… but… but… How can that be? His peeps have been telling us it’s not up to him! That it’s Congress’ fault, or the fault of previous presidents who never did such a horrible thing!

He must be a magic man, Mama!

Oh, and South Carolinians… Don’t forget that, only hours before the world magically changed just now, our governor was standing foursquare behind Trump’s (Trump’s and no one’s but Trump’s) policy of separating families at the border:

“I agree with the president 100 percent. If we don’t have secure borders, if a country doesn’t have borders, you don’t have a country, so we must secure the borders,” McMaster said in Spartanburg, reported. “Now the President is determined to see that it’s done in the right way, what he’s doing right now is he’s following the law, unlike some other chief executives who did not follow the law.”

And he was so very proud to do so…


34 thoughts on “Trump miraculously discovers he has power to stop doing the horrible thing he’s been doing

  1. Claus2

    I’d love to hear Brad’s solution to immigration, would he allow illegal immigration in this country? Open borders and let everyone in? How would he deal with current and future illegals? Would there be any reason to keep the current immigration process if illegals aren’t deported?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      How many times do I have to answer those questions here?

      Would he allow illegal immigration in this country? Nope. Simply for national security reasons, we need a record of who’s here and what they’re up to.

      Open borders and let everyone in? Nope. See the first one. Of course, I’d let a lot more people in legally (and more quickly and efficientyly) through the southern border than we’re doing now. I seldom agree with economic libertarians, but this is a case where government is trying to hold back a natural economic tide, which is not only unnatural but impractical. It should be easier for people to cross the border to jobs that are waiting for them. We particularly need such easier immigration with our birthrate falling in this country.

      How would he deal with current and future illegals? Get them into the system in as efficient a manner as feasible. Deal with each case as circumstances warrant. Gainfully employed people (which is most of them, in spite of the “welfare” fantasies of the anti-immigration crowd) should be in the system, paying taxes.

      Would there be any reason to keep the current immigration process if illegals aren’t deported? Some folks need to be deported. But 11 million people? That’s kind of absurd. There are plenty of other things I’d like to see my tax money spent on. As for the “current immigration process” — well, I think we need a better one than the current one…

      Do you notice what’s missing from my answers? Emotion. What separates me from the people who are SO TICKED OFF about these people coming to our country is that I see no legitimate reason for all the anger. Approach the situation rationally and unemotionally, that’s what I say. And Republicans and Democrats have been trying for most of this century to do just that, trying to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but the angry people always get in the way…

      1. Richard

        So you’re okay with anyone coming into the country as long as they check in once they get here… we’ll deal with them later. Why not stop them at the border before they become our problem?

        “We particularly need such easier immigration with our birthrate falling in this country.”

        Why, do we need to maintain a certain number of citizens? Fewer unskilled citizens, fewer people on government programs. How many of these immigrants come in with skills above menial labor (farm laborers, housekeeping, dishwashers), who as US citizens will be eligible for every government program they apply for costing the country more than it benefits from them being here… I don’t see a lot of brain scientist and rocket surgeons crossing the border.

        I’d love to see the US population drop by 25%, I’m not one for overcrowding.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Hey, that’s something you and Bud might agree on! (He, too, hates population growth.) Personally, I know that stagnating population is bad for the economy.

          But again, here’s why I don’t approve a lot of your comments. You say things like, “So you’re okay with anyone coming into the country as long as they check in once they get here… we’ll deal with them later.”

          To which, for what feels like the gazillionth time I’ve said this to people, the answer is no. I’m not “OK” with it. I told you I want everyone coming in legally and in an orderly fashion. The difference between us is that in real life, sometimes it doesn’t happen that way — due to the fact that we don’t seem to admit nearly as many people legally as there are jobs here waiting (and perhaps you’ve read that we now have more jobs available than we have people looking for jobs). When there are jobs here for people, opportunity for them to improve their lives, they’re going to come.

          And I don’t have a cow about it when people don’t follow the rules exactly the way I’d like them to. It doesn’t make me FURIOUS at them, to the point of wanting to take their children away from them. And you know what? I’m pretty much the norm in this sense.

          The trouble is, the minority of people who get REALLY MAD about it keep dominating the conversation, which is why we don’t enact legislation that would help bring rational order to the situation…

          1. Richard

            “Personally, I know that stagnating population is bad for the economy.”

            Well then you must just love what’s going on in Lexington then. 3-4 more years here and I’m packing up and moving west… thinking Gilbert or maybe Leesville-Batesburg. I hate driving through town these days, especially on the weekends… if I wanted to experience Harbison I’d have moved to Harbison.

        2. Mark Stewart

          Sure you would… From what you suggesting, such a decrease would not be occurring because of a massive decrease in old white people. I presume you have no idea how devastating to the US economy such a drop (let’s say from all kinds of immigration) would be.

      2. Barry

        The people I encounter on Facebook that are the MOST emotional on this issue typically end up making racist statements which overshadows any point they were trying to make.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      Oh, a simpler way to express “Brad’s solution to immigration”… go back and pass one of the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform packages that Republicans and Democrats have tried to pass over the last 10 or 15 years or so, only to be stopped by the screamers. You know, by Trump’s base.

      The details don’t matter as much to me as having an overall plan that is practical and deals effectively with the actual challenges immigration presents. Generally speaking, those plans were put together during the Bush and Obama years by people who’ve spent a lot more time studying these issues than I have….

  2. Karen Pearson

    Before we all shout “Hallelujah” and do our happy dance, I want to know that the children who have been separated from their parents get reunited with them, and soon. According to NPR our gov’t doesn’t know exactly who’s who and who’s where. Older children can help by telling folks the names of their parents, but how about the 2, 3, or 4 year olds who know their parents only by the spanish equivalents of mama and daddy?

    1. Richard

      So what you’re saying happened was babies and toddlers were ripped out of mothers arms without as much as asking for names or any other contact information. Is that what you’re saying happened? I think what is more the problem is that parents are scared to come get their kids if they come for them because of fear to be sent back where they came from. I’m willing to bet that 99% of the kids are doing better today than they were prior to being picked up.

      1. Barry

        So what…..

        We don’t take children away from parents because the neighbors might be better parents or have a nicer house or income. It’s a ridiculous point.

            1. Claus2

              So you don’t consider those who have broken the law by entering this country illegally as criminals? I thought you stated that you base your responses on fact and not emotion. How is breaking the law not a criminal offense?

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                1. It’s a misdemeanor. You know, kind of like a parking ticket. I don’t call people who get parking tickets, however richly they deserve them, criminals. I save that for robbers and such.
                2. Some of the people we’re talking about were doing exactly what we expect them to do — presenting themselves at a port of entry and asking for asylum.

                So, I’m back to my original point: Whaddya mean, “criminals?”

                1. Scout

                  And just to re-iterate. We don’t take children away from people who get parking or speeding tickets.

          1. Bob Amundson

            Generally wrong. Children are taken from parents who have broken a law if the children are abused or neglected, which MAY include the ability to parent due to incarceration. Most often they are placed with relatives. Removing children from their families causes trauma.

            1. Richard

              Kind of hard to do when there are no relatives in the immediate area along the border. What do you think the government is doing with the children, putting them in orphanages?

              1. Bob Amundson

                Claus2 said, “We do take children away from criminals…” I was responding to that comment. That is much too broad of a brush stroke, trying to justify absolutely horrendous, harmful actions.

      2. Scout

        “So what you’re saying happened was babies and toddlers were ripped out of mothers arms without as much as asking for names or any other contact information. Is that what you’re saying happened?”

        That is what is being reported happened, basically.

        ” I think what is more the problem is that parents are scared to come get their kids if they come for them because of fear to be sent back where they came from.”

        I think you are likely wrong. They are presumably already in custody themselves or have already been granted asylum or have already been sent back, so your comment makes no sense.

        ” I’m willing to bet that 99% of the kids are doing better today than they were prior to being picked up.”

        Except for the significant emotional and psychological damage that we caused/are causing. I guess you forgot that part.

    2. JesseS

      “According to NPR our gov’t doesn’t know exactly who’s who and who’s where.”

      The silver lining, the hallelujah moment, is that many Americans realized this is the case and said enough to stop the bleed as soon as possible. As a collective, as Americans, we aren’t beyond the pale.

      10, 15, or 20 years from now I’m probably going to read a horrible news story about it all, about some child who fell between the cracks in the worst possible way, and I’ll hear some young person say that America always was a horrible Nazi country with horrible Nazi intentions, and I’ll be able to say, “Nah, I was there, people fought this as soon as they heard about it.”

  3. Scout

    Well the Governor of New York on CNN is not a barrel of joy on this topic. He believes this exec. order is a publicity stunt that functionally will not change what they are doing. Apparently it says that Jeff Sessions has to renegotiate something with the courts before they change anything, and its something the courts haven’t budged on through years of attempted re-negotiations. Sorry I didn’t get more details. This really is not good.

    I’m also extremely worried about these kids getting reunited.

  4. JesseS

    I can’t lie, this has been a brief, hopeful moment. It kinda feels like watching an army of zombie plague victims pick up kittens and pet them instead of biting the heads off. Watching friends, I had maybe 3 who didn’t rush to scream at anyone who spoke out against it, like they did with the Parkland kids. Two of those are diehard racists and the third is a troll.

    It feels like there is still some kind of center still in tact.

    1. Scout

      It’s true. I also enjoy that the United Methodist Church is holding Jeff Sessions to account for using the bible to justify child abuse, which is how they put it. He got called to the pastor’s office.

  5. Bart

    When the uproar started and the initial Trump response was ham-handed to say the least, the more I thought about it the more it prompted me to do some research. I found an article in The Atlantic which is not a conservative publication. The article was written in 2014 and was about children being taken out of the home by CPS or other child protective agencies. The statistics were astounding and did bring the unfortunate saga of the illegal immigrant children into some perspective.

    The link to the article is:

    The article was written in 2014 and based on some first hand anecdotes, it is still relevant today. Read it and then stop for a moment to consider if any of us has ever taken into consideration the equivalency of the two, the immigrant children vs. the children who already live here. Is it any less objectionable for instance CPS taking a child away as described in the cut and paste or the way the immigration authorities were handling the situation at the border? If it is just as objectionable, where is the outrage and outcry to stop the actions of CPS when they remove a child or children without notice and do so legally? Do we excuse their actions because it is for the good of the child only to find out later that out of 100,000, 1/3 were not being abused, mistreated, or in harms way?

    I do object to the way the immigration authorities handled the separation of the child from the parent but at the same time, how can we ignore what is going on under our noses and not demand changes in the way complaints or reports are handled by the various CPS agencies? For the ones who count heads, consider the fact we are comparing less than 3,000 to approximately 33,000 out of 100,000 who not found to be mistreated yet they were subjected to the actions in the cut and paste below.

    “What’s Missing?
    There is much more data in the full report than I can include here. One data point I couldn’t find, in the report or elsewhere: the number of children taken from parents, even temporarily, only to be returned with no finding of unlawful behavior.

    Professor Paul Chill of the University of Connecticut School of Law explained the stakes in a 2004 scholarly article:

    On an average day, police officers and child-welfare caseworkers throughout the United States remove more than seven hundred children from the custody of their parents to protect them from alleged abuse or neglect. These children are typically seized without warning from their homes or schools, subjected to intrusive interrogations, medical examinations and/or strip searches, and forced to live in foster homes or group residences while the legal system sorts out their future…

    Removals can be terrifying experiences for children and families. Often they occur at night. Parents have little or no time to prepare children for separation. The officials conducting the removal, as well as the adults supervising the placement, are usually complete strangers to the child. Children are thrust into alien environs, separated from parents, siblings and all else familiar, with little if any idea of why they have been taken there. Such experiences may not only cause “grief, terror and feelings of abandonment” but may “compromise” a child’s very “capacity to form secure attachments” and lead to other serious problems. The trauma may be magnified when the child is actually suffering abuse or neglect in the home, and in any event it is increased when reunification with loved ones does not occur quickly.
    He goes on to explain that while taking kids from parents in this fashion is only permitted in emergencies as a matter of law, the way things play out in practice is very different. “According to statistics published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 100,000 children who were
    removed in 2001–more than one in three–were later found not to have been maltreated at all,” he wrote, citing a statistic that I can’t locate for more recent years. “And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Because definitions of maltreatment are extremely broad and substantiation standards low, it can be reasonably assumed that a significant number of other children who are found maltreated, and for whom perhaps some intervention–short of removal–is warranted, are nonetheless removed on an emergency basis.” The full article, with footnotes attached to everything I’ve quoted, is here. Stay tuned for a forthcoming piece on the dearth of transparency surrounding CPS intervention and its consequences. And feel free to send your own experiences via email correspondence.”

    In closing, I do not advocate what was done at the border nor do I advocate removing a child from the home as described in the cut and paste unless the child is in danger physically, emotionally, or psychologically.

    Sometimes a civil discussion is impossible but don’t we owe it to ourselves to at least try? Hating Donald Trump is a full time occupation for some and kissing his butt is a full time occupation for others. It is up to us to put both aside and sit down and try to reason with each other in a civil manner. Trump won’t occupy the White House after January of 2021 when the new POTUS is sworn in so in the interim, WE need to be the voice of reason when or if we can. We cannot expect Trump or his minions to change stripes at this point.

    1. Bob Amundson

      Bart, I’ve been involved with hundreds, if not thousands, of child removals. Your points, and concerns, are valid. I have many “war stories” about child protection, many involving removals that were inappropriate, and too many involving children dying because the system failed. There is a balance between preserving the family and protecting the children – but protecting the child must come first.

      One factor is poverty; I can think of only one removal from a middle class family, and that was very temporary. Nationwide, and in South Carolina, a disproportionate share of children removed are children of color. The system in South Carolina is so bad that there is a lawsuit (search Michelle H., et al. v. McMaster and Alford) that now is governed by a consent decree. DSS has failed to meet milestones agreed to in that consent decree, so don’t be surprised if Judge Gergel finds DSS in contempt.

      We need a voice of reason, but we also need people to understand how difficult it is to administer systems that politicians have attacked as a way to avoid their responsibilities. It drives away the best and the brightest that we need in government, and we especially need the best and the brightest in all services that protect citizens.

      1. Bart

        Bob, thank you for your reply. My sister-in-law was a Guardian-Ad-Litem for years and some of the horror stories she relayed without revealing confidential information were dismaying. She also had many instances where one parent, relative, friend, or another party would report something inaccurate as a means of retribution and in the end, the child suffered more than the adult. I also agree protecting the child must come first and sometimes it does require drastic measures.

        I do not envy you in what you do because you witness some of the worst traits parents can exhibit. Irresponsible politicians avoiding their responsibilities and becoming a hindrance for you when you are responsible for administering systems they put in place to begin with is a malady that not only affects you but all of us in our current social/political climate.

        1. Mark Stewart

          Actually, no one is immune from this sort of child trauma; way too many divorcing parents (of every socio-economic position) , and their attorneys, cannot resist playing “gotcha” with kids such that the result to the children can begin to approach what we are taking about with regard to DSS. Though, of course, this pales when viewed against Trump’s ongoing sledge-hammering of immigrant children caught up in his nasty politics.

          1. Bob Amundson

            ACEs, or Adverse Childhood Experiences, have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity. They include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, intimate partner violence, mother treated violently, substance misuse within household, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and incarcerated household member.

            A person’s cumulative ACEs score has a strong, graded relationship to numerous health, social, and behavioral problems throughout their lifespan.

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