Rally to protest the detention of children at the Southern border. Conditions are unspeakably horrible. Not much doubt that the goal is to blackmail Congress into voting more money for border security and, of course, the Wall. Point #3 here makes it clear that pressuring Democrats to rubber-stamp a bill to provide more money for fortifying the border and strengthening ICE.
“We’re doing a fantastic job under the circumstances,” Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” soon after agreeing that conditions were “terrible.” “The Democrats aren’t even approving giving us money. Where is the money? You know what? The Democrats are holding up the humanitarian aid.”
Reporters aren't allowed to visit the detention camps to see for themselves, but lawyers have been able to visit detainees and have been horrified by what they saw. This blog post reproduces tweets from Families Belong Together, a truly heartbreaking set of descriptions of how detainees are treated. No activities, no regular cleaning, young children having to remain in dirty clothes, and sleeping on thin mats or just the bare concrete floor. Yes, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) used the term "concentration camps" and has gotten lots of criticism for that as the popular understanding of the term means Nazi extermination camps, even though she's technically right and "concentration camps" can mean many different things.
So, how are things going on the legislative front? Bleargh! Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and the Blue Dog (conservative) Democrats essentially threw their caucus under the bus by allowing the administration the freedom to abuse refugees at the border. One of the problems was the President's foreign policy towards Iran. The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said about the Democrats and their ability to work with the President as suffering from "Trump Derangement syndrome."
McConnell said putting restrictions on the White House would “hamstring” the president’s ability to respond militarily at a time of escalating tension between the U.S. and Iran. “They have gratuitously chosen to make him the enemy,” McConnell said. “Rather than work with the president to deter our actual enemy, they have chosen to make him the enemy.”Imprisoning children costs an absolutely enormous amount of money, around $775 a day is the typical charge. Here's a PDF copy of a Facebook post where a citizen tracks down just where that money goes to. Big surprise (not), the money mostly just lines the pockets of investors.
It's certainly understandable in theory that the President needs freedom of action to confront foreign foes but it's far from clear that this particular president needs, or can use, any such freedom. There's a good video summary of the situation with Iran here.
Good to see Laura Bush, the wife of the younger George Bush, who rarely speaks out on political issues, state unequivocally that:
"The reason for these separations is a zero-tolerance policy for their parents, who are accused of illegally crossing our borders. I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart," Bush wrote. "Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso." Bush then said the detention facilities being used to house thousands of children are "eerily reminiscent" of the internment camps that held 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, and are "now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history."