“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is working with White House lawyers to draft an executive action that will end the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant families at the border,” Politico reports. “The action will direct the Department of Homeland Security to keep families together and will instruct the Department of Defense to help house the families because many of the detention centers are at capacity, the source said.” President Trump signed the Executive Order Wednesday afternoon.
It was unnecessary. All Trump had to do was tell Sessions to rescind the separation policy announced in April.
And the Executive Order does not really end the crisis. First off, there are 6,000+ children separated from their parents. God knows how they reunite, given the incompetence of the Trump Administration. Second, the Order still criminalizes asylum seekers. Third, it still detains children indefinitely. They are just kept with their parents now. The indefinite nature of the detention is contrary to court rulings, so this Order will be challenged in court. Which is probably want Trump wants anyway.
The coverage of President Trump’s sudden reversal on his policy to separate migrant children from their parents at the border is universally brutal.
The Fix: “It’s at once an admission that the politics of the issue had gotten out of hand and that the administration’s arguments were completely dishonest. Virtually everything it said about the policy is tossed aside with this executive action. It’s the political equivalent of waving the white flag and the legal equivalent of confessing to making false statements. Rather than letting Congress rebuke it, the White House is rebuking itself and trying to save some face.”
Politico: “It was a remarkable shift from a president who is typically reluctant to bow to outside pressure. He often doubles down on his existing stance when confronted with criticism.”
Former President Barack Obama: “That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?”
Former Vice President Joe Biden: Trump’s family separation policy is "abhorrent" https://t.co/FbvcQLiToz
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 20, 2018
Pope Francis “has criticized the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the Mexican border, saying populism is not the answer to the world’s immigration problems,” Reuters reports.
Steve Schmidt, who was campaign manager for John McCain’s presidential bid in 2008, announced he was quitting the Republican party. Said Schmidt: “29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of the Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.”
Politico: “Senior House Republicans learned late Tuesday night that they were far from the 218 votes needed to pass a compromise immigration package after doing a whip check on the bill, according to multiple GOP lawmakers and aides. Some conservatives warned that Trump was not specific enough in his support of the leadership’s bill. Others simply continued to worry about blowback from the far right for supporting anything that could be labeled ‘amnesty.’”
Said one top GOP lawmaker: “It did not move the needle at all. He made comments like ‘I’m behind it 1,000 percent,’ but what is ‘it’?”
Why the GOP's last-ditch attempt at immigration reform is going to fail: https://t.co/0W9KNS2mgZ
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) June 20, 2018
“President Trump’s top allies in the media have struggled this week to formulate a coherent defense of his administration’s immigration crackdown, oscillating between talking points to provide the president cover for the widely-condemned zero-tolerance policy that has resulted in children being separated from their parents at the southern border,” CNN reports.
“Members of the pro-Trump media seemed to share the same goal: Fending off an onslaught of criticism directed at the White House by members of both political parties. But the ways in which each defender has gone about doing this differed, ranging from falling back on tropes and arguments often employed by white nationalists, to portraying immigrants as threats, to outright dismissing the controversy as part of a fictitious plot.”
Michael Cohen is getting desperate. Donald Trump might want to get out his checkbook: https://t.co/y37p0X4R4Y
— Paul Waldman (@paulwaldman1) June 20, 2018
Janelle Wong: “My research indicates white evangelical conservatism correlates strongly with their perceptions anti-white discrimination, even after taking into account economic status, party, age and region. Fully 50 percent of white evangelical respondents to our 2016 survey reported feeling they face discrimination that’s comparable to, or even higher than, the discrimination they believe Muslim Americans face. Those who hold this perception are more likely to hold conservative attitudes on issues as wide-ranging as climate change, tax policy and health-care reform.”
“Here’s what is not behind these beliefs: economic anxiety. Like PRRI and political scientist Diana Mutz, I find economic anxiety isn’t a primary reason for supporting Trump. Rather, white evangelicals fear losing racial status. White evangelicals’ perceptions they’re the targets of discrimination – more so than other groups — influence far more than simply their votes for Trump.”
“Yes, 80 percent of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump in 2016. And the racial fears and anxieties that underlie their support for the president will probably remain the driver in their political views long after he leaves office.”
— Daily Intelligencer (@intelligencer) June 20, 2018
North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer (R-ND) “pushed back hard on the idea that keeping border-crossing children in chain-link cages was inhumane, defending the practice in two local radio shows on Wednesday,” TPM reports.
Said Cramer: “By the way, chain link fences are around playgrounds all over America, all over North Dakota. And chain link fences allow line-of-sight visual connectivity with children and families. You know, there’s nothing inhumane about a chain link fence. If it is, then every ballpark in America is inhumane.”
“Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Bloomberg — a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment — has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.”
In a new report, an outside White House adviser says that Stephen Miller "actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border" https://t.co/xPYSUIXWlG
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) June 20, 2018
Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Post that President Trump’s decision on whether to sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller “could be delayed until mid- to late July as his legal team assesses the impact of a new report by the Justice Department’s inspector general,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Giuliani: “I’m advising him to stay put, to hold our horses a little.”
But last night on Fox News, Giuliani sounded doubtful it would ever happen: “Do I look crazy? So far, you know, I still have all my senses, and I’m a heck of a lawyer. And I get drummed out of the profession if I did. I mean, the reality is, you don’t put your client in a kangaroo court.”
Canada just legalized marijuana. That has big implications for US drug policy. https://t.co/7VjWanjCK1
— Vox (@voxdotcom) June 19, 2018
A new CNN poll shows Democrats leading the generic House ballot by a solid margin, 50% to 42%.
“It’s way to early to predict which voters will turn out on election day, but the poll does suggest Democrats are still benefiting from an ‘enthusiasm gap.’ Fifty percent of Democratic voters saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting compared to only 43% of Republicans who feel that way.”
A new Pew Research survey finds “voter engagement is high when compared with comparable points in previous midterm cycles” and “a record share of registered voters (68%) say the issue of which party controls Congress will be a factor in their vote in November.”
“A 60% majority say they consider their midterm vote as essentially a vote either for Donald Trump (26%) or against him (34%). These are among the highest shares saying their view of the president would be a factor in their vote in any midterm in more than three decades.”
“In early voting intentions, 48% of registered voters say they would favor the Democratic candidate in their district, or lean toward the Democrat, while 43% favor the Republican or lean Republican.”
We fear infestations of cockroaches or bedbugs or lice. To accuse people of infesting America is to dehumanize them. https://t.co/AKS3VJMxdv
— Sarah Jones (@onesarahjones) June 20, 2018
A new USC/Los Angeles Times poll in California finds Gavin Newsom (D) leading John Cox (R) in the race for governor by a wide margin, 45% to 28%.
A new Monmouth poll in West Virginia finds Sen. Joe Manchin (D) holds a solid lead over challenger Patrick Morrisey (R), 48% to 39% among all voters.
“Another 4% support Don Blankenship, who is seeking to run as the Constitution Party candidate after losing his bid for the GOP nomination. West Virginia has a “sore loser” law that may prevent him from appearing on the general election ballot. When Blankenship’s supporters are reallocated to their second choice, Manchin maintains a 49% to 42% lead.”
“The race looks very similar using two different likely voter models. A historical midterm model gives Manchin a 49% to 40% lead over Morrisey with Blankenship in the race, and a 50% to 43% lead without. Using a model that includes a turnout surge in areas where Democrats tend to perform more strongly gives a Manchin a 50% to 39% lead when including Blankenship and 51% to 42% lead without the Constitution Party candidate.”
There are only four countries in the world who refuse to participate in the work of the UN Human Rights Council: Eritrea, Iran, North Korea and, now, the United States. https://t.co/KUHZ94bPT9
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) June 20, 2018
“The Trump administration announced its departure from the United Nations’ main human rights body Tuesday, its latest withdrawal from an international institution,” CNBC reports.
Said United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley: “For too long, the human rights council has been a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”
The announcement “comes just a day after the U.N. human rights chief denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.”
“Parscale is one of the key players in the 2016 Trump campaign who has not been interviewed by Mueller’s team. So he’s part of a club that includes Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Michael Cohen. All of them met with Congress, but not Mueller — hinting that they could all be targets.”
McClatchy: “Buyers connected to Russia or former Soviet republics made 86 all-cash sales — totaling nearly $109 million — at 10 Trump-branded properties in South Florida and New York City, according to a new analysis shared with McClatchy. Many of them made purchases using shell companies designed to obscure their identities.“
”There’s nothing illegal about accepting cash for real estate. But transactions that do not involve mortgages — which account for one in four residential purchases in the country — raise red flags for law enforcement officials as it could be a way to commit fraud or launder money.”